29th January 2014
About a week before we went to collect our new puppy Cino, I had a dream about Moet. That is not unusual.
Years ago, Moet, our 13 year old Golden Retriever was diagnosed with cancer, and we sent her to The Rainbow Bridge on 16th April 2013. It was a devastating loss for us. In our 45 years of marriage we have had nine dogs - (and one cat) - all with entirely different natures, all funny and interesting and quirky and affectionate and wonderful companions, and we have had so much fun and laughter and learning with them all. Our friends always say our animals are "the luckiest people in the world living with you two". I agree. Any animal who lands up in our house has won the lottery.
So, nine dogs and one cat, we have loved them all deeply.
But Moet was different. She was The Dog, the one who I gave every piece of my heart to, and who gave me every piece of hers. She was the dog I loved more than any other animal, ever, and a lot more than many people I know. She knew every aspect of me and anticipated my emotions, and I did the same with her. I spent more time with her than anyone on the planet, including my husband. We were seldom parted. She came in the car to the hairdresser, the shops, yoga, visited friends, the hospital on visits, Clelland Lodge, the doctor, the dentist, multiple trips to Sydney and many holidays. We walked for miles, every single day, in every kind of weather, just her and I - through the country when we had our farm, and here at the river and on the beach. She and I talked all the time, her with her eyes and body language, and me with my lips and my heart. She guided me through those desolate, dark days of 2009 when both my Mom and my Dad died within months of each other, and I fearfully expected her to die too, as the cancer had spread through her whole body. But, bless her, she stayed with me another four years, to ensure I was on my feet again, and able to deal with life, before she finally left us. I believe my Mother got up there to heaven and had a straight conversation with God, something like "Please don't take her dog, she so needs that dog! She just lost her Dad, and now me .... can you do that please God?" My Mother was, as everyone who knew her was aware, one of God's Special Angels, having accomplished many miracles here on earth in her 87 years, so am pretty sure He could not refuse her one more miracle after death, and complied with her request.
So I was especially grateful for those extra, unexpected four years. Moet lay in our arms as the vet euthanased her, here in our lounge room, with candles burning and the drawings of her from adoring children pasted up, crystal angels and hearts surrounding her. She died with her eyes wide open, staring straight ahead, I am certain, to my Mom and Dad, who were waiting for her with arms outstretched, and a BIG bowl of her favourite food. She died, and our hearts broke. Gerald and I held her and each other tight, and sobbed.
We went to Africa six months later, my heart still raw, but beginning to feel a yearning for a four footed companion, someone to love and care for, someone to walk with and talk with. On our return we started researching rescue doggies and puppies, and within a month, we heard our puppy had been born.
Immediately I began doubting my ability to love another doggy. I had loved Moet more than any other doggy in my life. I was ambivalent one moment, anxious the next about the impending arrival of our new family member. What if I couldn't love her? What if she didn't love me? Was I up for training and loving and being with a brand new pup? What about the crying and loss of sleep, the toilet training, I was probably too old at 64 to do it all again. Gerald made nonsense of this conversation, but my doubts persisted.
ANYWAY ... a short while before we drove to Oberon to pick up our puppy, I had a dream about Moet. Or more specifically, Moet came to me in a dream. I often have felt her breath upon my face during the night, standing alongside of my bed, watching me so intensely, I wake up. I have often heard her polite, single 'woof' at the doorway to our room, a request to go out, as she got older and needed to do a wee. I understand, me too. I would open the front door, and she would trot quietly into the grassy courtyard, squat, we would both avert our eyes politely, always the lady, she would do her wee, and return, hop onto her bed, and go back to sleep.
These events continued to happen after she died, and I would wake, and be swinging my legs out of bed to take her out for a wee, before I remembered - Moet is dead. And I would slide back under the covers, and weep. Sometimes, I have woken up joyfully, knowing "She is alive!!! She is here!" - and then, the sad realisation that it was just a dream, washes over me, and the tears would fall.
But this dream was different.
I was standing in the front garden, a garden I seldom visit, I do not like the gigantic dark and ugly tree that overwhelms everything in its shadow. And Moet was there, walking away from me, I have a distinct image of her rear end, swaying the way it did. I called out to her, "Moet, don't go! Its OK baby!" She stopped, looked back, her eyes burning into mine, despite the fact it was quite dark, then continued on her way. I called again. She stopped, hesitated a moment, considering, before looking back at me. I say "Come Moet! Don't go!" She gives me one last look, turns away and walks straight ahead. Like a movie, a heavy mist descends, and I cannot see her any more.
Oh, I am crying. But not tears of sadness, tears of gladness, well maybe a mixture of the two. I know in my heart, this is my generous Moet and she is giving me her permission, "I know you are getting another puppy, and I approve. (I may even have had a hand in it). I'm leaving now, you'll be all right. I know, you will be OK."
She stayed with me all these months, giving me courage and love and strength and the ability to choose to have another puppy. Now she has left, satisfied, her job is done. That darling doggy always took care of me.
I have not dreamed of her since.
And I know that Cino is a gift from Moet, specially selected.