Moving On / by Dana Bergstrom

Our beloved 12 year old dog, Oslo, left his body at the end of May. It’s been quite an adjustment. The way I move through the world has been affected the most.

Whenever I would get up at night I'd move slowly and gently drag my feet so as to not step on and squash him; I still find myself doing that. Oslo and I would walk in the woods daily to watch the gradual change of the seasons and I'm rarely in the woods anymore. I now spend lots of time sweeping and mopping my kitchen floor because he’s not here to clean up our messes. And then there are the poop landmines in the backyard. I begin to step cautiously and on high alert before I remember that we’re turd-free and I can now look up while walking. New scenery! I move differently. It’s not better or worse.

Oslo didn’t spend much time thinking about better or worse. He demonstrated the concept of neutrality and lived fully in the present moment. In Oslo's last days, he'd get up slowly, his arthritic body taking its sweet time to rise after a night on his little memory foam bed. As soon as he was standing, the tail would start wagging. Wag wag wag. He was so happy to be here. So happy to see his mama. So happy to snuggle and eat breakfast. So so happy!

I move differently without a dog by my side. I stopped trampolining every day with Oslo when his joints became too tender for him to join me about a year ago. But I just started bouncing again and it’s so much fun! And now I pop in my earbuds and dance on the deck more often because I rarely walk in the woods anymore. I’m finding lots of new ways to move without Oslo that are just as enjoyable. Wag wag wag. And that’s exactly what he would want.