I have never been a “dog person.” But 2 years ago, consumed with grief over the passing of my Dad, I went looking for answers. For months after Dad died, nothing felt the same. I was beginning to worry I might not ever experience life the way I had before again.
Draped across my couch one Sunday evening, I turned to The Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, for help. Her readings give surviving loved ones so much hope and comfort. Her common message is, “Know that your loved one is present with you.” So, I asked Dad, “If you are present, could you show me a sign?”.
The next morning I got my sign. Unleashed Pet Rescue placed an adorable, unforgettable photo on Facebook of the canine love of my life, Pudgey, the cocker spaniel puppy. I reached for the phone and called Mom to ask her what kind of dog Dad had when they met. “A cocker spaniel,” she answered. “What was his name,” I asked. “Pudgey.” I hung up the phone and never looked back! Even though I had promised my sweet husband I would never do anything as reckless and irresponsible as adopt a puppy without his consent, that is exactly what I did.
Pudgey and I hit it off famously in that special “meet and greet” room for potential pet owners and their new pets. Everyone working at the shelter that morning already knew my story and they were all pulling for Pudgey to hitch a ride back home with me. They explained that Dad had probably encountered Pudgey at the infamous (not to me, anyhow) “Rainbow Bridge” in heaven. Dad had loved and held his childhood pet then decided to return him to Earth to comfort his baby girl. I BOUGHT IT AND THE PUPPY and off we went from the Rainbow Bridge to my house in Fairway, Kansas.
If Pudgey was my destiny, I reasoned with myself, and my Dad actually was sending me his childhood puppy from the Rainbow Bridge in heaven, then of course Mike would understand. Wrong! It took several days for Mike to come around to accepting my totally impulsive, irrational adoption decision. It was fall and by summer, Mike and Pudgey were inseparable. And the grief that had once enveloped me like a heavy fog had subsided.
Eckart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, believes that dogs and cats bring us closer to our Divine selves by helping us be fully present in the moment. Unlike humans, cats and dogs are not preoccupied with ego-driven fears and concerns such as worrying about whether or not one is liked. They are too happy having fun in the here and now! I know I am a healthier, happier person because of the relationship I have with my adorable dog, Pudgey. I will never live without a canine buddy ever again. Woof!
I’ve had several rescue dogs and know very well how they can make a positve impact on your life. Losing my dad in February makes me appreciate all you went through as I’m there right now. I told our pastor that I thought I was going crazy because someone mentioned sour cream raisin pie (my dad’s favorite – something we shared) and it brought me right back to the week of his passing. She told me that when we love deeply, we grieve deeply and I know that is true but it’s a tough process. Good for you Joan – I know Mike wasn’t a huge fan of Pudgey at first but looks like he’s been won over!
Thank you, Christine. I am so sorry for your loss and think of you often. And it is true what your pastor told you about love: the deeper the love, the deeper the grief. That’s the deal! Have you read C.S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed”?? I highly recommend it!! Love you tons. And keep loving on your canine friends, of course!!!