A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

Saturday, October 21, 2017

WHEN YOUR DOG VISITS YOU IN YOUR DREAMS

Last night my dog Buddy came to me in a dream the way sometimes dearly departed souls visit you when you least expect it and the experience is so visceral, so deep that it both hurts and heals.

I was in the country with a friend checking out a farm for sale. I exited one of the many tattered barns and as I came around the bend Buddy was just standing there.  He appeared as a hologram floating in the mist, in the fog.


It had been almost a decade since we last were together. I thought of him every day and while most of the thoughts were happy and provided me with wonderful memories of our life together; there were always those waves that washed over me at night - a tide burying me somewhere in the sand.


But now he stood in front of me and the hologram transitioned into all of Buddy and his beauty - just the way I remembered him -- healthy, handsome and goofy of course.





Buddy was quite a character. He was my birthday present when I turned 30 ( a Flat Coat Retriever we adopted from a shelter) and shortly thereafter I received a diagnosis that rocked my world. I was sick for years and Buddy was right there with me all the way.


Buddy went everywhere with me and his Dad. For anyone who plans their vacations and any outings entirely around their dog - you can understand how integral their companionship and presence is in your life.

Like most dogs he had his wild and uninhibited side. He chased a family of skunks into their den and well let's just say they all partook in his communal shower. He got us kicked out of a campground because he decided it would be a good idea to visit each and every site/trailer to say hello and see if the hosts might offer him a hot dog or even better a steak.

He ran onto a lake that was thinly covered in ice, fell through and started swimming away from the shore. I snaked out on the ice to rescue him knowing that we both could succumb to hypothermia and drown. 

His life came before mine and then that same winter I fell through the ice while walking Buddy. He pulled me back up to the surface putting my life before his.

He loved Friday nights and quickly figured out how to grab the Challah (bread) from the kitchen counter.


One night while we were all asleep he found a fresh apple pie (definitely pre-meditated having watched us that afternoon unpack the groceries). He ate the entire pie and then hid the plate under the couch.

 He ate everything and anything - there were socks and underwear coming out of him like a washer/dryer. He farted so bad you had to clear the room and not come back for 30 minutes (and he smiled with pride each time).

But mostly he was a wonderful, warm companion and he was my son.






One night at the age of 13, after a great day of swimming in the lake and running in the woods - he collapsed from a massive stroke - no warning, no chance to say a real goodbye and by morning he was gone.

 I remember being at the Vet and holding hime not wanting or knowing how to leave. Given he had not deteriorated from Cancer or some other disease, his beautiful face, glistening coat - were still in tact. The light had left his eyes and I could feel part of his soul slip into mine. Then he departed to a far better place.

I went through the same process as everyone - wondering if he knew how much I loved him and wishing I had said thank you more - thank you for enriching my life the way only a dog can.


In the dream - he came to me and we hugged - I held him as close as I could never wanting to let go but he was being summoned and I could hear the calls like a whisper in the wind.


He told me he was in a safe and happy place with other dogs. They all watched out for one another and they played and shared their peanut butter/cheese/cookie Kongs.


He told me he loved me and missed me as much as I did him and that although it was rare for him to be able to penetrate the wall between our world and his beautiful place of peace; he was able to do so for fractions of a second from time to time.


Then he walked away and vanished into the white, into the blue, into a place I have never been.


Maybe forever but I hope not because forever is far too long.


Dogs are a gift. They are only with us for a short time but in that period they teach us what it really means to love and to be in the moment. They make us better people.


Bless you Buddy.


And to my readers everywhere - Bless the precious souls you have lost. I hope they visit you in your dreams if even for a second.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

9 THINGS YOUR DOG WANTS TO TELL YOU



#9 - YOU KNOW THAT NICE AZTEC PATTERN PILLOW ON THE COUCH? WELL WHEN YOU AREN'T HOME - I GRAB THAT PILLOW - I BITE THE CORNER OF IT BETWEEN MY FRONT TEETH AND I PUT THE REST OF IT UNDER ME AND I HUMP IT LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. THEN I FEEL BAD SO I KISS IT AND PUT IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS AS IF NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.

