BUSH DOG

BUSH DOG

Stillwater knew her own mind. Never did I see her falter or become unsure.  She was peaceful within herself and she shared her sense of calm with any who looked in her eyes. She was gracious, giving, kind and all-knowing and she centred me. Stillwater was a wise yet humble dog.

I lost the light that guided me for seven years when Stillwater died last week. We had to let her go but I wanted to cling to her and beg her to stay. I loved her as much as I needed her though so I whispered goodbye instead.

I had let her go once before but she made her way back to me. She had known where she belonged.

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KELLER

KELLER

We lost a kind and caring soul last week and her name was Keller. She came to us as a pup from Fort Albany in January 2006.  Her littermates were Clemmy, Mathew, Wynn and Sawyer. They were a rather serious-minded group. They played of course, romping and falling all over each other but they had more solitude time than most. Keller especially gave thought and consideration to almost everything. I would see her sitting off on her own and often wondered what she was pondering. She wore a pleased expression and seemed to be awaiting something. I could guess what it was but never knew for sure. I worried for her slightly because I didn’t want her ever to be disappointed.

I named her Keller after Helen, the blind-deaf author/humanitarian because I felt they shared the same strength of character.

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STILL IN NEED

STILL IN NEED

I have long believed that you are sent the dog or dogs you need. Potential adopters may have a certain type of dog in mind for themselves that they want but after much discussion with them, I will suggest a dog they may never have considered. Perhaps they have a strong need for control and are frustrated by not being able to manage every moment as they would like to. I may suggest a dog that experiences random moments of glee or who truly appreciates life’s opportunities while seeking wild possibilities. The dog will lead his or her person on adventures they never would have scheduled into the daily agenda planner and together, they will stop to smell the daisies.

People contact us wanting a dog but manage to repeatedly talk themselves out of one during the discussion process. They worry and doubt themselves. They get in their own way by creating barriers and obstacles that don’t exist.

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      I understand so much more about dogs than I ever did before and there are moments when I wish I was one. I have interacted with packs for years and I have witnessed individual behaviours with both interest and intent. Had I been a dog on July 11th I would have been wary entering the surgeon’s office and sniffed the hand that held my medical file. He was the doctor that had performed my brain surgery and the file contained the pathology report and my prognosis. Had I been a dog, I would have kept a bit of a distance and not put all my faith and trust into a human who had not yet proven himself to be worthy. But I wasn’t a dog so I rushed in, eager to hear and accept anything the wise one had to tell me. I ignored his dismissive nature and apparent lack of interest. I had to ask for the pathology results as they were not forthcoming and I can only assume he referred to some actual report because his glance at the file was quick and his actions seemed like a mock shuffling of papers. Had I been a dog I would have barked as a warning sign that I needed more but instead I silently hoped the tumour was truly benign. When I received the unexpected and surprising news that they wanted to operate again I certainly would have growled had I been a dog. No reason or reassurance was given - I was simply being referred to an optic surgeon. Nothing had prepared me for this so my immediate reaction was to refuse. I knew some of the tumour remained behind my eye but I had been told its growth would be monitored and only if it grew rapidly would surgery be required again. When I explained this to the doctor he looked surprised and reacted as if I had just had a really good idea. No dog would have pretended to accept the falsehood and disillusionment being inflicted, but I did. I stayed longer asking questions and even sought his approval for my decision to refuse further surgery. Had I been a dog I would have squatted or lifted my leg on his lame responses.    When I left through the revolving doors of the tall and mighty medical building I wished for a porch to crawl under.I felt akin to dogs who are harmed or abused and understood their need to take themselves off and hide as I never had before. I thought of the dogs who had been confident and certain one moment then suffered some unexpected and thoughtless blow the next. The ground beneath them was no longer trustworthy and they sought out a dark and private place where they could feel safe and lick their wounds. I too wanted a small space to hide and feel safe in. A place where I could gather myself.  The dogs had taught me well and I better understood who they were in their moments of confusion and fear. They seek solitude because they need to summon courage, healing and balance once again. I would do the same.  I have witnessed dogs raise their heads after severe abuse or injury and marveled at their ability to still believe in goodness. I have held dogs in my arms and promised they will never be harmed again. I have assured dogs that I will love them better and known that I could. I have asked dogs to trust me and they have. Each one of these dogs believed me and found it in themselves to begin again. I am not a dog but I have learned from the best.

UNDER THE PORCH

I understand so much more about dogs than I ever did before and there are moments when I wish I was one. I have interacted with packs for years and I have witnessed individual behaviours with both interest and intent. Had I been a dog on July 11th I would have been wary entering the surgeon’s office and sniffed the hand that held my medical file. He was the doctor that had performed my brain surgery and the file contained the pathology report and my prognosis. Had I been a dog, I would have kept a bit of a distance and not put all my faith and trust into a human who had not yet proven himself to be worthy. But I wasn’t a dog so I rushed in, eager to hear and accept anything the wise one had to tell me. I ignored his dismissive nature and apparent lack of interest.

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Canada Day

Canada Day

Canada Day

I haven’t written for a while but as someone who celebrates each Canada Day with great joy and pride I had to make a simple attempt at well wishes and an update. I hate to distract from the celebrations of 150 years with my grim news though.

Even with seven pups frolicking around me and my six dogs at my side I have gone downhill since my brain surgery. The second week of recovery began with an autoimmune disorder. I ached everywhere, was critically fatigued, annoyingly nauseous and suffered from thrush. Treatment dealt with some of the symptoms but not all. After another few weeks of exhaustion and misery my blood was tested. The results showed that my hemoglobin levels are low which apparently indicates internal bleeding somewhere. I have been referred to yet another doctor and hope her diagnosis and prognosis bring some hope and relief.  

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OBSTACLES OVERCOME

OBSTACLES OVERCOME

OBSTACLES OVERCOME
When I came home from the hospital after brain surgery two weeks ago, roofers were working on the house and four dogs were coughing due to a virus they all shared. My brain throbbed to the beats of thudding, scraping and banging. The anticipation of someone falling through the roof at any given moment heightened all sensations. I actually looked forward to the hum of the compressor to dull some of the more thunderous intrusions. If, in a moment of silence I began to drift into sleep, one of the dogs would hack and retch to clear their throat and I would be startled awake. Still, they were near and that comfort meant more to me than sleep. 

 

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