I’ve been thinking and dreaming a lot this past week about Reggie and Lottie. For those of you who don’t know, we welcomed, and lost 2 precious dogs within 2 years. They died on the same day (July 28th) a year apart. Maybe it’s because this date is looming that I am dreaming of them again but I can honestly say that not a day goes by that I don’t think of them and wonder why we weren’t able to love them longer.
Reggie was sent to us when we were going through a difficult period. We had said goodbye to our senior dog, I had gone back to school, our financial house had crumbled, and the stress was unbearable. He became my solace. When he died, my friend said to me “You know, there’s a reason that that dog was here for that period of your life. He was a gift to you. I don’t know why he had to leave so early but he was here to get you through this past year.”
When Reggie was killed, it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I didn’t care about anything. Those of you who’ve had the love of an animal will understand. After three weeks of this, Pete said to me “Vickie, you have to get some help. You need to snap out of this.” I couldn’t recover from this loss. It broke me.
I did what any normal, sane woman would do. I called a Shaman. When I walked in the door Alla said to me “What on earth is wrong? Your energy is all off” and I bawled. Over the next couple of hours, she took me through a healing journey/meditation where I stood at a deep well in the most beautiful field (a field that I remember from my childhood) She told me that I may see someone, human form or otherwise standing nearby and it would be my guardian. She said not to be alarmed if I didn’t recognize who it was. I felt her before I saw her. I looked over and saw feet to my left. Reggie was playing at my feet and when I looked up, I saw my great-grandma Lottie’s smile. I was a young child the last time that I saw her but I knew her as if it was yesterday. We continued through the ceremony and then Alla told me to give my guardian something to thank her for her care. She said to look around for flowers or a pretty stone or something. I looked down at my feet and picked Reggie up and placed him in her arms. I cried as I made my way back out of the field but these tears were different. I felt like Reggie was safe again.
When I walked in the door that night, Pete said that it was like a different person was in the room. I was totally at peace. I felt it and he sensed it immediately.
Shortly after, I started thinking about getting another dog. If you’ve had a dog, you know that the house is far too quiet without one. They are so much a part of our daily routine! I was leafing through a magazine and a picture of a dog just grabbed my heart. I cut it out and put it on my fridge. Every time I went into my kitchen, those eyes pierced my soul.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. I’m looking online and the very dog that is on my fridge is in an ad. My heart literally stopped. I called Pete and Emily to come and tell me that I wasn’t crazy and immediately emailed about this wee pup. The next day, we drove to get her, thinking that she was near Hamilton (5 hours away) Pete fell asleep and when he awoke, he saw the sign for London (7 hour drive) It certainly was further than we planned but I had no doubt in my mind that this dog was meant for us. We pulled in and as the owner let the puppies out of the crate, our pup came right to me and sat at my feet before joining her brothers and sisters. It’s like she knew.
Of course, we called her Lottie. Lottie died a year later, on the same day as Reggie – July 28th. Maybe one day I’ll understand why that was. I hope so. I held her as she took her last breath and released her telling her all the while that she was loved and hating whatever forces felt that we only needed her in our lives for a year. Even now, tears roll as I write this. I miss her so.
I had been away that day so she stayed at my friend Joyce’s house for the day. When I picked her up, Joyce told me that she’d been acting really funny all day like she didn’t want to be away from her side. I think she was saying goodbye. She made sure she said goodbye to Emily that night and I believe that she knew this was the end. Animals know things. They just do.
I’ve been reading Sylvie Browne’s book ” All pets go to Heaven” and found this poem last night. If you too are missing someone, it may be of some comfort to you too.
I’m still here
Your heart has been heavy since that day – The day you thought I went away
I haven’t left you, I never would -You just can’t see me, though I wish you could
It might ease the pain that you feel in your heart – The pain that you’ve felt since you’ve believed us to part
Try and think of it this way, it might help you see – That I’m right here with you and always will be
Remember the times we were out in the yard, you could not always see me, yet I hadn’t gone far.
That’s how it is now when you look for my face – I’m still right beside you still filling my place
I find it to be so very sad, that seeing and believing seem to go hand in hand
The love and the loyalty and the warmth that I gave, you felt them, did not see them, but you believed just the same.
I walk with you know like I walked with you then- My pain is gone now and I lead once again
My eyes always following you wherever you roam, making sure you’re ok and you’re never alone.
Our time was too short yet for me it goes on, I won’t ever leave you, I’ll never be gone.
I live in your heart and you live in mine – An enduring love that continues to shine
The day will come and together we’ll be, and you’ll say tae me home boy, and once again I will lead
Until that day comes don’t think that I’ve gone, I’m here right beside you, and my love it lives on.
Written in memory of chance (author not named in book)
I’m not sure why I’m compelled to write this tonight. I started earlier today and can’t seem to settle until it’s done. Maybe you’re reading this and you need something from it. Maybe it’s to honour these souls who graced my life. I hope that the poet is right and that we will meet again one day.