animal human bond

A Deep Stirring of the Heart

A Deep Stirring of the Heart
Just days before Frankie moved on…

I was deeply moved by a post  on author Jon Katz’ blog this morning. So much so, I’m still having tearful moments as I write this.

They aren’t tears of sadness, though some bittersweet. But tears of recognition – of understanding – of having been in this space – and have come away from it profoundly changed.

Jon’s border collie, Red, who so many have come to love, is dealing with an unknown illness right now. A therapy dog who has touched so many lives he is also the spirit dog here at this time marking a passage in Jon’s life.

Having talked with a healer and animal communicator this morning, Jon wrote this:

Kimberly was direct, she told me that my challenge now was to recognize Red’s exhaustion and discomfort, and to give  him the time he needs to rest and to heal.

There was a time in my life when I would not have been able to hear this, I was too broken myself,  but I know Kimberly and trust her, and she simply went to the heart of it with me and with Red.

This stirred my heart with much emotion remembering my work with my paralyzed dachshund, Frankie, who was in a wheelchair, and touched so many lives herself. And without a doubt in every fiber of my being, she came here to help me heal – though I didn’t recognize it at first – and that gift would continue to unfold as we had a shared purpose and mission.

The recognition in realizing I was sensing she was slowing down in 2011 – she was ready to retire. Her time was coming to an end and my life, and our life as I’d come to love it, was about to change. And I didn’t know how I’d go on without her.

But in those last six months, and for months afterwards, the whisper in my heart that didn’t want to surface or admit to was that I too, was ready to slow down and move on. And it was also in learning to let go of what was, and to accept that Frankie wouldn’t live forever, and that I’d be okay.

It opened my heart to understanding more than before that with the gut-wrenching pain of loss, finding our way back to gratefulness of what was, was the whole point of our journey. How blessed I was to have had the opportunities I did with her.

How blessed I was to have this spirit dog, who forever changed my life for the better. It was imperative that I recognize and honor her wish to now retire and live out her days next to my side as I wrote the memoir of our journey.

This too, an enriching gift, of days with her all to myself. To give thanks for all the compassion she not only showed me, but others.

And getting to this place of not wallowing in her passing, but in the bliss that she brought to my life, that her gift lives on… and her spirit fills me each and every time I think of her.

And I’m grateful when my heart gets stirred from a post like Jon’s – a reminder of a time that was excruciatingly difficult, but with time I can now look back and my heart smiles with such joy from the love of Frankie.

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The Wisdom of Eleven

The Wisdom of Eleven
Today. Kylie’s 11th Birthday.

Winding up and down country roads through Tennessee we found our way to you eleven years ago December 2005. And this day, today, you were born into this world.

Eleven – a number that stands side-by-side as one, creating a strong foundation. Or when one needs to lean into the other one – that is you, my dear girl- a grounding and steady bedrock you have been, and continue to be.

That first time holding you, a big, soft, cuddly ball of fur that you were, my heart tumbled a free fall that enveloped me with a joy that I wanted to hold onto forever.

And JOY you have continued to be. Truly, one of the most selfless dogs I’ve ever known. Your work has been in keeping a calm and steady rhythm within these four walls we call home to what is important.

You, our daily reminder that life is meant to be captured in the simple moments and that when life throws us a curve ball that going with the flow will helps us find our way back to the center sooner, rather than later.

Eleven – it shows in the gray mask around your face – but your heart, forever young and ever expanding – that unending love that vibrates outward from you each and every moment that has been one of my greatest teachers of what living is all about.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. I love you so much.

Eight weeks old
First Winter
Graduating from puppy class
Who loves her papa?
Frisbee anyone?
Six years old

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The Friendship Between Man, Hummingbird and Dog — Plus Winner of of Book Giveaway

The Friendship Between Man, Hummingbird and Dog -- Plus Winner of of Book Giveaway

Thank you to my friend, Diane for sending me a video of a dog, named Rex and a hummingbird, named Hummer that are friends after Rex rescued the little, sweet bird.

It really made my heart swoon! It brought up such a warm and profound moment when Frankie, my dachshund, two weeks after her passing came to me as a hummingbird, which I am absolutely sure of was her. It’s a story I share in my memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes when a song came on the radio that reminded me of Frankie, and in that same moment a hummingbird buzzed over to where I was sitting on the deck and flitted back and forth within inches of my face for quite a few moments. That had never happened before. I liked to call Frankie my little hummingbird, so I know it was her letting me know she had made it to the other side.

So this story is especially heartwarming to me and I just had to share with you!

First, click here for a short clip of Hummer with Rex.  Then below is a news story that was done about the man, hummingbird and dog. Bet you will find it just as endearing as I did!

Thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to win a copy of Honey, Have You Squeezed the Dacshund? An excellent resource for dachshunds who are prone to IVDD. The winner is Amy Burgstede!  Congratulations!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it is now on Amazon.

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