This week we heard a lot of buzz in the United States about the once in a lifetime event of the total solar eclipse. Like most people here, I was excited to see it, and I was lucky that it coincided with my break at work so I could step outside in my special glasses and see it for myself. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in our country was 1918, so it was a big deal. I loved seeing all the viewing parties that people went to to enjoy seeing it together. It proved to be a big unifier for us in the midst of a lot of divisive turmoil. Regardless of political position of personal beliefs, almost everyone got excited about this celestial event and people are still talking about it.
What seems even crazier to me is that after all this time, there will be another chance to see a solar eclipse in seven years. We went for ninety nine years without seeing one, and now another appears in just seven years. I guess it just goes to show that the alignment of the stars, moons and planets can be fickle.
You might be wondering what this has to do with a dog blog, and I’ll tell you. A lot of times, people refer to certain dogs in their lives as “heart dogs.” If you’ve had one, you probably know what I mean. A heart dog is a dog that you have an extra special, deep and abiding connection with. A heart dog isn’t just any dog that comes along down the street. It’s a rare and amazing event. It’s a unique alignment of the stars that doesn’t happen every day.
I know some people that believe that it only happens once in a lifetime, but I feel differently. I’ve been lucky enough to have three of maybe even four heart dogs in my lifetime so far. The first was the Border Collie who followed my childhood self all over the farm in total devotion. My mom never bothered to call me out the back door if she wanted me, she called Snoopy to find out where I was. The second was Speck, an Australian Shepherd who came home for my fifteenth birthday. I took dog obedience with her, just hoping she’d learn her name, and found something else I loved. It was a bonus that we ended up winning our competition at the State Fair our first year. I found out about having a partnership with an animal from her. Our first Greyhound, Treat, was another heart dog. She became an incredible partner for me to work with and sometimes I still miss her. Bunny is the fourth of my heart dogs. She helped to heal my heart after I lost Treat, but quickly found her way into her own space there with her sweet ways.
I think that some people might close themselves off to having that connection again after losing a dog so near and dear to their hearts. It’s hard to keep that space closed off forever, though. As much as it hurts when we lose one of those special dogs, it’s hard to resist the pull to love another dog. For some people, it takes longer than others, but few of us can stand not having that special form of companionship in our lives.
I don’t think that it’s just luck that I’ve found so many heart dogs in my life. I think it has more to do with knowing what you’re looking for in that special dog. You have to be open to having that connection and willing to look for it. Ultimately, I have never been sorry that I’ve deeply loved a dog. The rewards and experiences that I have had are priceless. I’m glad that it doesn’t have to be a once in a lifetime event to find a heart dog and I hope that everyone out that gets to have that incredible experience in their lives. There’s nothing like it.