Thursday, May 31, 2012

Love, loss, celebrating what once was and being thankful for the gifts

Lawyers are humans, too!

Stormer Francis Kerns (August 16, 1999 - May 30, 2012).
The container includes a lock of his fur.

My beautiful, sweet, handsome, faithful, loving and loyal Shetland Sheepdog, Stormer, died yesterday.  He played an integral role in my life, both professional and personal.  I knew this day would arrive but you can never truly prepare.

Here at the office, he sat on his bed next to my desk, snoozing the day away.  He also greeted the mail carrier, looked out our floor to ceiling windows to occasionally bark at action on the street and trotted around to everyone's desk to say hi and sniff around for treats.

Clients truly loved him and he was an extremely welcome distraction to people visiting a lawyer's office.  Lawyers sort out problems so rarely do people enjoy the visit to the attorney - it costs money (lots of it) and you are usually dealing with life's most difficult dilemmas: divorce, disputes over money, defending crimes and just general nuisances that interrupt the flow of life.

Most of my practice involves family law and divorce and all of the unpleasantness that goes along with it: child support, child custody, division of debts, selling a house, fighting over a business or money and facing the loss of one of life's most important relationships: a marriage.

Stormer greeted all clients and the unexpected presence of a rambunctious, curious dog distracted people from their problems, even for an instant.  It helped them to focus, clear their head, and be engaged and involved in the necessary evil of a discussion with a lawyer.

Stormer even sat in on consultations, depositions and meetings and I often noticed people petting him under the table --- an activity that soothes even the most anxious client.

My beautiful dog greatly comforted me multiple times a day -- just having him there while I went about my highly stressful job gave me peace and helped me focus.  He also got me out of the office for brief walks during the day -- a great way to clear my head and remember that there is a world outside of your desk.

Stormer and I had an incredibly journey and not many dogs can spend practically 24 hours per day with their owners.  We both knew what we had was special.  I held him yesterday as he went peacefully to sleep.  I told him that I loved him and there would never be another dog like him.  My last words to him: "Job well done - see you on the other side." And he was comforting and sweet and loyal until he breathed his last.

Today, I am celebrating our life together and thanking God for such an incredible gift - a girl and her dog, together against the world for 12 years and 10 months.  I could not ask for anything more and I know he is at peace and we will be together again.

An angel holding a dog, a gift to me and to Stormer's memory, from Elizabeth, an attorney here at the office.


Elizabeth said...

Stormer was a wonderful, loyal friend for everyone in this office. I will miss having him poke his head in my office (and my trash can) looking for a treat or rub behind the ears.

Anonymous said...

Stormer will be missed. He has left behind many great memories. The kids will always remember their visits with Stormer.

Anonymous said...

What a nice piece..... a lawyer's compassion.