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Do you remember the day I arrived at the breeders house Halo? It was love at first sight, when she opened the show crate, and you, a georgous shaded
sable Shetland Sheepdog, crawled into my lap and snuggled under my neck, melting my aching heart and filling a void that had been barren for so many
years. I asked her, what your name was.... She answered. "Heaven Help Us." but we just call her Halo. And I replied, "Well heaven help me!! .... I
guess, I've got another dog." I didn't want to leave you there that night, but I had to. But to prevent myimpulsive tendancy to spend first and think later, I
had left all my money at home. But I organised the very next day, to pick you up. I rushed home and started preparing the yard, to your arrival.
You were just five months old then. When you came to live with us in april 1996. And I was so surprised at how quick a learner you were. You said please (barked) for a biscuit, on the very first attempt. And you chatted like a champ from that day on. To the delight of every visitor!
I don't think you were all that upset, that we left all your pictures, that the girls drew for you, at the Vets, when you had to go to hospital. They were so worried about you. You were so sick. And we still don't know what caused it. My vet nurse training, told me it was parvo, I was so sure, but it apparently wasn't. Anyway... you pulled through, thankfully. Much to the amazement of the veterinary staff, who were astounded at your sorrowful howling, when we left each day.
You were our guardian, our protector. You did your duty so well. Although our driveway gates were wide open, you rarely ran past the crack in the concrete, that marked the end of the drive. You were so clever. And even when a huge stray wandered in. You stood your ground and hunted him away but didn't attempt to leave the yard or your duty. And I was told Shelties barked at everything, and would run away at the drop of a hat!! You only ever barked, when there was something to bark and your friendly chatter warned us everytime, that visitors had arrived.
We shared some wonderful secrets out in the backyard didn't we? I know you will never tell. When the world had turned against me, I was in crisis and not one friend would listen to my sorrow. You were there. The love we shared was a special friendship kind of loving. A soulmateship that bought us together and bonded us closer than most humans and their dogs ever get. And whenever I sat outside on my own, you were always close by. Your paw on my arm, or your nose in my armpit and your soulful eyes looking up at me, understandingly.
Mate... Didn't we have some fun though? And you endeared yourself to absolutely everyone that met you. With that beautiful coat that you kept in perfect condition. I mean... How many times did I bath you in 6 years? 10 or 12 times. Maybe and mostly just for fun. You hated being dirty. It was like the worst of any indignity. You were such a regal little girl, sometimes you would have to wonder if you were really a dog!! Wet grass!!!.... That was for commoners. You hated getting your feet wet, to have a wizz in the morning. You would walk down the path, prop on the edge of the concrete, hang your bottom over the grass and do, the do, walking away, like a lady. But you didn't look like much of a lady, the day you licked the glass to try to get into the dining room. You looked hilarious. Your sharp little nose scrunched up on the glass, teeth bared, like you were growling, and then the tongue coming out licking the glass, trying to work out why you couldn't eat your way into the dining room. These are some of the memories I will treasure the most.
I have to say Thank you to you now! You waited for me to find you that night. You didn't want to leave without saying goodbye. But you never did tell me what happened. Were you hit by that car I heard slide to a stop and turn around slowly, out the front? Or were you one of the dogs, I thought were foxes, I heard fighting when I was having a bath? Or was it the man who broke into the council yard, the next night - Did he try to silence you?
When I discovered you were missing ... You know - I ran all over the property, in the dark looking for you! I was freezing and I knew you were hurt. You never left the verandah after dark, and you ALWAYS came when you were called. Except this time. I had just about given up hope, when I heard you calling out for me. I ran from the side paddock to the front yard and found your prone form lying there.
I don't know how you called to me though darlin' cause you could barely breathe. No blood, but you couldn't move. Your shoulder was broken and I suspect your back and some ribs as well! and I knew you had massive internal injuries, from the swelling in your chest. I carefully picked you up, sobbing, carried you down to the back verandah, cradled you in my arms and saw in your eyes that you were dying.
I still don't forgive myself fully, for not being able to end your life, for you that night. I know you were in so much pain. Please understand that I just couldn't. I know I always said that "I'm a realist... if anything happens to any of my animals.... I would have to knock 'em on the head." But I just couldn't do it. You were a mate. How could I murder my best friend? All I could do was pray that the Divine within you, would release you, from your pain. And a few minutes after midnight, you slipped away, with a shudder and a shake. Your eyes lost their sparkle and stared coldly at a place, where you had once, been looking. Your pain was over and in one way I was relieved... and in another I was devistated. I sobbed loud and hard.
I think, it was about twenty or so minutes after you shuddered for what I thought was the finally time.... that you gave me a final and most beautiful gift. One I will never forget. I was holding you tight, lying full length on my lap, sobbing and stroking your soft fur for the final time.
Suddenly I found myself having to let go of you, and lean back. As though I didn't have permission to stop what was about to happen next. Your eyes took on a faint sparkle and for a moment, and I had to chip myself, for thinking, you were coming back to life! All your paws moved, yes even the broken one! You became very light on my lap, and I almost felt as though I should grab you, to stop you from getting away! But something stopped me from moving. Something told me to just watch, and remember every detail. It was then, that I saw a magic... its so hard to describe.... an energy... your fur fluffed ....your chest moved.... your whole body rippled and I saw your spirit release from your body.
Perhaps some people will claim I am crazy... I don't care... I know what I saw. And when you came to rest back on my legs heavily again, the sparkle had gone from your eyes, for the second time that evening and your fur rested back into place. your chest no longer moved and I knew you were truly gone from the body, I had once known and loved, and that I would no longer share sunny days with you on the back lawn, but I no longer felt the gravity of a painful loss either. Because I had been privledged to witness something so incredible. I hadn't lost you at all. I realised you were still there, all around me. My Halo!
You were still there with me, when I cremated your body. I even saw Dad's wipe a tear from his eyes and he was blowing his nose a lot that day, He had a real soft spot for you, you know!?! There is a pretty little earthenwear bowl, that holds your ashes, with a little Halo statue guarding our gate. I am reminded of you every single day, and you are never far from my thoughts.
You gave me a great many things Halo. But by far, one of the most beautiful gifts you ever gave me was the knowledge and experience, that our spirit never dies. A cliche` that I thought was just that, a convenient cliche` used to soothe little old ladies, children and religious zealots, became a very powerful reality. And with that knowledge. I hope I can share, your gift to me, with others. Not to abandon the body after death, .... for the best is yet to come.
At midnight on the 10th of June 2001. Your energy changed Halo and you journeyed ahead, to that special place near the rainbow bridge, so that you could greet me, on the other side. I love you darlin'. See ya when I get there! And keep a spot warm for me now, won't ya!
Arrived 25th April 1996. Departed 10th June 2001
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