#8 - YOU KNOW HOW GUILTY YOU FEEL WHEVER YOU HAVE TO LEAVE ME AT HOME ALONE? WELL THE TRUTH IS I CAN'T WAIT TO GET RID OF YOU - FINALLY SOME PEACE AND QUIET AND NONE OF THOSE STUPID PHOTOS - HEY THAT'S A PHONE - USE IT AS A PHONE.

#7 - YOU KNOW WHEN WE MEET UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR DOGS DURING OUR WALKS AND YOU START TO BLABB BLABB BLABB - WELL WHILE YOU ARE DOING THAT ME AND THE DOG ARE MAKING PLANS. I'M LIKE - HEY MY MOM IS GOING TO BE GONE ALL DAY TOMORROW - COME OVER AND WE CAN EAT COOKIES AND CHEESE OUT OF MY KONG - WE CAN GO ON HER LAPTOP AND EDIT HER MATCH.COM - "AM I EVER GOING TO MEET ANYONE ?"- PROFILE - AND WE CAN WATCH TV BUT NOT RAY DONOVAN BECAUSE IT REALLY SUCKS THIS SEASON. WHAT'S UP WITH THOSE WRITERS? I MEAN SERIOUSLY THEY HAVE AN AWESOME CAST WHO ARE JUST SITTING ON THE BENCH WAITING FOR A CHANCE UP AT BAT - GET IT TOGETHER WILL YA?

#6 - I AM ON DOG TINDER AND LET ME TELL YOU IT IS HARD TO SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT WITH MY PAWS. ALSO I SCRATCHED YOUR PHONE AND I USED GEO-TAGGING SO THERE MAY BE A FEW PRETTY CANINE LADIES DROPPING BY - THAT MEANS THE BEDROOM IS MINE - HEY - I AM ASKED TO LEAVE WHENEVER YOU HAVE COMPANY AND I ONLY STICK AROUND BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE PERSON WHO IS IN OUR BED MAKING ALL SORTS OF NOISES AND SHOUTING  "DON'T STOP!"  

#5 - LOOK OUT THE WINDOW - LICK THE WINDOW - LOOK OUT THE WINDOW - LICK THE WINDOW - OK NOW YOU TRY



      


#4 - I REALLY GET PEOPLE - I SMELL THEM AND I SENSE THEM - THOSE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS - I KNOW WHO I WANT YOU CLOSE TO AND WHO I WANT AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM YOU - SO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO MY BODY LANGUAGE WHEN A NEW PERSON IS AROUND - I COULD SAVE YOU A LOT OF GRIEF.

#3 - I SIT IN FRONT OF YOU AND STARE AT YOU ON QUEUE A GOOD 15 MINUTES BEFORE DINNER TIME - THAT'S ME TELLING YOU THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE DOING THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN  FEEDING ME MY DINNER ON TIME. 

#2 - LIFE IS A JOURNEY NOT A PARKING LOT - IT'S ABOUT SAVING AND BEING SAVED. IT'S ABOUT LOVING WHO YOU LOVE - SUPPORT - TRUST - RESPECT AND IT'S ABOUT A GREAT BIG WARM HUG AND THAT PERFECT KISS THAT YOU NEVER FORGET. IT'S ABOUT THE MAGICAL MOMENTS THAT OFTEN LIVE IN THE SHADOWS BECAUSE LIFE IS TOUGH AND WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH SOMETHING OR SOMEONE - ITS ABOUT APPRECIATING THOSE MOMENTS WHEN THEY COME OUT INTO THE LIGHT AND EVERYTHING SHINES - THAT'S WHAT WE ARE HERE FOR

AND THE #1 THING YOUR DOG WANTS TO TELL YOU:

#1 - THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME - I AM GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE SAVING YOU.