Dawn's husband is career military and is in Afghanistan until mid January. They have no children so her pets have become her kids and she loves them with a true maternal love. She is mourning her dog. So I told her this story:
Years ago, I fell in love with a little keeshond puppy. These puppies look a lot like baby bears.
When Caleb was about a year old (I always seem to name my dogs 'people names.') I bought a brand new, baby blue convertible, and I loved to put Caleb in the front passenger seat, lower the top and take off for country rides. He just looked perfect for that car. It was enjoyable, for both him and for me.
Keeshonds are gorgeous animals and he was no exception.
He was, in fact, so perfect that when I talked to the vet about getting Caleb fixed, he talked me out of it, saying that Caleb was perfect and we really should show him. I guess you cannot show dogs who have been neutered because they are often used for breeding.
One day, Caleb and I were tooling around in my little blue convertible. I stopped at the beginning of our long driveway and jumped out to get the mail from the box. I slammed shut the driver's door and heard an immediate yelp. I had accidentally slammed poor Caleb's nose in the door! I took him to the vet, who was pretty furious at me, and found I had broken his nose. Trust me, my heart STUNG over this. There was no way to set a dog's broken nose. So in time, in did heal, but it healed crooked, at almost a 45 degree angle. (So much for showing my dog!)
My friends all knew how much I loved this dog and their way of trying to make me feel better, (thinking they would make me laugh, I suppose,) was to tease me unmercifully. After a while, Caleb forgave me. But I never really forgave myself.
Quite a few years later, I lost Caleb rather suddenly. One evening, he went outside and several discs in his spine crumbled. We rushed him to the vet, who told me it was time to put him down. Instead, I took that poor dog back home with me. I fought like a tiger to keep him going, but after several hours it was clear that it had to be done. As I lifted him into the back seat of the car, as much as I'm sure that process hurt him, he leaned forward and gently licked my hand. I took this as his way of saying "thanks, mommy, 'cause I can't go on."
About a week later I was sitting at my computer. My heart was still broken and I needed to try and get my mind off Caleb. ICQ was a new instant chat and I got a random message from this Canadian lady. After a bit of boring chat, she told me she was a psychic. I thought, "yeah yeah yeah, right.." But then she went on to tell me she felt I was grieving. Well, I perked up a little, but not much. She continued.
"You lost your dog. He was silver and black."
Lucky guess, I figured.
"He's telling me you don't believe. He said to tell you two words and then you will believe."
I read this but didn't respond. Then she said this:
"He said to say, "my nose."
I felt the hair on my neck rise. I called my daughter into the room (I think she was about 10 years old at that time) who read it and burst into tears.
The instant message box kept blinking with messages from this psychic lady. She kept saying "What does that mean? What does that mean? What does that mean?"
I didn't answer her question but asked one of my own instead.
"How long is he going to stay with me?"
"As long as you need him." she replied. "He wants to go but he wants to wait until you're ready."
"Thank you." I said, wiping tears off my cheeks. "Can you tell him he can go now?"
"Why don't you tell him yourself? He's sitting right next to you."
I looked down to my right and whispered.
"Go baby. Go be well. Mommy loves you."
And I pictured him licking my hand and gleefully running off.
You can choose to believe or disbelieve this; it doesn't change a thing. This is a true story. And I can tell you, it helped my friend, Dawn.
And if any you reading this have lost a beloved pet, I hope it helps you, too.