It snowed just a few days ago. Then there was rain that, at times, turned to hail. The banks of snow remained hip high on April 19, but I didn’t care.  It’s been a year since family came and long held traditions like Easter were followed, but I accept that. Headaches, caused by a brain tumour, continue but I’m managing the pain. Much is made possible because of a charming distraction named Birch. Even as a starving, malnourished dog he didn’t have time for anger or resentment. He knew, even then, that the world held much more than the corner he had known in Attawapiskat. Birch set his course forward and he took us with him. He never questioned his decision to believe, he simply began.

Birch has become a proud, strong northern dog, without a care in the world. He bounds over fallen trees in the bush simply because he can. He runs like the wind because he likes the feel of his ears blowing back. He carefully pounces on a puppy in play and pins the bigger dogs to the ground so they will “give” then do the same to him. He will sleep in a patch of sun by the front door so that no one can leave without him or enter as an unwanted threat. He will pause and slow his young mind every so often, and I imagine him considering his good fortune. Birch doesn’t take each new day for granted. He is grateful for yesterday and eager for the promise of tomorrow.  

He doesn’t believe in regrets or wasting time. After being neutered, he woke from the anesthesia in record time and was able to come home mere hours after his surgery. He sees quick naps as more than acceptable but being drugged in a crate for the better part of a day is not. The cone he wore for a week barely slowed him down and he trusted it was necessary. He didn’t know why, but when it came off and he was able to investigate the area from which the discomfort had stemmed, he trusted that too had been necessary.

Birch is ready for his forever home. He is bright, kind, intelligent and inspiring. He is a best friend, a true companion and a guide for life. He deserves a home where he is with his people or person much of the time. Birch is happiest when sharing with others. Children will benefit from his spirit and animals from his enthusiasm and joy. He is a big puppy and much is still new to him. He will take whoever loves him on a journey that will be good for the soul and delightful for the heart, providing they can keep up. He will learn boundaries, manners and more willingly, if taught with love. This dog can never be disappointed again. Life, to him, is precious. My last words to Birch, as they are with every dog who leaves us, will be sweetness and joy, and he will understand.