Sunday, January 17, 2010

Four-legged angel

A friend recently posted a lovely set of instructions a pet might send its human roomie. One notion was that heaven is on this planet in the form of four-legged creatures, our pets. I like that idea.

Have to admit that Sadie, my golden retriever, is one of my very best friends. Just can't fathom how much she appears to adore me. After a recent overnight trip, she sat on the bed as I snuggled in. She gazed at me and placed her front paw lightly on my chest. I watched her silhouette in the dark for five or six minutes. Was she expressing how things were right, now that I was back home? Was she guarding me? Was she prepared to protest should I try leaving again? Who could say. All I know is that she bubbled up joy inside me, intense humility that a creature as beautiful as this tawny one would station herself so.

Sadie has endured a broken heart. Selected from Cassie Sassy Rockette's litter by my late husband, she was his special one. She was with him every day at home as his illness progressed. Licking his arm, gently resting her chin on his thigh, letting him brush her teeth every single day, she was his bed-buddy. When he died, she was lost, lost for a very long time. Years later Sadie still seems a bit fragile, unwilling, maybe unable to accept our departures, even for a bit. She hates suitcases, knowing what they mean! She's needy, wimpering at our feet when we come home, as though a century has passed since she last saw us.

And yet this needy creature strengthens us so. A crumby day at work dissolves under her exuberant bounds across the yard. A snarly conversation at home fades as she vaults her gaze from one to the other, instructing us, it seems, to change the mood, to focus on life's important things: playing fetch, running, putting food in the ceramic bowl by the fridge. Focus, people, focus.

Sadie, a four-legged angel? Not sure she'd meet the minimum qualifications if they include being really, really well behaved. That, she's not. But if the MQs state that she should be loyal, bubbly, always in the present moment, always ready to go have fun, always filled with gratitude that she lives with us, then, by all means, Sadie is a four-legged angel. A blessing for us indeed.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this. Who knows what animals think, feel? More, I suspect, than we could ever know.