Dogs

To a Seal Point Princess

It was you who came to greet me. You, a seal point princess, so full of class, so full of grace, walked gingerly across the kitchen floor to welcome me into your home.  It was clear that you had pain but you didn’t let that stop you.  I scooped you up into my arms and held your little feline body against my heart for a moment or two.  Then, I put you down and went to let your black lab canine sister out of her crate.

Seeley

In her excitement, your sister almost ran you down as you stood in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.  You held your own, and sidestepped her exuberant sprint into the kitchen. Your sister, in all her black lab beauty, was ready to go. So sweet, she had grown stronger and more confident through the years. No longer did she withdraw from the jangle of keys; no longer did she flinch if I moved the wrong way. Now, it was just men who carried sticks or large objects that bothered her. But she was slower in other ways. The years had taken a toll on her joints and a walk and a massage would do her so much good.

Out we went, and walked around your neighborhood. She held her nose to the ground, checking for scents, stopping now and again to further investigate who left their mark.  Upon our return, sometimes I threw her ball for her but only 2 or 3 feet, just enough for her to have the satisfaction of a ball retrieved. Later, she lay down at my feet, and I massaged her.

You appeared again, and sat beside us, waiting for your turn, and your own dose of life’s best medicine, love. Sometimes, you walked behind me and placed your little paws on my back. “Okay, Seeley. I promise you, you’ll have your time.” I said.  I laid my hands on your sister, ran them down her legs, and across her back. I reached over and so gently stroked you as well.   Her. You. Her. You. Finally, she got up, drank some water and then went back into her crate and ate her dog cookies.

I looked for you and found you in the bathroom resting on the soft blue bath mat. That was one of your favorite spots. I scooped you up again and walked around your home. I held you up to look out the windows and feel the fresh air against your face. You nestled yourself into my shoulder, and seemed to absorb all of my care. As I held you, I too felt comforted, cared for, and so warmed by your beautiful soul. I kissed the top of your head, whispered to you about how beautiful you were, spoke to you of how many loved you, and reminded you that you were God’s child. Finally, I put you back down on the soft blue bath mat.

That was how it was time and time and time again. Then, one day I was there and one of your Moms told me that you had not eaten. I walked with your sister. When we returned, your Moms so very kindly let me share a moment with you. As soon as I held you, I knew that you were already almost gone. I felt your readiness, that it was okay, that you weren’t afraid, that all would be well. I kissed your head once more before I left. It was only two days later when I heard the news of your passing.

That was several weeks ago. When I go to your home now, I miss your delicate presence by my side. And yet, I sense that you are still there and will always be there. I know that what you taught me is still with me. Because of you, I know that it is possible to be both gentle and strong. It is possible to be both vulnerable and a force to be reckoned with. Thank you so much. That was a lesson I needed to learn.

In you, I saw the light of God. Dear Seeley, I still do. And now, as I write you this love letter, I feel your little nose pressed into the hollow space just under my clavicle. I feel your sweet little paws resting over my shoulder. I know that you have just shed your old body and that your soul goes on.  Please know that I love you still and am grateful for the time we shared.

Namaste.

Deborah