He ain’t heavy….

I had a dog who was my soul mate. Namaste’ was a male English Setter who I assisted in his birth – and lived in a shower stall with him for 10 days as he barely survived the horrid disease “Parvo”. I sat with him adjusting IV’s as he expelled blood from his bowels into the drain and I held him, gave him Reiki and gathered the vomit. My human partner at the time brought me meals and spelled me so I could brush my teeth and use the toilet.

Namaste’ lived and after a year of being anorexic, he thrived for years. During the Parvo he received plasma and his mother, who barely survived the whelping of his litter, had to have transfusions and an emergency C-section for her last puppy (I paid on those Vet bills for 2 years). I had to raise her puppies on bottles (feedings every 3 hours around the clock) because she was so ill… with her on a mattress in my room and the tiny puppies in a basket. One night, one of the puppies, eyes not open yet, managed to get from the basket to her to try and nurse. I awoke to find them and I still cry at the memory of the sweetness it expressed.

The reason for this dog’s birthing and health problems was an insidious preservative (Ethoxyquin) that was in the “high quality” dog food we were feeding (decades ago). The legacy of that poison was a family of canines needing extra care throughout their lives.

Namaste’ later got pleuritis and my Vet allowed me to live with him for 3 days and nights in the kennel at the clinic, holding him, monitoring his IV, giving Reiki and echinacea to him around the clock. He healed well.

Whenever I had to take him in to the Veterinarian, I had to carry him. Literally, and he was big. But, he had such PTSD from his past, he was terrified… I couldn’t just be brutal with him. He would always hold his forehead (third eye) against mine. He would hug me with his forelegs. I felt in my heart that he must have been the puppy to get out and find his way to his Mum, although I am not certain of it.


He and his Mum and my little Basil were my family for years. The day that Namaste’ had to be euthanized to stop his suffering (he had nasal cancer and I used a baby’s syringe to suction the blood from his sinuses while giving him herbs and pain killers and asking him each day if he was ready to pass…) he walked calmly into the Vet’s office and lay in my lap through the process. His ashes sit beside me with his Mum’s ashes and Basil’s.

dogs on couch

After his passing, one night I awoke from a “dream” where he sang a song to me that was then embedded in my brain… a song I had never heard. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you… and all the things you do…”

Months later, I fell asleep with the TV on PBS. I awoke to Coldplay (didn’t know them) on Austin City Limits singing the very song that my ghost dog had sung to me in a dream. I did not know the name of the song. I bought CD’s until I finally heard the song… Yellow… YELLOW! I would never have figured it out to be called Yellow. I liked listening to it. My brother advised me never to tell that story to anyone. I kept it to myself.

Now, I don’t care how wonky it might seem. I am surrounded by animals I adore, my life has been filled with animals I adore. I have no problem considering that someone I loved so deeply could connect with me from another realm, even someone of the canine persuasion.

A friend lost his dear dog this week. It brought this flood of feelings to me. So much has happened here in the past year, my heart is both full from the love and aching from the losses. So, I will share, every now and then, the stories of Namaste’ and his siblings (there’s more) and of Basil and her amazing, herbal life.

In the end, it isn’t how the world sees you – it’s how your beloved companions have seen and been touched by you that matters. It’s how you see yourself.

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