A best friend, a teacher, a therapy dog and soul mate
A tiny fluffy black, white and tan puppy came bounding in to my heart. Having selected her from a litter of most adorable border collie pups at a farm outside of West Kilbride in North Ayrshire, I was yet unaware of the deep relationship and destiny which was to unfold between us both. I named her Yukon after the great wilderness of Canada. And indeed, she grew up to be a stunning border collie fit for the wild and breath taking mountains, rivers and lakes of the Yukon territory.
There is much said about the companionship of a dog. The term man’s best friend is known world wide and not something questioned or put much thought in to. And there are many references to the loyalty and companionship of hounds in myths and legends. I feel it is often limited to the idea of a man or woman training their dog to be trust worthy and loyal. But, I am guessing that many do not understand the sheer magnitude of such a relationship. How deep it runs through your very essence and soul and how nourishing such a companionship can be. Now, I am very aware that there are many people out there that see a dog as a worker, may be even view them as one of their machines or a means to make money. And yes, there are those that also see a dog as a baby, as a child or even as an extension of their ego or another one of their accessories. Okay, before you think I am going all judgemental, that is not my intentions but I do wish to inspire others to view the dog as an equal companion, as a soulful sentient being with just as an important destiny as what each and every one of us have. Controlling a dog will not led to a profound relationship or allow the dog to truly embarkk on their own destiny.
And may be my journey with my dearest Yukon will help to open your eyes and heart to the truth that is welcoming a dog fully and openly in to your life.
I guess my story begins when I was a child. I found life difficult though I was always happy and inspired by all the beauty and wonder around me. I was and still am an extremely sensitive soul. My early years brought tormenting bullying, an eating disorder, a diagnosis of lupus and a deep loneliness of which I never fully understood. I was always spirited and defiant, trying to rebel and not conform but never truly fitting in. Nature and animals where always my comfort and where I felt most at home. I just always and still do, find life difficult. And my early years found my not understanding why I was feeling such a way. I never played the victim but instead found defiance, courage and determination. It did not take me long to learn that I was always responsible for everything that happened and easily forgave those who made my life harder.
It was when I was 18 while working on a tall ship that a cog in the wheel had shifted, the tide had turned and I seemed to have crossed in to the veil between two different words, on the verge of a new path and journey. I recall picking up a newspaper while I was off shift. Now what had possessed me to pick up a newspaper I do not know. I had never read newspapers and still do not. But that day on this tall ship, I picked it up and only to see an advert for bordercollie puppies for sale in the village just down from where I lived. Shortly after I returned home I went to see these adorable puppies and brought home a bundle of fluff that was called Yukon.
Yukon went absolutely every where with me. We were inseparable. She had such wise and kind eyes and it was with her in my life that I truly understood the meaning of deep connections with animals, with the unspoken word and a communication which goes beyond words. She was highly intuitive and knew exactly how I was feeling and understood me completely. Now there is much about the healing qualities of having a pet and of therapy animals. Yukon was certainly all of the above and more for me. There was a spiritual connection and with her, I was guided on to a different path even though at times I persevered on to what I thought I wanted. With Yukon I found much inner strength for I was fully responsible for her well-being – this gave me confidence, great independence and she always taught me something knew, whether it was to play, to sit still and live in the moment, the meaning of unconditional love, the otherworldy dimensions and so much more. Despite having many moments of lapse in my health, I was always there for Yukon. She was first and thus, kept me going, continually uplifted my mood and of course, boosted my immune system and lymphatic system as no matter what, I was always active with my dearest Yukon by my side. Up the moorland and hills we went, across the meadows and wandering the beach with sunrises and sunsets. Yukon was also most apt at putting me in to situations which involve people. Now I was and still am not, the most condident of person. I would say shy and introverted. But of course, Yukon would always run in to the middle of a football or frisbe game while walking through the park. And of course, I had to run in the middle of these games to try and coax her back. She also always broke the ice in social situations.
She loved every body. Dogs just do not judge by how you look, they can see your soul and heart. I met many wonderful people through the joy that was Yukon. I recall many a time Yukon placing a ball on the lap of a beautiful lady in a wheelchair. The lady laughed and smiled and threw the ball. Yukon also placed a ball on a pram and continually opened her heart. There is so much I could say about her. She truly was and still is, my best friend, my healer and teacher.
And before I make this in to a book, I would like to conclude where Yukon had led me and how profoundly important she was in forging and guiding me on my destiny. Without Yukon I would never have found developed in holistic animal healing or follow a path of animal assisted therapy. She taught me what it meant for me to be a healer and guided me beyond measure of my spiritual path and aiding me in coping with my high sensitivity. She also taught me the most powerful magic and gift of animals healing our heart, mind, body and soul.