I wrote this a few years ago and it was published in the AKC Gazette. I've tweaked it a little bit. It was written for one of my all time favorite "heart" dog's "Nuance" pictured with her half brother "Rajah" at the top of this blog. She was truly a German Shepherd in every sense of the word and no matter how many years go by, I still miss her!
IN DREAMS I WALK WITH YOU
Barbara J. Galasso
The moonlight shone through the parted curtains in my bedroom window the other night as my eyes slowly shut and my body surrendered and gave itself up to sleep. Oh it was a simple dream at best. Nothing special about it, so I thought at first. My dream was about an old house; one that was unfamiliar to me. But I've had dreams of this kind before. There are strange places, strange people, and strange surroundings. The only thing that I recognized was you and how you once shared my life and now instead tiptoed through my dreams. I welcomed your presence in these strange surroundings. For it was you, my beloved dog who came to keep me company. You were in the old house with me, but because you were there, everything was familiar again. You followed me from room to room like you used to do so many years before. Everything about you was the same; all your actions, all your emotions, all your affection, and all your devotion to me. My love for you flooded over me and I thought I'd drown from it because I couldn't reach out and touch you. You played with me. You teased me. You were beyond my reach. My heart felt you right down to my soul, but I could not reach out and touch you even though I desperately tried. How unfair!
Your heart was only loaned to me; on borrowed time I'm told. Has it really been so many years that you are gone, when you are so alive in my dreams? In my dreams, it's like you never left me at all. Everything about you is real again. You walk with me and beckon me to follow you. Happiness floods my dreams when you pay me a visit, but when I awaken, my heart cries out for you and my arms long to hold you again. The pleasure of your company has once again eluded me and in my waking hours, I find myself eagerly longing for your next visit.
If I can't have you while I'm awake, than may my dreams keep me in slumber a little longer each morning I pray, for I know when I awaken you will be gone, not knowing when you'll return again. A few hours of you in my dreams is all God shares with me until he decides to send you to me once again. But alas, you don't come to me every night, and I selfishly find I want more of you each time you leave. Haunt me if you must then. Just stay a little longer with me before you leave. In my dreams, you are alive again as if fate has played a cruel trick on me. Or is it just my imagination that makes you so real and you are once again with me like you never left at all? I twist and turn stubbornly fighting from waking up for I know that you will be taken from me when I do. "Don't leave", my brain seems to plead in its dream like state, but you fade into the background and become a shadow as reality sets in, and I'm left with the after glow of knowing it was only a dream. I wipe the star dust from my eyes and realize you only visited my dreams for a few stolen moments. “Not long enough," I cry, ........never long enough with you"
Not all my dogs come to pay me a visit in my dreams like you do, you know. Although they all were loved, few were special and those are the ones who come back to remind me why they were designated as such. Gone maybe in body, but in my soul the memories I carry once again brings them back to life leaving their paw prints upon my fragile heart.
So until we meet again my friend, I will have to be content with the little windows of light that is bestowed upon me that reflects your image until I too reach the place that is called dreams. "Only a dog some may say?", but then they've never known the unselfish love between a man and his dog for nothing is expected from us, and everything is given from them. So come if you must and play with my emotions for a little while longer for the piece of my soul that you took when you left, is restored and renewed when once again in dreams I walk with you.
From the book: "SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR ANGEL ANIMALS: FINDING COMFORT AFTER LOSING YOUR PET: In this thoughtful book, Allen and Linda Anderson walk you through the numbing pain and dreadful sense of loss that arise when a beloved animal dies. They offer solace to help you deal with grief, remember and honor key moments in the animal’s life, find comfort through groups and with professionals, and get past the depression. They also include exercises, affirmations, and meditations to use through the various stages of grief. The Andersons’ caring, practical advice covers all aspects of pet loss, offering guidance on: helping children grieve :: honoring your religious beliefs :: grieving for runaway pets :: helping others know what to say or do to console you :: planning an appropriate memorial ceremony or tribute. The book also explores the concept of after-death experiences of departed companion animals and relates many beautiful stories, including the Rainbow Bridge story, that reinforce the love and sense of peace that come from honoring the place animals hold in our lives.
My rating: heart dogs: (4)