A Time for Reflection and Love
As I reflect on the loss of our doG Saphira, I came to realize that to me there is a greater transition.
You see Amanda our pug who passed away a year and a half ago was my daughter Mikayla’s childhood pet.
Amanda taught her to love unconditionally, even though it hurts. To care for another, who can give you nothing but love in return. To show excitement and enthusiasm when loved ones walk in the door, and to know when it is time to be unselfish and let that love transition to a place of greater love of unfathomable peace. I have watched this unfold within Mikayla in her journey of strong independence, deep unabashed compassion, and voice for the underdog.
Saphira was Megan’s childhood pet. Saphira came to us because she needed wide open spaces to run, to bark, and to be free. So much like the spirited soul of my daughter Megan. Saphira taught her to not be afraid to be who she truly is. Megan’s spirit loves to ride on the side of a horse rather than in the saddle, to challenge herself to do the extraordinary rather than the ordinary, to push the edges and chase her dream.
Saphira checked relentlessly the 2.5-acre perimeter of our property. Barking at coyotes, at cars that entered our lane, or even just paused at the end of it and she warned them, ‘you best be a friend’, or you will know my fierce love of this family. She has taught Megan that fierce love and protection for those she deeply cares for. Megan is thoughtful, compassionate, and fiercely protective with a deep consideration for others, unchecked love mirroring Saphira’s love for her.
Both girls in their experience of growing up with a childhood doG have found their voice and compassion for those that are vulnerable, the bullied, the forgotten, and abused. I see their fierce anger at injustices, veiled in compassion, in a depth of love that hurts to care. Yet they do not draw back from this love and depth of caring, mirroring this depth of love from their childhood doGs.
And for me, there will likely be one more doG in my life. Perhaps two. I am realizing the passing of time; the short lifespan of a doG, and my own eventual homeward journey. I know others have called me crazy for my love of doGs. Yes having 4 in the last 10 years was a lot, but they are the ones who sat beside me daily as I healed from the brain injury. Saphira would walk protectively beside me to the barn to see my beloved horses. Amanda would snuggle to encourage me to rest. Bling would growl fiercely if someone came near when I wanted to be alone. And Odin, sweet Odin, would make me laugh when it hurt so much that I didn’t want to go on.
Yes as an animal lover, and I have my cat wee Kit laying over my arms snuggled in as I try to type this, I recklessly care for them even though we may not have an excess of funds. I could have more cars, a nicer couch, a dustless, furless, quiet home but they have all taught us the unconditional love, grace every moment of every day, like God has assured us is ours to receive. Unconditionally.
When I asked God why my doG’s only live to be 8, 12, 16, the reply was “to reveal to you my love, and to prepare you for the deep losses that will inevitably come”; the loss of parents, your spouse, and even though unfathomable, the loss of a child, and of course, the loss of your own life.
This awakening entices us to love deeper than we ever knew we could, to take risks we never thought we would, to be in awe of sunsets, and speechless as we hold a wee baby, marveling over the beauty in creation.
So love deeply, share brazenly, and release the “Itty bitty shitty committee” of judgment, of yourself and of others, and embrace love, joy, and peace beyond all understanding.