Guardian Angel

It’s Saturday, 11:45 am.

Exactly 1 week ago right now, my world changed.

Finally I’m able to say it.

Shes gone.

My baby.

My furry child.

My best friend.

Gone.

The end of our time together.

The end of a way of life.

Shes gone to join her sister over that rainbow bridge.

Gone from this earthly plane, ascending to that white light of eternal bliss with our maker.

Leaving me to somehow move through this house, this yard, this world, without her.

Day seven and I’m still not moving well.

Forgive me if I cry….

She was always the strong one. The day I brought them home, it was obvious the little 8 week old pup was strong, daring, and fearless, opposite of her twin sister.  Double her sisters size, she stood tall, confident, and walked with purpose.  She was “Super Dog”!  Flying from the top of the couch to the top of the love seat, like a winged Angel. She was independent. Decisive. She became the matriarch of the house.  We all bowed down to her commands.

My Angel Baby.

She was always the “assertive” one. Confident and forthright.  Never shy about running up to strangers with urgency as if to say “WHO are YOU? WHAT do you think you’re DOING here?”  Even stamping her paw at you. Walks were “surveillance trips” to inspect the neighborhood and find out who else has been peeing there. Always making sure everything was safe. She held judgment, opinion and suspicion as if to say; “prove to me I should trust you!”  It took some proving before she was ready to “give paw” and be your friend.  She wanted to know everything.  It was her job to ask the hard questions and keep the family safe.  And she would remember it all.  Because of her, I met many, many people I may not have otherwise, just from her assertive (notice how I don’t say aggressive?) insistent approach.  She taught me much about the delicate balance between confidence and aggression. Acceptance and refusal.  She was a living example of that, with just one look.

She was always the scruffy one. My little Tom Boy. Rawhide in the mouth, off to bury it in the dirt!  Keeping her clean was impossible.  Unlike her sister, she was all about the hunt, or the dig, or the smelly “whatever”.  I’ll never forget the time we hiked up to the top of Eagle Mountain and back.  All the other hikers along the trail commented on how beautiful my girls were.  Long flowing blonde hair.  Endless energy.  Up and down the trail we went.  And then, the moment she noticed it, she dove off a foot bridge into the murkiest, green goo water known to man.  Rolling, digging, jumping.  We drove for hours looking for a reachable stream I could safely clean her off in.  She hated to be brushed and could pull her bows or clips out of her hair in record time.  She insisted on allowing her leg hair to matt up making her look 5 times bigger than she actually was.  And then she would walk, confidently, heavy on the front steps, as though she was ready to get into the ring and kick some booty. Yes, she was my Tom Boy.  She was my dirty girl. Even still, there was something about her that intrigued people. She racked up smiles and compliments, and brought entertainment to everyone we met.

She was always the protective one. When I was sick, or sad, or worried, or angry, she was the one to come to my side, and guard me.  And there were so many of those times over course of our world.  Without fail, she was always, always there. She would rush up to strangers on our walks, placing a fur barrier between me and them until she assessed their intentions and was sure it was safe for them to come any closer.  She protected the house, the yard, and even alerted me any time bad weather was approaching that we should head into the basement for.  She would stay close, always at the ready, watching for danger.  She would keep everyone else in line when I was too tired to.  She was all attitude, but it was purely out of love.  She adored me as I did her.  She protected me. She was the large and in charge girl.  My matriarch.  My guard dog.  My Guardian Angel.  She always made me feel safe.

She was quite the adventurous one. She loved rides in the truck looking out the passenger window, while Sunny Girl perched on the console between the bucket seats.  She loved the outdoors and our road trips. She was a camping girl, a hiking girl, and an all-around 4 season outdoors girl, like me.  She loved the snow.  She loved the cold.  She really seemed to love hunting season.  She knew she could give Buddy a run for his money in the field.  The first time they saw one in the yard, she outran Buddy for a striped gopher, she got it, dispatched it and laid down like a sphinx with it in front of her. That moment set the stage for who would be in charge.  She proved herself to be a hunter and gatherer for our family, having dispatched many mice and chipmunks over the years, and almost a squirrel or two. She even came in for an assist on a rabbit Buddy got ahold of. She and her sister traveled all over the state with Buddy and I in search of game.  They assumed guard positions over the truck or our camp while I would be in the field hunting with Buddy.  On our return, she was always eager to smell us up and down to learn all about where we’d been, and would “nose” the quarry with such excitement.  I always felt like she was evaluating our harvest.  Then she would get into the “I can hunt too!” mode, and stalk around camp, looking for something to catch.

She was always the little chow hog. Getting that girl to leave everyone else’s food alone was an act of congress.  She would eat anything.  Anywhere.  She would challenge Sunny, and Buddy, Jack and Coco for their dinners.  Me and you, too! She was such a relentless bully about food, I had to fence her off with her dish so everyone else could eat their meals in peace.

Until now.

What I would give to have her under foot trying to keep her out of her siblings dishes.

