I have said many times that the dogs lead me to where I need to be. For nearly twenty years I have followed, without doubt or hesitation. So, when I found myself surrounded by dogs and their people on September 23rd I knew I was where I was meant to be. It was the sixth annual Moosonee Puppy Rescue Reunion and while many had advised against making the effort this year, I knew I needed to gather the dogs.
I needed their people too. They are the friends and supporters who lent me their strength, belief and encouragement when I needed it most. It was important that I stand before them to show how I had weathered the storm so far. I had to thank each one of them personally for lifting me up and through brain surgery.
I think we all needed this time together. So many have suffered loss or hardship this past year while weather and politics raged about us. So much to dishearten the bravest of souls. But, stand amongst a plentitude of northern dogs and all is well with the world again. If only for a day.
The dogs too were glad to be among so many their own kind. They instinctively sensed the spirit, honesty and grit they share. I have been told countless stories of how MPR dogs recognize one another in dog parks and on walks throughout Ontario. They seem to seek each other out.
I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am worn and weary and while still determined I sometimes don’t recognize myself. There is no telling what tomorrow will bring other than a second surgery and loss of vision but I will not be defined by my tumour. Thanks to that room of people on reunion day, I am defined by the northern dogs instead. Years of endeavor, accomplishment, hope and heart. All they have taught me strengthens me and shapes my journey. I am a most grateful and fortunate woman and I wish a happy Thanksgiving to all.