The Loving Kindness of a Two-legged Stranger

I recently lost one of my best friends; my dear lab/border-collie cross.

We brought her home with us when she was only seven weeks old.  She was a small black ball of fluff. We named her Spot, although she was black all over, because it amused us at the time.  She took it all in stride.  She was a loving companion until the moment she died, exactly eleven years to the day when we first brought her home.  She was like that; unique and considerate. It was as if God had told her she could only stay with us eleven years and so she obediently left us on the promised date.

It’s been three months, but there are still times when I expect to feel her nose flip up my hand to pet the top of her head.  When I open the front door my heart still aches when I’m greeted by empty space instead of her excited tail wagging.  I am forever grateful for the love she bestowed on our family and friends.  She never judged us, never held a grudge, never left us feeling anything but love.  She was a wonderful gift.

Today I found the following story on Facebook and had to share it with you.  There are many stories of amazing, loving dogs out there but this story celebrates a rarer story; the loving kindness of a two-legged stranger.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought he had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven.
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.



A Dog’s Unending Loyalty

Bonnie Johnson's PostThose of you who know me well, know that I am an animal lover and I am particularly a fan of dogs.

Our dog, Spot, (who hasn’t a single spot- we thought it was funny at the time, ok) is an important part of our family.  She’s part border collie, part black lab and some other random unknown part on her unknown daddy’s side.   I take her with me as often as I can if I’m traveling by car.  She even has her own seat belt.  I buy her very expensive non-allergenic food because she has skin issues.   She has a big fluffy dog bed on every level of our house.  That means three comfy beds plus an extra one on the outside deck off the office.  Ya, she’s spoiled, but she is so worth it.  She melts our hearts daily with her loving glances and wags her tail if we so much as glance her way.   She is pure love on four legs.  I bet all of you with dogs of your own are nodding with understanding right now.Spot

So for all my fellow dog lovers out there, here is an inspiring story of dog loyalty at its best.  Enjoy!



Friendship and Summer Vacation!

Friendship is good for the soul!

FriendshipMy family and I recently spent 10 days visiting Bonnie, John and their beautiful brown eyed dog Spot at their lake front property in the Okanagan.  There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t LOVE!  It’s always fun going on road trips for summer vacation but when your visiting your Best Friend and her family, life is Gooooood ! Great in fact !

Bonnie greeted us with her warm smile and spiritual calmness.  We have not always lived in the same city but it doesn’t really matter when you have a bond like ours.  We reunite in person as often as we can but rely mostly on the telephone or skype and email to get our girlfriends gab fix.

Handsome JohnThis visit was extra special for me because Bonnie’s husband John was there!  He is a man’s man who is not only handsome but hard working, intelligent and non judgemental.  He has all the qualities women really search for in a man.  I could list many more but he would be embarrassed if I did.  He was worth waiting for!

My two incredible little humans I call kids and I stayed in the cottage which is an self contained cabin lake front!  We fell asleep to the sound of leaves imitating rain and gentle waves. In the morning I walked down the wharf with Zack (our dog) to enjoy the silence of nature.

Summer VacationWe lounged while reading magazines, swam, talked about life and love and everything in between.  We ate ‘Esso’ ice cream, toured the lake front by boat, tubed, learned a few moves at  Zumba, made smores on the fire, laughed at each other but most of all this trip reminded me of why Bonnie is still my Best friend after 30 years 🙂 Visiting Bonnie rejuvenates my soul!  She reminds me of who I want to be!  She helps me float down the river with good intention!

BonnieFor my kids, visiting Auntie Bonnie made them completely aware that their Mom was not the only free spirited crazy lady in the ‘World of Mom’.  With Bonnie present I was able to take off my filter completely for 10 straight days!  Liberating for both kids and me!  Both my kids saw yet another raw dimension of who I am and realized that if  Auntie Bonnie was the coolest then I must be too by association!

My son was in his boyhood glory camping with his Dad, who he idolises.  But he also had the influence of John another incredible male energy who taught him how to chop wood, start the fire, drive & launch the boat and let him use the sling shot!!

Jojo and Uncle Johnny!

My daughter loved being in the presence of Bonnie.  They shared dance moves and reconnected on many different levels once again.  My daughter took every available opportunity to hang out with Uncle Johnny as she called him and had some pretty animated talks about life and whatever else came up.

So when my kids are asked in September how they spent their Summer Vacation, I am certain they will be able to tell their version of the stories about Friendships on Summer Vacation!  We searched for moments and found many that will make all of us smile for years to come!  Thanks Bonnie and John and Spot for just being who you are and making our Summer Vacation such a magical one!

Spot @ Zack's 15th Birthday Party