This post has been a long time coming. It has taken me an exceptional amount of time to write, but I hope my absence will be forgiven due to the nature of my subject.
Today I write in remembrance of Cosmo, my family dog. The past week and a half has been very difficult for me as I’ve dealt with the blow of his loss.
My family adopted Cosmo from my aunt in November of 2001. Her shih tzu had just become a mother of a new litter of puppies and my family had recently lost one of our first dogs. Reeling from our recent loss and knowing my brother and I had wanted a puppy for some time, my parents drove to Campbell River and surprised us the following morning with an 8-week old ball of fluff. It was love and friendship at first sight. The little puff sprawled on the carpet, his tiny whippet tail wagging with a joy as pure and strong as our own.
Over the first few months, we discovered Cosmo had a very strong personality. He knew exactly what he loved (cheese, tug-of-war, Timbits, rolling in driveway dirt) and what he didn’t (biscuit dog food, anyone or anything on his lawn, the wind, baths). He also knew how to get what he wanted – we were all pushovers when it came to his little waving dance. It’s safe to say that this little dog had us wrapped.
Speaking of wrapped things, I’ll always remember that Cosmo’s favourite holiday was Christmas. Not only would he sit by his stocking at 5am Christmas morning and whine until we all woke up, but he also taught himself how to open presents. Every year the four of us would wrap a toy or packet of treats in tissue paper and he would go to town. He adored tearing off the paper, ever so gently as to not disturb the gift, and his tail would spin with excitement when he received the fruits of his labour. However, he wouldn’t stop there. Christmas often took twice as long because he would leap over to whomever was opening a present and gladly assist in the unwrapping. It soon got to the point where every birthday, graduation, or special occasion, Cosmo would be waiting patiently to help rip off that stubborn paper.
There are many other stories about my dog that I would share, but I feel they would never do his life justice. Suffice to say that Cosmo was the sweetest, happiest dog I’ve known. I feel truly blessed to have had his love and affection for thirteen years, and extremely sorry that I could not hug him one last time. I hope his journey over the rainbow bridge was smooth and that he’s rolling around on a soft, green lawn or playing tug-of-war with our two other dogs. I hope he knows that I love him and that there will never be another shih tzu cross with as much love to give as he gave to me. Rest in peace, Cosmo, until I see you again.
I must also say another farewell today. In three days’ time I will be boarding a plane back to Canada. I know people say this all the time, but I really feel like this year disappeared before I knew it was happening. My time here in Australia has been an amazing life experience. I’ve met some beautiful, interesting, and sometimes crazy people, and I’ve seen and journeyed to some of the most astonishing cities and places in the world. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year, and I know this trip has helped me grow as an individual. There have been some rocky times – times when I simply wanted to pack up and head back home to what I knew and what was safe, but I’m glad I chose to stay. Spending a year in another country is a chance of a lifetime, and I’m thankful to everyone who made this year possible and to those who welcomed me into their country and lives with open arms.
Thank you, Australia. Thank you for teaching me that I can make it on my own in a foreign environment, thrive, and return a stronger, adventurous, more confident woman.
I also want to thank everyone reading this. Thank you for joining me on this journey and listening to what I had to say and enjoying my photos, tales, and food along the way. Thank you for remaining loyal through this long, unexplained absence and for being so understanding. It really means the world.
I want to continue this blog. I’ve so enjoyed writing it and engaging with you all this past year, it seems silly to stop because I’m moving back to Canada. So on that note, I have a few recipes and reviews up my sleeve that I will be posting in the next week or so. Expect to see some food on your screen very soon! Until then, I wish you oodles of maple syrup and bacon. Together or separate, your choice!