I have long admired the brilliant spirit of rescue dogs and how they are able to live in the moment regardless of what has come before and what may follow. 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. Each one of these dogs found it in themselves to begin again. I doubted I possessed the same grace and courage.
After being diagnosed with a brain tumour, I began my own journey of fear, hope and acceptance. My resolve was shattered a few times and I was shaken more than once but whenever I doubted myself, I thought of the dogs. They do not allow the possibility of future fears to defeat them, they simply cope.
And so said the dogs . . . is a collection that shares the lessons the dogs taught me when I needed them most. Cards, binders and t-shirts have been designed to carry the messages of the following dogs.
Mission showed me how to endure. She had belonged to a man in Moosonee whom she had loved and trusted. When he left town without her she waited at the train station for over a week but he never returned. She was pregnant and left on the streets to fend for herself. The scars on her face showed how hard she had fought to protect her pups once they were born. When she came to us, she lay with her head in my lap and seemed content to finally take her last breath. I stroked her face asked her for more time. I promised I would take care of her. She gave what I asked for.
Soldier spent most of his young life in Attawapiskat at the end of a chain. The day he did manage to pull free and escape, he ran with abandon until his leg was caught in a snare. He dragged himself, with the snare still attached, home just to be chained up again. The snare was removed, days later, by our rescue worker Floyd and Soldier was surrendered to us. It took seven months before he was able to run free again but he remained stalwart and brave throughout. Bernadette had the courage to let go of her past fears in order to trust new possibilities. She had spent her life outside in Attawapiskat, not having anywhere to call home. She fought off dogs when she was in heat, run from cars that chased her down and hidden from kids with sticks. She arrived here in the middle of the night and she was terrified. She had never been contained or had a rood over her head before and nothing about me being so near was comforting to her. Life, for her, had been threatening and she didn’t understand kindness or a tender touch. Together though, we began the journey to trust and connection. Trooper was a stray and she lived by her wits and instincts in Attawapiskat. She spent every day in fear. The only other being she trusted was her grown daughter and she relied on her for a sense of security. Our rescue worker had to use the daughter to entice Trooper near and in time, they were both sent out to us. It took months for Trooper to trust and find hope but she took her time and when she was ready, she never looked back. Angus came to us as an adult and he was placed in what we all thought would be his forever home. Sadly though, when serious illness struck a member of the family, he had to be returned to us. Angus had loved and been loyal but found himself adrift and needing to begin again. Rather than fearing and resisting the unknown though, he chose to embrace it. He accepted his fate and looked forward with glee and joy. Amos was born into rescue care and never knew a worry. As a puppy, he believed every new day was full of wonder and he was grateful.
I hope you too find these dogs inspiring. Sharron
The So Said the Dogs . . . products can be purchased by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large Cards $20 a set of 6
Notecards $15 set of six
T-shirts (sizes adult s -2x) $25