True stories about the lives of animals ... and the people they inspire
It all started with a brown-eyed bear-faced husky-type dog of dubious parentage who broke my heart wide open and as I knit myself back together, the stories of other transformed by animals began telling themselves.
A 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone, The Hunt, became the stuff of legend when considering our beloved dogs and the eternal question: "Are dogs allowed in heaven?" In this episode, the main character, Hyder Simpson, and his dog, Rip, both down in a pond while hunting a raccoon.
A dear friend and fellow dog-lover, Don Kirchoffner, forwarded the story to me. I almost missed it because these things have a tendency to fill up my email in-box beyond a reasonable capacity and sometimes I'm so busy I delete them before opening.
In my experiences with animals, I've learned that they come into our lives for three key reasons-- to love us, to comfort us and to inspire us. And when it's their time to leave us, it happens for two reasons: In some cases they have fulfilled their purpose as we have learned the lesson(s) that were given to our animals to teach us. In others, they must leave us so we will grieve them and make the changes we must in order to fulfill our purpose on this planet.
Not everyone learns key life lessons from animals. Sometimes it's from our kids, our parents or another person close to us. Other times those lessons are learned when we make horrible or just plain dumb mistakes. However, I think that often the gentlest teachers are those silent animal companions we know. Their simple acceptance of we humans speaks in far greater volumes than silly words can ever express. When we come into this world we are a blank slate. When we leave, the only things we take with us are the experiences from knowing and loving others.
And, as such, over the past decade or so, I've gathered a small collection of stories that describe the serendipitous love we share with animals. If we allow them, some animals fundamentally transform us. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed hearing them and writing them down. Each one describes how and when we make a shift from the person we were to the person we become. Afterwards, we love more generously, more freely and with fewer conditions attached to it. Thank heavens for these blessings. They are just Too Perfect.
The short story that follows is a summary of sorts to a specific conversation between the Twilight Zone's Hyder character and a couple of people posted at the gates to other worlds.
Chelsea... I was once blessed to be loved completely and totally by a brown-eyed, bear-faced, honey-headed dog named Chelsea. She was a husky mix of dubious parentage and our unlikely love story began before I actually became her dog mom. When she died, I was so broken-hearted that I wrote a tribute to her that […]
The Hunt... A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they […]