Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Little Dog, Big Love
Article ID: 15854
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 13
Times Read: 377
RSS Views: 7,015
Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: January 10th. 2017
Times Viewed: 377
This weekend was a hard one; I had to face a death. This death was so little in the cosmic scale, so seemingly unimportant and so simple and average that it shall not be thought of by more than a tiny handful of people. And yet is so immensely heart wrenching that I am haunted a little by it. The death is that of a tiny ball of fluff, a little mutt of a dog who at 16 years slipped out of this life. The little dog isn't my dog, but was the dog of a friend of my husband and mine.
She called us Saturday night, having come home from being away to find her little dog, curled up in it's bed, cold and not breathing. It was not unexpected; the dog was ill and frail. Totally blind and partially deaf this little dog had begun to have some health concerns and there had been some heart wrenching talk of taking it for the last ride to the vet. Now that decision would not have to be agonized over. We came right away, driving the 40 some KMs into town with the car on cruise control to keep me from speeding. My husband and I said little on this drive; I think we both got lost in our thoughts and concern for our friend.
I won't describe the scene I walked into as we came into her home; it's heartbreaking enough just thinking about it. I wrote it out in my blue journal (the one I save for my saddest and darkest thoughts) and out of respect for my friend it will stay in that journal till I fill it and burn it. I can only tell you it tore into me in a way that no other scene I have ever experienced could. The grief that poured out of my friend caused me to cry a little while I was there, and a lot when I was alone.
We sat with her a long while, offering what little inadequate words of comfort we could. This little inconsequential dog had been her light, had been there in her ups and downs. Had comforted her in the night, and brought joy to her days. As the dog failed in health she continued to pour love onto my friend. And now the dog has passed, and the emptiness was palpable. We talked about the little dog, held our friend as she cried and reassured her that love never dies.
We then took the frail little body with us to the local pet crematorium. I know the owners and know the respect that they will give to this little body that contained a soul larger than life. We will go with my friend to collect the ashes when they are ready, and give my friend a small gift of a cast of the miniscule paw. It won't be much; it is all we can give her. I wish I could do more, I wish I could give them another 16 years; I wish I could pull out the pain and sorrow of the loss. I wish I could mend the broken heart this little life left behind.
I still hate death. The actual death itself does not bother me; all life is transitory and must someday end. Death is a doorway to the next life, releasing the soul for a chance at rebirth and renewal. I do not hate death for those things. I hate death for everything it leaves those of us left behind with. I hate the heartbreak, the shattering of the lives, the pieces that must be picked up and put back together (and they can never be put together the same as before) . I hate the sorrow and the loneliness, the guilt and the anger. I hate the feeling of loss, the feeling of being helpless at either the death itself, or the pain of those left behind. And I hate the wandering of the heart and soul that we all go through as we work through the death of a loved one, big or little.
I also hate sometimes how we as a society views death. For my friend the loss of her little dog is an immeasurable tragedy, felt just as deep as any other member of the family. And yet there are those who are poised to tell her "It's just a dog", like it's life was somehow worth less than another. Like somehow her personal grief is not important or worthy of them to take a moment and express sympathy. Like an animal who has faithfully been at her side for over 16 years is something that she should just be able to toss aside and forget. I wish I could change that mindset in people, for them to see how sacred and meaningful these bonds are, or to at least respect those who have those bonds.
For my own part I would like to take a moment and pause, to acknowledge this little death that will go unremarked by many. To give thanks for the life this little dog had, for the joy it brought to my friend. For the nights it sat with her faithfully, giving kisses and cuddles. For the love it shared with her, for being her baby for the past 16 years and giving of everything it had until it passed. And I would like to give thanks for the millions of other little lives, just like this little dog, who will be remembered by only a few, but whose love and devotion made their worlds a much brighter place. Thank you for your devotion, your antics, your joy and all of your love.
"Lord and Lady
Take these beloved animal companions
unto Your hearts.
Release their spirits to the
winds to seek
and find a place of peace.
Rest well beloveds.
- Adapted from Galen Gillotte, Book of Hours, Prayers to the Goddess.
Gillotte, Galen (2001) . Book of Hours; Prayers to the Goddess. Llewellyn Publications, St Paul, Minnesota, USA.
The Redneck Pagan
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