Some days her bones are tired. Other days she is a puppy shining through. We don’t know Ginger’s exact age. She rescued us two sleeps shy of a new year. One-hundred-and nine sleeps after our beloved Roo became an angel above.
In September, it will be nine years since Roo left earth, and I began fulfilling one of the reasons she had told me she was journeying with cancer. I began writing my first book (To the Moon). Ah, but true to the words of a professor who taught us go back and mine a sculpture (said of intuitive presencing group exercises), there is great value in revisiting an experience to extract additional or deeper meaning.
Over the years I have gained a deeper understanding that Roo was not only helping me on my healing, transformational journey. She was preparing me for the future. Roo had always been able to hear my soul, often better than I could at the time. She knew dreams I had, and a call I felt compelled to uncover and then begin crystallizing.
Roo sent Ginger to us. We didn’t think we would be ready to fill our house with another cold nose for a year. Three months into our walk with Grief, my heart cracked open further when I recognized I was hurting more from a house empty of pawed feet. Roo could hear my soul whispering I didn’t want to start a new year without a guide in fur. Two weeks later, we were meeting a dog named Pippi, aka Ginger, aka, I now periodically call Yogi.
My nickname for Ginger began with her recent yoga dog stretches in the mornings. As I mine the sculpture of my relationship with Ginger, I know that I am calling her Yogi because she is, in the words from one of the pages of To the Moon, healer, wise sage, taking us to new levels of unconditional love.
I had once heard someone say that you can be attached to many dogs in a lifetime, but there is only one “heart dog” and when Roo left Earth, I held on to this sentiment, certain Roo had been my “one and only”. A few months after Ginger filled our home – and our hearts – I humbly knew I was blessed to have not just one soulmate in fur, but two. Ginger led me to understand each dog in my life has been part of my soul team. Peppi. Hans. Now Kutana, too.
I’m not sure when our relationship shifted, Ginger and mine. After we met Ginger but before all the necessary paperwork and background checking was complete, before we received the official word we were considered worthy of being her parents, I spent most of the night sending Ginger messages of assurance through space that we were coming for her. Ginger had started to give us her heart, and then we had left without her. I, still listening from my starting place of fear, not to Ginger’s knowing heart, worried she would think she hadn’t been enough in our eyes since she couldn’t walk out the door with us right after we met.
Ginger knew better, though, patiently waiting to fulfill her calling. When we went to pick her up, I was still certain we were rescuing her. My words at the time included these. You opened your daddy’s and my hearts in ways we never knew possible until we had you, and now we will pay forward to your sister that she is worthy of love too. You helped me find my inner shift from “less than” to “more than” enough; and now a soul is entering our home who needs her faith found so she can be loved. That is one way I will live for you, giving what you gave me, my beautiful Roo.
She will have you as guardian angel and I know you will help me hear. On her behalf you will guide me to help her through her fears.
Yet, it has been Ginger to help guide me through mine.
Doing so by gently walking beside my release of where the body has kept the score emotionally. Through her unconditional love she has wisely – sagely- guided me to go back and mine where I have long held-in and stored grief and the emotional pain of the stories I wrote and then kept-re-reading. Don’t cry. Be tough buttercup. Not yet enough. Not yet worthy.
Perhaps the shift began when Ginger had a health scare a few years ago and that spiral staircase came back around to offer me healing. My soul communicating a knowing of the human–canine experience Ginger and I were having. Looking at your little sis, her frequent turn to look at me, with her momma something amiss, tears not usually seen. Crying the reliving of our last week, crying the remnants of still lingering grief. Not fearful Ginger terribly ill, not from wavering faith; taken back in time, certain memories carrying pain. Replayed snapshots flash to mind, the circle bringing back opportunity a second time.
Choice to revisit that I might invite healing in, a freeing, a voice, “forward…begin.” Another way to build trust in seeing life’s beauty, that even when there is loss, there is goodness received.
At that knowing place within, I didn’t fear Ginger was terminally ill. (It turned out to be an unknown switch in food that didn’t agree with her digestively). I was being offered a gift to release pieces of grief from a stored memory. Roo being diagnosed her end of Earth life was coming. In that walk around the spiral of that section of the staircase, I walked upward closer to Ginger.
As I go back and mine the sculpture of my heart, I am beginning to see that what I once thought were pieces breaking apart have been cracks where my heart is being offered the gift to expand. To know greater joy, hope, faith, and most of all.