spirit dogs

A Celebration of Spirit Dog in Spirit

A Celebration of Spirit Dog in Spirit

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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Spirit Dog’s See Me and Help Keep the Light Shining.

barb, kylie and gidgetKylie loves her kennel. When she was a pup we trained her to be in it while we were gone. It has come to be her “happy” place. Her place to center and chill out.

To this day, when we get ready to leave, she goes in her kennel and lies down. We don’t even close the door. Often times during the day you will find her sleeping (and snoring loudly!) in her kennel.

John has dubbed it her “apartment.”  Last night Gidget and I went to “visit” Kylie at her apartment. It was very nice. She was happy to have Gidget and me over for a visit. Though she didn’t serve tea, I was happy to just be hanging out with her in her special space.

I asked John to take a picture of me hanging out with my girls. When I look at it, I see me. Meaning, I really see who I am. I feel like I can almost see my soul. Maybe this sounds silly, but I really can identify with myself when I am surrounded by my dogs. It’s this feeling of knowing deep in my heart and bones that I am one with them. That we are here to help each other.  That they love me – They see me – They accept me… That they get me.

I can be me – all of who I am – with them. No holding back. And this animal wisdom I carry with me as I move out into the world each day. It’s the light I wish to carry inside me always which I hope radiates out to others, and touches them in whatever way is meant to be right and good for them.