On June 6, 2012 I said a final good-bye to my beloved dog, Puma. His age was somewhere between 13 and 15, a very ripe old age for an 82 lb. dog, and his back and hips could no longer support him without pain. His passing was very peaceful, and when I pushed myself to go on my regular walk later that day, knowing that I would be taking my first walk without him by my side, Puma’s spirit was waiting by the back door to walk with me one last time.
It is my intention to write a celebration of his life. In the meantime I would like to thank my friends, clients, students and Puma’s friends who have been so kind with their support, understanding and cards. And I’d like to spotlight three that touched me deeply.
Puma’s principal vet clinic, Lien Animal Clinic, made a donation in his name to the Seattle Animal Shelter. It made me feel good to know that our good fortune (I adopted Puma from a shelter in Montana) could help others.
Jennifer McNeely sent a lovely card with heartfelt words, and included a special colored drawing from her six year-old daughter Paloma. The drawing was of a puppy dog holding a leash in his mouth. Underneath it said “Give love,” and Paloma had written Puma’s name above the puppy’s head. Love is certainly something Puma offered me every day of his life.
The other was a special moment that happened at the Metropolitan Marketplace near where I live. Puma and I would walk over together to go grocery shopping, and while I was in the store he would spend time behind the florist counter being loved on and watched over by the kindly folks who worked there. Raul Ramirez was particularly fond of him, having an elderly dog of his own, and Puma would always pull me gently over to say hello.
When Puma’s quality of life began fluctuating day-to-day I would leave him home and Raul would ask about him. I promised to bring Puma back on a good day, but that day never came.
When I told Raul he came around the counter and gave me a big hug, which almost undid me emotionally, and I thanked him for the wonderful care he took of Puma. It was a very touching moment, but the best was yet to come.
As I was preparing to check out with my groceries Raul presented me with a single white rose which he said was a personal gift from him in memory of Puma. I couldn’t help it, I was so moved I started to cry, which of course made Raul say, “Oh, no, I did not mean to make you cry!” I told him they were okay tears, that I was simply very touched by his gesture. And Raul gladdened my heart even further by sharing the joy of his memories of time spent with Puma, how friendly he was and how much he enjoyed receiving a good neck rub.
And that is what I hope to share with everyone in a future article—my joy in having Puma in my life and the wonderful times we shared together.
(I placed the gift of the white rose at the foot of my bed in the area where Puma used to sleep.)
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©2012 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. http://www.reikishamanic.com
Think Outside the Cage
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian shamanic tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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