For several months I have been following a story on Facebook about a man and his dog. It is the story of unconditional love made visible for all the world to see if only we would take the time to look.
It was obvious from the first time I saw this picture and started following the story that old Schoep was not going to be with John for much longer. John would share Schoep's days with all of us, his good days and bad days, and we would all rally and become hopeful that maybe time spent in nature, in the water, with long naps in the sun and a peaceful days would give him a new lease on life. Sadly, that was not the case. Schoep passed a few days ago.
I don't think I have every seen such outpouring of love as I have seen from people all over the world who are sharing in John's loss. With Schoep's passing we have all lost a dear friend and have come to realize the importance of living each day as if it were our last; of loving as if there was no tomorrow, and of giving, and giving, and then giving some more.
Schoep's last days were spent in the simplicity of nature, surrounded by John's love and the comfort of what was familiar to him. It made me think of a quote that is making the rounds on plaques and t-shirts right now: "Live simply. Give more. Expect less." I think that quote has taken on a whole new meaning for me, and I don't think I will look at life in quite the same way now, although I would add another line: "Love like there is no tomorrow." How beautiful it would be to live in a world where that was our mantra.
And so it is.