Monday, March 30, 2020

Message For a Dog Snob

Dusty Quinn
I was ready for another dog.  Four years had passed since I'd lost Casey. Before him there was Sunny, the sweetest pup ever.  I also had Sunny's brother, Jesse, a rascal of a dog, but wonderful in his own way - all three beautiful, sleek purebred American Cocker Spaniels.  We shared many years together and while I never fully recover from the loss of a pet, after four years I felt ready for the companionship of another dog. The reputable breeder research began.  Boy had the cost of cockers gone up.  But I was a purebred dog snob and continued on with my search.

Carpooling to a club meeting late last year, my driving companion mentioned that her neighbor (a casual acquaintance of mine) was quite ill and had been taken to the hospital.  "It doesn't look good," she said.  And here's where things got interesting.  Normally my response would have been, "Sorry to hear that, he's such a sweet guy, hope things improve."  But I didn't say anything like that and the four words I did say, "Where is his dog?" I knew had come from someone else.  The rest of the conversation went like this.  "The poor dog is being boarded, really needs a permanent home, has some problems, if you're interested I can put you in touch with my neighbor's power of attorney." Once again, from someone other than me, I responded, "Okay."  Since I knew something wiser than myself was in charge, I wasn't too surprised to learn that the power of attorney was someone I knew.  In fact, she was a local business owner, had groomed all of my dogs over the years and was familiar with the care and love I gave my critters. She arranged for me to meet the dog who was not a purebred, was terrified to ride in cars, had issues with steps and bare floors and he had only one eye.  The day we met I sat on the floor, he circled once around me sniffing from head to toe and snuggled into my lap.  I placed a hand on his soft head, closed my eyes and took a mental trip back.     

I began seeking a solid spiritual path a number of years ago.  I had lost someone dear to my heart and was at a very low point. Tried a few different religions, tried no religion at all, considered no God as well until a higher power, something I've come to accept as a loving Universal Energy, showed up and gently, subtly changed the trajectory of my life.  Craving my daily dose of solitude, I had gone

for a walk in the woods.  What happened just a few steps along the secluded trail has always been difficult to explain.  This poem is my best interpretation. 

A Magnificent Quiet

No robins sang, no distant barks,

the frogs in the pond were still.

Color became vibrant and loud

orange sun, purple lilac sweeping me in.

United with verdant trees, blue sky, tawny brown dirt.

Forsythia blinded with brilliant yellow

and I was every red flower, every green leaf.

A dry, silent breeze stroked gently

embracing my spirit, hushing my mind.

And in the brief magnificent quiet we were one.


I believe we are all one. I believe as well in the Native American concept that when the spirit is free of the body it is everywhere, living on in all of nature. Today I see God not as a single entity, but an energy surging through all living things. If we listen, that Universal Energy speaks.  If we speak, the Universal Energy listens. That was what the magnificent quiet in the woods showed me.  And I think it's that simple.  So each morning I go out onto my deck, take in the beauty of snow-capped mountains, the glistening blue bay, the towering pines and offer a prayer of gratitude.  A while ago I added a request to my higher power gratitude chat.  There were two souls in my life, both gone, that I could have treated with a lot more lightheartedness and patience.  It bothered me that I didn't see this when they were alive.  I raised my head to the billowing white clouds and asked forgiveness for poor judgement.  A majestic eagle soared high. And a few days later I was given the opportunity to offer patience, to find humor in the day to day struggles, to grow beyond past foibles.  If we speak, the Universal Energy Listens.  If we listen, the Universal Energy speaks.  I welcomed Dusty Quinn.  And from our first day I wondered just whose spirit resided in that dog suit.