He draws near, giving off sparks in the darkness, like a flashlight, beaming straight into my vulnerable heart. Those eyes, those eyes, always drawing me in deeper. I slide down the slippery mud banks in the darkness and find myself surrounded by a prism of rainbow light that permeates me and warms my limbs, I fall asleep and dream of his piercing, loving gaze. We frolic in the tall grasses, they brush gently on my cheeks, we roll down the grassy green hillside and fall into a pile of ultraviolet feathers, fallen moonbeams, and mounds of golden-hued rose petals. We lounge there into the wee hours of the morning. I hear him whimpering as he dreams of chasing the golden squirrel from treetop to treetop. To leap as if to fly.
Ours was the truest love affair. From that moment I saw him in the Escondido Animal Shelter in that room filled with Pit Bulls and he stretched up to reach for me and told me he wanted to teach me to love deeper. I had no idea what was in store. I’ve literally followed him for the past 6 and a half years. He out in front and center. He has taken me thru storms, lost at sea, waves rocking my boat until it felt like there was no horizon left. Then we awaken to the sunrise, together, side by side, calm seas, warm glow of the sun kissing our bodies. We have weathered many storms together. I thought for sure he would outlive my father, who he loved deeply and completely. We learned to find joy in simple things together. Treats after pooping, or upon entering his grandparents’ house. All he had to do was stare and bark until he got what he wanted. Daily walks, my fair-weather friend, would peek out the doggie door to see if it was raining or snowing and decide to stay in until absolutely necessary, then to run on tippy toes and back inside to the warmth of the couch and blankets to snuggle with me even longer.
I will honor his memory by doing the downward dog, stretching like he did daily upon getting up from any seated or lying position. We would do this together. 4 feet on the ground and butts in the air. He was a natural, I a copycat.
I learned all I know about unconditional loving from him. Who was the master and who the pupil? I wasn’t a good dog owner if you think that requires discipline and being the alpha in command. I was in awe and reverence to this sacred soul in a little doggie suit. I would do anything to make his life more comfortable and enjoyable. When I traveled I would always bring him a new toy, and he treated each with respect and took such joy in each and every one. He never chewed up a stuffed animal like a normal dog. He loved them and liked to sleep with his favorite at the time under his head for a pillow. Lately, it has been a round giraffe. He liked teasing me with it, acting like I could actually have it, then withholding the prize from me.
I don’t think I can part with his toys. They will be a gentle reminder of his daily sweet nature and my love for him. Is it crazy that I want to give him the bunny and the moose that I kept out of his reach and called my toys? Is it crazy to want to send them to rest with him when I bury him out on the back 40? I know he’s in the spirit world and not the physical, but something about me letting go of them now gives me a sense of abundance and doing the right thing. Crazy, I know, call me crazy. Crazy in Love with a Dog named Dan. Who also answered to Sheridan, Dan the Man, Danny Dog, Danno the Manno, BoBo, BooBoo, Little Buddha Boy, Dan-zer, Dan-Dan, Pooh Bear, Lil’ Darlin, Danny Doodle, Bob, Bubba, and Daniel Boone.