spirit animals

A Celebration of Spirit Dog in Spirit

A Celebration of Spirit Dog in Spirit
FRANKIE

I love the statement, ‘finding a soft spot to land.’

I’ve used it a few times in my writing. It’s those difficult times you come through that you never thought you could, but you look back and see that you have. And it’s this peace in your heart that ever-so-gently is like a soft flutter that glides down from the divine,  coating your heart with pure, sweet love – like a fluffy pillow that your soul now rests in a new knowing.

Today Frankie is seventeen years old. Though she left her physical body at almost thirteen. I really have no idea that when she was alive why I wanted her to live to be seventeen. That shall remain a mystery and that’s okay. Because in spirit she is eternal and age becomes insignificant.

But I pause with extra fondness today at the mysterious significance of seventeen, and in deep gratitude for having had her in my life. It changed my life forever. And while she feels farther away than when she passed over five years ago, I now have this knowing that she is here when I need her, and all I have to do is be in stillness to connect with her. This amazing gift she helped me to see that even in spirit our loved ones are here for us if we ask.

Without a doubt I believe Frankie being in my life was to help me to grow and evolve. For many years after her passing I was afraid to do that. I held on tightly to what was, and what I believed was my sole purpose of being here. But to not have taken steps to continue to move forward would have meant her teachings would have been lost and in vane.

I know she wants me to continue to thrive and expand. This has meant letting go of some things this summer that were bittersweet, but that I felt in my heart needed to be put to rest. Not easy as I had some fear of judgement of what others may think or say. But I reflect on one of Frankie’s many lessons, which was to stand tall and be proud of who I am. And so I am…and this will be my life long tribute to her in that I continue to accept myself for who I am.

And I know that in the vast cosmos of spirit she wags her tail and barks,  “Way to go and keep following your heart!” 

Frankie…my forever heart and spirit dog…I’ll celebrate you always.

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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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My Spirit Animal White Wolf Shared Her Name with Me

My Spirit Animal White Wolf Shared Her Name with Me
Photo credit: Nadine Doerle

Ever since I began the planning for my Animal Wisdom SoulCollage® Workshop, which I’m facilitating this Saturday at my home studio, I’ve had white wolf visit me on several occasions. She first came to me two years ago in a guided visualization during a challenging time, encouraging me to continue to let my heart lead the way for my life. 

It’s not always been easy, as life can be, and as you try to not let the doubts or belief’s of society fill your mind. As I’ve been working on another workshop, this one to be online about working with our dreams, I had white wolf come to me again. 

It was yet another guided visualization that my friend, Dawn, who will be presenting the workshop with me, that I saw white wolf in the visualization Dawn did as a run through. She didn’t appear at first, but it was after seeing a variety of colors swirling around me and above my head in greens, purples, and pinks (almost like the Northern lights!) that white wolf appeared next to me on a bridge.

So many good feelings flooded my body when I saw her! Then the next day I happened upon a documentary, The Snow Wolf Family and Me, about a man who lived with a family of white wolves for three months. It’s a series, so I can hardly wait to watch the second episode. And shortly after that I came across a very unique commercial about… yup, you guessed it….wolves. 

Then two nights ago before going to sleep I asked white wolf to guide me in my dreams and help me to remember them, as that can be a challenge for me.  Before I drifted off to sleep I asked her what her name is not knowing if anything would happen.

I heard immediately, Laiola. Isn’t that so pretty?  It feels so fitting! This morning as I sat in meditation for fifteen minutes she visited me yet again. I really feel like I’m beginning to know her and it is so comforting to know she is here with me to help me in this earthly life.

I’m increasingly fascinated by how we can connect with animals in what is sometimes defined as the non-reality world – but truly a world where we can find many answers for our lives if we trust in it and practice going there in meditation and in our dreams.

For more information about my upcoming workshop this Saturday, April 22nd and to register, please visit the link here

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