“It’s a Dog’s Life…”

March 7, 2009


Last week, one of my seminar leaders, Kristi, wrote to me that her Corgi, Bella, had died… a lovely email tribute to what was so clearly a beautiful partnership between Kristi and her beloved dog…. her friend, really…  I loved how Kristi wrote, “Bella had me wrapped around her finger (paw)…”    Bella died on her own birthday after a long and happy life with Kristi  — and Kristi was communicating in celebration of Bella’s life and the contribution that she was to Kristi and everyone that met her – how everyone who knew Bella “fell in love.”


It reminded me of the night my friend, Suzy, had called me, frantic, to come quickly to the animal hospital on 61st Street, near the East River.   Her Corgi, Bart, was sick and the doctors thought he would die.  I’m a Reiki Master and she wanted me to come and offer Reiki to Bart. 


I ran over to the hospital and what a sight…!  My friend on the table, arms wrapped around her little Corgi, talking to him and singing softly in his ear, and he was lying with his neck up around her neck and he was so quiet and still, listening to her voice.  It was late at night and the hospital was quiet and still and all you could hear was Suzy singing to Bart…


For so many years, I had seen them together – everywhere Suzy went, Bart went, too…  She loved him with all her heart and I could see that that was only surpassed by how much he loved her… He trotted along behind her on his short little legs….  yet, sometimes, Bart could have quite the mind of his own and be off down the hill if he spotted a squirrel or an interesting human with a toy or a treat! 


Everyone loved Bart – children squealed when they saw him, and even adults could not resist his enthusiastic charm, not to mention how many men Suzy was able to immediately engage in intimate conversation because they, too, could not resist Bart – he was an instant icebreaker!  When I stayed with her, he would come up on the bed and sleep with us — and, even I, who was not Bart’s “Mom”, found myself totally enamored with this little lump of love.


It strikes me that dogs are a particular kind of pet….  while cats will choose the times they want to be with you – and often they don’t! – Dogs are most happy when they are around people.  I’ve heard many people say that dogs are “unconditional love” – and — if only we thought as highly of ourselves as our dogs do!  Never judgmental, never aloof, always by our sides, no matter what….


My family had three dogs when I was growing up, and our German Shepard, Toro, was “my” dog.  I could never sneak into the house late with Toro around – my father would come out of his room, awakened by Toro’s excited whimpering, lean over the upstairs banister and say, “I knew it was you.  Toro only sounds like that when it’s you – that’s his ‘love pant’!”  I could do no wrong in Toro’s eyes…  what’s even more important is that I didn’t want to…. Toro would lope into the room and my heart would melt… I loved him with all my heart, just the way he loved me.


So, here’s the question…  Why can’t we be like that with each other?  Love is the same – it just gets blocked sometimes.  We don’t block it with our animals, why do we let those walls go up with our fellow man?  We don’t have to be right with our dogs, we don’t have to prove anything to them, we are always “enough” for them…


Hmmm…  we are always enough for them…


When we are enough, we don’t have to be anything other than what we are – and that feels so good and we feel so lovable — we don’t feel a  need for protection and we can love right back – with all our hearts…


What if we could love everyone that way?  What would the world look like?    Just thinking about that possibility makes me smile…


So, there was Suzy, singing softly into Bart’s ear, “How much is that doggie in the window?  The one with the waggley tail…” – she said that was Bart’s favorite song… (what is so funny about that is that Bart didn’t even have a tail!).  I started doing Reiki on him, pouring all my love into his little body and, after about 10 minutes, he heaved a big sigh and passed over – I had never seen life pass from a living being before – it was a sight so beautiful… so peaceful…  I felt blessed to be there…


The nurse came in and took Bart out of Suzy’s arms.  As I waited for her to pack her things, I walked to the window and looked out to the East River beyond, the moon shining down on the water.  I knew Bart had died – I had my hands on his body when he breathed his final sigh – but I didn’t feel that he was dead… because he wasn’t… I felt him as strongly in that moment, looking out the window, as I did when I felt him breathe his last… 


When love is present, anything is possible — even in the face of death, love is always there – and love never dies…  


Suzy buried Bart’s ashes in her garden in the front of her house, under a big beautiful tree….  to this day, she calls it “Bart’s garden…”   She says that Bart was actually an angel, sent to help her learn about life… She thinks he did his job well….


This is for you, Kristi, and for you, Suzy – and for all my friends who love their animals….


Happy Birthday, Bella…  Sweet Dreams, Bart…


Deliciously yours in the grandeur of it all, Linda 


© Linda Ruocco and “Spiritual Chocolate”, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Linda Ruocco and “Spritiual Chocolate”  with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Thank you. 

3 Responses to ““It’s a Dog’s Life…””

  1. Doug Longo said

    Dear Linda
    I read this entry and all the others down through
    Valentine’s Day.I enjoyed reading them very much.
    I found them insightful and refective(they help step outside my everyday world and see things in perspective).I wish you success in this endevour.
    Doug Longo

    • spiritualchocolate said

      Dear Doug, Thank you so much for reading! This blog is a “spawning ground” for a book by the same name, so it makes me feel great that it means something to those who read it.
      Warmly, Linda

  2. Bill said

    golly….it’s so sorrowful and reassuring at the same time……

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