I was sitting next to the kitchen counter eating some fruit and paging through a catalogue, when I heard the garage door open. It was a bit early for Bonni, but she was the only one with the “magic wand” to lift the heavy door. In the moments following the doorway between the garage and house cracked open, and bright rays from the afternoon sun streamed into a dimly lit corner ~ as if to announce the arrival of an angelic being.
Bonni did not enter, but as I cast my gaze lower I saw what looked like a ball of black and white cotton candy making its way slowly across the living room. When the small being that seemingly came from the light reached the foot peddles of my wheelchair, a paw poked out from under the ball of fluffy black and white fur, and tapped on my shoe. As I leaned over, I found my eyes starring into two big brown orbs of love, surrounded by salt and pepper puppy fur. This sweet little four legged creature gazed at me as though she knew me for lifetimes, and she did not break our eye connection until there were paw prints all over my heart and soul.
There was no mistaking, she knew her purpose as an emissary of unconditional love, and in those few moments I knew what Bonni knew, this black and white Shiatsu was a ~ salt and pepper angel. Bonni followed a bit later, giving Cuddles and I time to bond ~ giving me time to realize that this relationship was Divinely orchestrated. A patient of Bonni’s knew she was not long to this world, and insisted that Cuddles was meant to go home with Bonni, and no one else would she consider. Cuddles understood this better than all of us.
As Bonni talked to me about the situation, Cuddles strutted with a royal posture as she examined the house like a grand dame. She was fearless as she explored every room and showed signs of gracing us as a family member. But, behind an over stuffed chair, our cat Spirit chuckled at the bold young pup, and just waited to set the Countess straight ~ this was a “cat house.”
Soon, Spirit maneuvered to let Cuddles know who ruled the kingdom. As the royal pup paused by the chair, getting ready to give us her approval, she was ambushed by two boxing cat paws. A quick right, and a left hook right to her highnesses face, startled her at first. Where did that come from, and from whom?
Spirit retreated to her hideaway thinking that was that ~ Cuddles would not dare call the house on Caldwell her home. Au contraire, this pup delighted in the gentle spar, and attributed it to a playful welcome gesture. With that she scampered between Bonni and I to seal the deal by a couple of precious tilts of her head, and by tapping on my foot with her dainty paw. This angel accepted her mission.
Over the years this good-natured pet has spread so much love and joy to our family, friends and the neighborhood. She has performed by singing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, and brought the house down on many occasions. She has been a comforter, when we have suffered emotionally and physically. Everyone that has been in her presence has sensed she was gifted in transforming the hard hearted into hearts that open wide to let their light shine. And, each day she does her magic on me. Always, Cuddles reminds me that love is unconditional, and loyalty, trust, patience, relaxation, friendship and playfulness are necessary in my daily life.
Her greatest joy is sitting on my lap with her red tam, and going to outdoor art festivals. She enjoys the sights, sounds and all the attention ~ plus the opportunity to spread the love. Her sight is almost gone, and I wondered if she would still enjoy such a day. But, I realize the fresh art, the scents of assorted foods, and the love of all attending will still delight her.
With times quick passing, it was hard for us to believe that Cuddles turned twelve last weekend. Her sight has presented challenges and the black hairs are graying. But, with grace and dignity she accepts the aging process, she shows no fear. Yes, still teaching me about life ~ as I age as well. She was my first dog, my protective angel. I have become a better person because of her lead, and will age fearlessly and with dignity as she has portrayed.
During this up coming Christmas, if you are considering a dog ~ take your time. Let them choose you, and know that they are God’s most precious gift, and treat them with your deepest love and kindness. You will be gifted in return ~ only much more than you could ever imagine. My salt and pepper angel taught me so much. But, her greatest gift to me was how to daily relax into the flow of life with grace and love ~ these left the biggest paw prints on the walls of my soul. Thank you God for my ~ Salt and Pepper angel!
Sweet video of Cuddles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVYKT53PqxI&feature=youtu.be