June 7th 2006 10:10 pm
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In January of 2002, for some inexplicable reason, I got a Golden Retriever puppy for myself. I had three dogs at home, all rescued dogs, all loved well by me.
I knew before I got there what I wanted. The runt, the darkest golden colored pup of the bunch, and a female. I didn't know if they still had the runt, or if the runt was the darkest, or female. But when I went out to their backyard to see the litter...there she was. Runty, dark, female. And mine! Tawny.
I brought her home that night and introduced her to the others. A new sister for them. Everyone was curious, including Tawny. As is my nature, I was talking to my fur kin, introducing them to Tawny. (We all have skin kin. And we, lucky ones, have fur kin, too.) While at the same time reassuring Tawny she was in a great home and would be loved by all. And the strangest thing happened when I was talking to Tawny. She would run from dog to dog. Curiously gazing into their faces, as if listening. It seemed she wanted to respond, she just didn't know whom to respond to. Then it occurred to her that it was I who was talking. I had never observed this behavior in any of my other dogs.
We quickly bonded, Tawny and me. She was growing fast and I was growing to love her deeply. She was more human, than human. Truly! A golden gem in my life. A bright light when within three months my world would plummet into a darkness that at first seemed all consuming.
In April, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My rational world had run amuck. I had a mastectomy. A month later I began chemotherapy. And from my darkled world shown sunlight...Tawny. She was in touch with my every emotion, my physical ups and downs, the turmoil that had become my life.
Many nights I would sleep on the couch, as oft times I got a deeper, more restful sleep on the couch during the months I was receiving chemo. One night, in the wee hours, as I slept on my side, I was awakened by the close presence of an animal.
Tawny stepped onto the couch and quietly and tenderly stretched out on top of me, covering as much of my body as was possible. She weighed 50 lbs, yet she seemed as light as a throw blanket. She settled there and went to sleep. It couldn't have been comfortable with me on my side, on the narrow couch. She did this same thing one other time. To this day I believe she was, in her way, healing me with her love--like the magical golden fleece of myth.
She is still the sweet, giving friend today that she was then...
She will often come to me throughout the day and even in the hours when I am sleeping, to give me a kiss or two, then she goes back to wherever she was lying or sitting. She doesn't wait for a return of affection. It is a gift of love she offers and it is clear she is happy doing it.
If there were a unicorn in the dog world, then Tawny would be that magical being! As the unicorn did glow; a radiance that shown from within and burst outward round the animal in an aura; a torch in the midnight shadows of the magical realms of yore: So does the Golden glow: For it is sunlight wrapped in fur. And in its presence there is a healing and restoring of the human soul -- a lifting of our spirit from the mundane to something higher, more celestial. A lifetime filled with laughter; with a playful presence; and love given unconditionally from a heart of purity, loyalty, and innocence. A heart that is finely attuned to the human heart, the human mind, the human spirit: A heart that will give back more than any human could ever repay; so bounteous is the Golden's élan vital.
If you have had the privilege to find yourself in the keep of a special dog, you have found your unicorn.
I know I have found mine...
Copyright © 2003 by Tawny's human
May 30th 2006 12:13 am
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More than a guide you are my companion, friend... my family
How sad it will be when you've slowed down and grown old;
your usefulness deemed exhausted and you are taken from me
To not hear your footfall... How quiet my world would be!
In your eyes lies my trust and all that I view
Yours is the course that shapes my way
Therefore, therein, lies my safety with you
as we move through the night and the day
In your eyes are the faces of those I hold dear:
The smile in their laughter, the wet in their tears
Through your eyes you've made the invisible clear
My heart in your eyes... You can see what I hear
Do you wistfully observe as other dogs romp and run
not encumbered to a duty as a companion and guide
You must wish to join them, to play and have fun
but you've chosen to be here, instead, at my side
In your eyes are images, those close and those far
a bird overhead, the sun, or a child at the door
I wonder at night do you glance at the stars?
In all that you see would you wish to see more?
You are a reflection of me and I of you
We have grown so close, we are not two, but one
Those who would understand, I know, are few
Is there another soul as devoted as you? There is none!
Without thought to what you have lost
The freedom you've given up willingly
Invaluable the gift--beyond price, the cost
Your present, the freedom you've given to me
You've led me confidently through life
Looking out for me in so many ways
Fretting for me when I am not within sight
Sitting quietly with me if I've had a bad day
In your warm fur I have touched my sunshine
In your sturdy body I have found surety
To God goes the glory for the joy that is mine
When I feel the wag of your welcome thump happily
There's no way to measure the weight of your love
God made it boundless when he held you above
Many are the paths your paws could have trod
But for you, He had other plans, did our God!
As my arms wrap around you, as our spirits entwine
I weep joyfully as I lift my face to the heavens above
We've a special bond, just the two of us; you and me
Sealed with faith and trust. A bond eternal... with love!
~ For Alan and the Golden in his life, Perkins. ~
Copyright 2003 by Tawny's human