Shadow - my first shadow - didn’t actually stay by Connor’s side for long.
Perhaps he was – in his too short life - simply destined to always be with whoever needed him most at any given time. You see, after he had worked his magic on Connor - who went on to finish high school and travel and thrive and go to university - he ended up with me.
Poor dog…I wonder if he’d have come with me had he had a choice.
I was such a mess.
Sick, battling chronic headaches from radiation induced swelling, more than a little dependent on narcotics, reeling from the long term effects of steroid therapy (in other words, bloated, fat and feeling ugly), overwhelmed after divorce and after years of dealing with two angry teenage boys, I was ready to leave society, crawl into a hole somewhere, and hide.
So, I kind of did.
Oh, it wasn’t a hole. It was actually, as I mention in my bio, “one of the most beautiful places on the planet”. It was in Northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada; it was remote, and it was in the country, in the quiet.
I knew no other human there. I only had Shadow. Looking back, I think if he hadn’t been there, I’d still be in bed.
But when a large, insistent Golden Retriever decides it’s time for you to get up in the morning-when you see that face and oh, those jowls, smushed up on the bed and oh…those eyes looking up at you telling you he has to pee…there’s nothing to be done but take him out for a walk now, is there?
And so walk we did.
We walked and hiked the back roads and trails around the old home I bought there. We ate fresh blueberries, nibbled wild rose hips and even sampled dandelion greens in the field behind our new sanctuary. (Note: this is how and when I became interested in natural foods and foraging.)
Sam chased rabbits.
I chased Sam.
We also walked the beaches, oh those endless Cape Breton beaches.
Shadow grew strong and…just really big. He learned to body surf in the ocean, chased seagulls and ran free.
I gained strength, as well, and…just got my balance back. I learned to relax, searched for sea glass endlessly, and strolled free with him.
We became beachcombers and beach buddies forever.
And somewhere along the way, I began to heal…