My sister, Connie, has always had animal friends as long as I can remember, especially horses and dogs. She loves them completely and they love her back. It warms my heart to see her with her animals and the bond they have.
When I was growing up, I was more of a nature girl and spent a lot of time in the woods near creeks and streams. I had a lot of “other worldly” friends like fairies and wood nymphs. My imagination ran wild, but I was never lonely. My friend, Diane, in the photo always wanted to see my fairy that I kept in a matchbox. But I explained that if I opened the box and showed her,the fairy would fly away. As I become more and more in tune with the spiritual world,I realized that a lot of the comfort I received from these “imaginary” friends was actually real, just another form of energy on a different plane.
As a single woman out on my own, I was given a white Eskimo Spitz , Rhiannon, by a co-worker. Rhiannon became my constant companion for 14 years. I was told that Spitz only like their owners, so as a small puppy, I took her to many pig pickings in North Carolina and let everyone play with her. In later years, she was hit by a car and we rushed her to the emergency vet. He asked if I was sure she was a Spitz, because he had never seen one with that loving personality. She went beyond her nature and gave back the love she received.
All my friends knew that if they invited me to their home, that Rhiannon was coming. They could politely ask me not to bring her, but that rarely happened. I began dating Sonny, my future husband who was a cat lover not a dog lover. When I would visit him, the dog came also. He tolerated her because she was ” the smartest dog he had ever seen”. Near the end of her life, this “cat lover” husband was taking her to his business everyday to give her heart medicine at lunch time. She gave so much unconditional love to everyone she met, that it was impossible not to fall in love with her.
My son was born a few years after Rhiannon died, and I would tell him that he was my first human child ,but I had another child before him, my dog child. If you are an animal lover, you understand this. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are being silly about your pet. They offer us so much emotional support and true unconditional love that they qualify as part of our family, hands down. Whenever we are sad, they are there. Whenever we are angry, they don’t understand but stay near us anyway. And the loving look they have when we are happy is truly joyous.
Since Rhiannon, I have had 2 rescue cats, Slate and Charcoal who lived outdoors and indoors most of their 17 years of living. Charcoal even became a full time housecoat when we moved to Cary, because I was worried about the traffic. This independent “outdoor” cat that could not be picked up, eventually slept in my bed and would tap my nose , hidden in between two pillows to get rubbed.
My son, Wil and I have had a black rescue lab, Tag, for 12 years. He is the joy of our life. He is always there to comfort us when anything goes awry. We took him in 3 years after we lost Sonny, my husband and Wil’s dad. Tag helped fill the void we had after Sonny’s departure to the spiritual plane. We could have not been gifted with a better ‘soulmate ” than Tag. He is one of the the most loving creatures, I have ever met. He is constantly following one or the other around the house, unless he is taking his beauty naps, which are more frequent now. The vet says his body is like a 6 year old, but I believe it is due to all the love he gives and receives. He still gets super excited to go for a daily walk and when he occasionally gets chicken skin for a treat.
No words can describe the passing of one of our furry friends. Some people do not understand the bond we have but we know we have a lost a friend who has loved us unconditionally through thick and thin. We can find comfort in the knowledge that their spirit will always be with us. We will never be alone, if we only open our heart to hear them. This blog is for you Diane , who lost her longtime dog child, Austin , this past week. They are pictured above with her grandson, Jaxon. I love you and know that Austin’s spirit will always be there for you .