My tough little Tom Boy was going to show everyone that she wasn’t done yet. That she was strong enough for both of us. She tried not to disappoint, because she knew how much I needed her.  Watching her fight to get better…was unbearable.  It was like she was in denial, saying; “I got this, I’m ok.” I could feel her life force—it was strong.  On the inside I cried to the universe “Is it her time? How can I help her?  Please don’t take her from me!” but on the outside all I could do was hide my hot irrational mess and try to comfort my Angel baby.

She continued to accept bits of hamburger, liver, chicken, fish and lamb until she just couldn’t do it anymore. The day she turned her nose up to Maple Beef Sticks and Butternut Squash….

Once again, I am so very tired. Not from being up all night from her dementia cries for months.  Not from rushing to her side when she had a bad dream, or when she looked terrified of being alone. No, heck no, I laid by her side and protected her, comforted her, and made sure she did not feel one bit alone for weeks.  No, this tired is about the void.  The emptiness. The exhaustion that comes from a realization that change is inevitable.  Nothing is permanent.  Feels like I’ve lost a huge part of what makes me me, like an arm or a leg, or a lung.  Somehow I had it in my mind that Angel would be with me for years yet—such a strong, suborn old girl. They say the average life span of a Lhasa Apso is 12 – 14 years.  My gawd, Angel is like 134 dog years old.

I know she was trying to stay for me. In May of 2017 Angel had a stroke. I clutched her in my arms and begged her not to leave me. I cared for her relentlessly and she didn’t.  When her sister died 6 months ago I pulled Angel close to my chest, buried my face in her neck and begged her to stay with me forever, that I couldn’t lose her too. And once again she stayed, despite her own grief, another stroke and a number of seizures.

She had already given me a bonus year. How dare I ask for more?

But I just couldn’t put my own selfish wants aside. She seemed to be trying to rise up and recover. She still had the will. My tough old girl. In my desperation and anguish I convinced myself that maybe we could get her back up!

So I rushed her over to the vet. Sobbing, Terrified. Irrationally hopeful….

“Please, please can you help her? Is it not yet her time? Can she come back?”

The vet showed such monumental compassion.

Her heart was still quite strong. For a moment, there was actually hope, but it would be a long road back. And then, the truth hit. The vet discovered an unfortunate development. Angel’s battle for life was not winnable. She had complications I had no way of knowing about, and could have never fixed.  Yes, it’s her time.

I had to find the strength to encourage her to rise up and surrender to something so much better than now.

As she lay on the exam table on a soft bed of cushions, toys and blankets, I looked into her eyes, and she into mine. My Angel. My guardian Angel.  Her breath slowing, her eyes softening, our connection so very strong.  She knew she was not alone. I chanted, well, I cried, Vedic Mantras in hopes that she would feel safe to let go, and reassured her it was okay to follow that beautiful white light. The vet was there to assist.

And then there was stillness.

She definitely did her best to stay with me.

Forgive me if I cry.

She gave everything she could to me for 17 years, 4 months and 8 days. And I gave everything I could to her.  My Angel Baby.  Her heart was pure, her devotion unending. I was most certainly blessed to have such a strong, unwavering, unconditional commitment with another being for so long.  Beyond best friends.  Beyond family.  My Sweet Sweet Guardian Angel.  I was so very blessed.

Yogi’s believe we are spiritual beings, simply passing through and having a quick little human experience. That this time, the here and now, is a mere micro speck of what our true soul selves are, that we are in fact, eternal light and goodness merged with our maker, our God. And the same holds true for animals. I fully embrace the idea of this belief, but clearly, I’m not there yet.  As hard as I try to look at things differently…

It just never gets easier. In fact, it gets harder to experience loss.  All of my yogic logic went right out the window at the thought of losing Sunny Girl…and then Holly, and now this?  There are no words.  Geeze I can’t even remember to breathe this past week.

Humbling, how this kind of loss can be so traumatic. So life changing.  Instantly my life is now so different.  So, very different.  I’ve spent an entire span of my life, a 17 year chapter of my life sharing the most intimate details of my life with her.  Coveting a very specific sense of family. Belonging.  My foundation for how I’ve lived, and who I’ve been is now gone.  I go back and forth between my selfish need to have Angel with me, and selfless desire to know she is with her sister in a much better place now.

Angel Brady ascended on Saturday June 8th, 2019, at 11:45 a.m.

Love you to the moon and back, my Angel Baby. You are my rock, my inspiration to press on. Our family grieves the loss of your physical presence, and pray you shine your pure loving light over us and remain my Guardian Angel until we can heal and meet again. Take good care of Sunny Girl, Holly, Jack, and Buddy.

 

Thank you for reading my post. What are you most passionate about? What makes your soul sing? I’d love to hear about it!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  For me, it’s any time I can be immersed in nature.  My connection is strong to the outdoors, mother earth, and animals.  You can get up close and personal through my observations and experiences in my “Words From The Wild” blog category.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find meaning and value in the outdoors from this outdoorswoman’s perspective, and PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!

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Thank you for reading my post. What do you dream about seeing, doing, being?  Got a bucket list? A life plan?  Want to start one?  I’d love to help you get there, check out my services.  The first step to believing ‘opportunities are endless’ is sometimes not as hard if you grab some inspiration under my blog category, “Bucket of Limitless Possibilities”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

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