This summer has been an emotional one for me. My two constant, daily companions, my wonderful, wise, loving friends, have both had to depart, passing from this life back to spirit. My dear puppies, two big, white, fluffy, Hungarian kuvaszok taught me so many things, and in my desire to remember the good and nurture the love and wisdom they shared, I want to recount these stories, ones containing valuable teachings.
Sassy came to us first, and two years later, we took Spirit. Sassy was ever the mommy, trainer, and protector of Spirit. She sacrificed for him. In fact, Sassy is the most intuitive, natural, true-to-her-breed dog I have ever known.
Spirit quickly learned from his surrogate mother. He tugged on the rope toys with her. He started chasing and flipping her over by grabbing her back leg when she tried to walk away — which she did to him and intended for him to reciprocate. This is something the breed naturally does in keeping sheep from wandering off.
Sassy naturally barked at the strange and unfamiliar, and while Spirit learned, he never appeared as vigilant as Sassy. He performed his functions more by staying close, enjoying the touches, pets, and love. He was confident he could defend from up close, which he showed when we went on our three walks a day.
Spirit with a look I saw almost every daySpirit’s nature was to be physically near to those he knew were his to watch over, and to do this, he stayed close and enjoyed the love. His methods were clever, disarming, funny, and effective.
Our neighbor met us at the gate every morning, and Spirit accepted Barry as one of his humans. Since Sassy always had alpha stature, she got first pets from Barry, which didn’t allow Spirit to express his style of being. He wouldn’t stand it for any length of time.
Spirit, understanding Sassy’s style of being, would run to the other side of the yard at the other gate and bark like crazy for a few seconds. That served as a call for Sassy to come take over the protection challenge. Every single time, she would run over to the far gate, while Spirit sauntered back across the yard to our neighbor— cool, calm, collected, and having achieved his goal to engage in his purpose: staying close and sharing love with those who were his humans.
I don’t think he acted from selfishness; it was only insistence on being him, and, in a way, he helped Sassy to be herself.
Spirit also learned that he could easily flip the latch up on the cyclone-style fence gates we have by using his nose. The first three times I found the gate open and the puppies wandering the neighborhood, I berated myself for not closing the gate. I couldn’t remember not doing that, though. Sassy, naturally, used the open gate before I discovered it to lead Spirit around the neighborhood and show him how to be recognize the familiar and be vigilant about the strange.
Then, one morning when we had our morning Barry meeting, Spirit nonchalantly nudged the latch up and ran to get closer to Barry.
Mystery solved. Spirit used his cleverness to express himself, live his purpose of love, and be a partner with Sassy. He was quite content with himself. Life lessons.
Sassy making sure all was as it should beSassy illustrated her brilliance and insistence on being herself and of finding ways to do that despite obstacles in one particularly funny and instructive episode. Sassy could annoy with her bark — oh, how I miss that now — and my wife, particularly, wanted her barking to stop. I didn’t; I simply wanted to have more control of it. Neither of us got our wishes when we tried a couple “solutions.”
My wife bought a bark collar that sprayed a disagreeable citronella scent. A burst of the fine, scented mist shot straight at Sassy’s nose when she barked. I didn’t want to do it but somehow knew it would work out. I suppose I trusted Sassy to be herself.
Within minutes of having it on, she overcame the obstacle preventing her from fulfilling her purpose of warning and guarding. I watched her stop barking abruptly, at first, but then she tried softer barks. To my amazement, she pointed her head and nose as high into the air — almost straight up — as she could. She kept a constant, soft bark up, one not even detectable inside the house. I could see the mist. Then, I couldn’t. She emptied the reservoir.
My wife filled it maybe two or three times, and Sassy did the same thing every time. A similar attempt to curb the bark came with a little plastic box that emitted ultrasonic sound upon barking. Sassy moved to corners of the yard and would bark till the battery was drained.
Ultimately, I used the only thing that helped: I would get up, go to the fence where she barked, tell her to move, and she would end. She needed to know she was heard and she mattered. Don’t we all?
My puppies helped teach me and reinforce that knowing myself, my true nature, my Heart Self, and expressing that through my chosen and created purpose must be lived daily if I am to matter, to be happy, content, and fulfilled.
Powerful lessons with two cherished, loved friends who shared my daily life — over 11 years with Sassy and 9 plus years with Spirit. I’m sorry you can’t see me right now, because you would know by the wells in each eye how genuine my love is — for them and for you.
Many of our problems and social ills in this world would be quieted if we chose these lessons. Know Self and the true nature we possess of Ego and Heart, create purpose, and live it in love in relationship to Self, our great creator Spirit, and one another. Every. Single. Day.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!