What We Already Know…If We’d Only Listen

17 03 2010

What can dreams tell us? And how do we know when a dream is just a dream — and when it’s more than that?

We just know. I realize that my answer seems overly simplified, but I am more convinced than ever that, distracted by the hustle bustle of our modern, technology-driven lives, we often forget to stop and listen to what our intuition is telling us. Last week, it was telling me that it was time to let our beloved dog cross over to the other side.

Our beautiful blonde terrier mix, Vada, began having trouble moving her back legs last Thursday. At the age of 18 — yup, that’s like 120 in dog years — we knew this day would come. In fact, we’d already managed to dodge it a couple of times along the way.

Four years ago, she was on death’s doorstep and — to the shock and surprise of our vet — she recovered completely. Since then, she’s been known around that clinic as “The Miracle Dog.”

But even Miracle Dogs don’t live forever. Though our vet wasn’t sure that this was “the end,” and my mind refused to belive it, my heart — and a dream — told me otherwise.

Last Friday night, I dreamed about our beagle, T.C., who died in July 2007. I’ve never dreamed about him before. Not only did I see him in my sleep, but the images were unnervingly vivid.

In the dream, I opened the sliding glass door to our back yard, and there he was, big floppy ears and all, romping and playing in a huge pile of crunchy fall leaves. I remember feeling a pang of guilt and thinking to myself in the dream, “Oh my gosh! He’s been alive this whole time and I thought he was dead…and we should have been taking care of him.”

I studied him for a moment and realized that he was not old and tired, as he was the last time I saw him, but young, energetic — and buff. I could see the outline of his muscles.

I motioned for him to come inside. He looked at me for a moment, then dove into another pile of leaves, resurfacing with just his head and big floppy ears showing. His body language told me that he was quite content to stay where he was.

I looked down at that moment and saw that there was a barrier of cold air and ice — perhaps six inches wide. But beyond that barrier was a sunny, warm, and happy place. The place where T.C. was.

When I woke up, my gut told me that the dream was more than a dream. It was a sign. T.C. was coming for Vada; it was her time.

T.C. and Vada had grown up together from puppyhood. And, as my husband Don often points out, they were “partners in crime” — the kind of mischief that only a pair of energetic hounds can get into, like figuring out how to use the living room couch as a springboard to the kitchen counter so you can eat an entire platter of freshly-baked cookies while The People are at work…

And so, though letting her go this morning was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, there’s peace in knowing that she and T.C. are together in a place where they can once again romp and play.

Just minutes after we released Vada, our four-year-old son, Theo, came to me, teary-eyed, and said, “I hope Vada can see us from heaven, Mommy.”

I think she can, honey. I really think she can.

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8 responses

17 03 2010
Anita

It is always so wonderful to read what is on your mind. You write beautifully, and I think you are right – there are dimensions of life that we only get a glimpse of, but they are real and they help the hardest things make a little more sense.

17 03 2010
Kristi

Sorry for the loss of Vada. You gave her a loving home and that is a tribute to her long life. I’m sure she will miss you as much as you are missing her.

Thinking of you guys………..

Kristi

17 03 2010
Brenda

Beautifully said! Very touching, and I’m sorry to hear about your precious pet. We do need to pause more and listen….to God, to ourselves, to the people around us.

17 03 2010
Natalie

I agree completely with your theory. I think there is so much more out there that we can’t even begin to comprehend. I am really sorry to hear about Vada, she was such a good girl. But, like your dream, you know that she will be happy in heaven with TC – with all of the cookies she can possibly eat! 🙂

17 03 2010
Maureen

Awww…she really was a miracle dog. I remember that New Year’s Eve at my house when you had to bring her with you to visit up north because…”She’s on her last leg.” And you’re right, that was at LEAST four years ago. I think she really ENJOYED being on her ‘last leg’ as she got so much special treatment! What a wonderful ‘earth life’ you gave her! And what fun and happy memories she left.

18 03 2010
Mary & Bill

Very touching story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I love your writing. Don’t ever stop.

18 03 2010
Kate

What beautiful words, Amy, and what a wonderful story about a member of your family. I believe you are right. We only get a small glimpse of what is really out there and you have to follow your heart sometimes and our intuition to know what’s right and wrong. It’s hard to listen to sometimes, but most of the time it’s right. I’m sorry for your loss. Love ya.

21 03 2010
Glenda

Amy, I have tears in my eyes reading this. You are such an amazing woman and a wonderful writer. Your descriptions of your dream made me feel as if I was there dreaming it with you. Your puppies did have a great life with you guys and their pack, and what a pack it was!!

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