As I get older, I think I appreciate people and things more. And when something bad happens to someone who has made a real difference in my life, it impacts me in a big way.
As many of you may know, since the adoption of my first boxer, I have become a member of a wonderful family otherwise known as the Boxer Mailing List. While I don't know the exact details of when this list was started, I know that it's been a huge part of my life for the last 2 years. I've made wonderful friends, laughed, cried, said prayers for the boxers and their humans, and received wonderful advice and loads of support for many different situations in my life.
The founding father of this wonderful family was a man named Dale Ulmer. Daily he would update us on the activities of his two boxer rescues, Lou and Ella. I would wait for those pictures, and laugh at their boxer antics. In addition to the daily updates is the BML family; a huge group of people from all over the US, Canada and abroad. Over the last two years, I have shared with them as they rescued and adopted puppies, toddler boxers and many seniors. I have cried plenty of tears as fellow members of my family have said good-bye to their precious boxers, and I have learned more about this wonderful breed than I have ever thought possible. One of the greatest things about this list is that even though we're all eager to help each other with boxer related things, there is also a tremendous amount of support here for everyday things that go on in our lives.
Over the last year or so, Dale has had several health problems, and we have all hoped and prayed for the best for him. After all, he's the one who brought us all together. Yesterday, we all received the news that he had passed. I can't help but think of what a better place the world has been because Dale was in it. He was such a sweet man, with a very obvious love for his sweet Diane, his kids, and boxers everywhere. And I can't help but think of all of the wonderful boxer greetings and wiggles that he must have gotten as he went to meet several of the boxers and his friends that preceded him in death. I know that several of my fellow BML members commented that they felt so much better knowing that Dale was now with the boxers that they've lost over the years. I guess you could say that I have an image of tons of boxers running and wiggling to greet him, and it sounds so lovely!
I sat with Lucy and Duke last night and I prayed for Dale and his family, and thanked God for allowing me to be a part of his life and his family. What a blessing it has been in my life, and I know that while I never had a chance to meet Dale, his wife Diane or Lou & Ella, that my life has been impacted in a very positive way.
Godspeed Dale, and thank you for being a part of our lives!