Archive for Animals Posts

published in Animals, Death, Dogs, Grief, Life After Loss, Pets by Maryanne | July 16, 2019 | No Comment

Celebrate Good Times – Saying Goodbye to Sadie Pope

 

“Our animal friends teach us
More than we could have expected…
And love us
More than we could have hoped…

…That’s why we miss them
More than we could have imagined.”

– Anon

“I don’t have good news,” the vet said, after examining the x-ray of Sadie’s left wrist.

And in my heart of hearts I knew what news what coming…

Bone cancer.

Oddly enough, it was an ear infection I’d taken Sadie in to see the vet on Friday June 21st, 2019. Although I’d noticed her wrist had been swollen for the past two weeks, I hadn’t taken her to the vet to have it checked because…well, because deep down, I guess I knew something bigger was brewing and I didn’t want to face it.

But for me not to have marched Sadie into the nearest vet at the mere hint of an ailment was very uncharacteristic. That dog received better healthcare than most people on the planet.

In fact, because of her severe arthritis, as well as injuries from relentless ball-chasing, Sadie had been to so many different vets throughout the Western States & Canada that her regular vet teased me that the only way he was able to keep track of where I was at any given time was by the Sadie-updates sent to him by other vets…from Okotoks, Alberta to Newport, Oregon to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Anyway, after telling me the news that Sadie had both a tumor and a fracture on her left wrist, the vet laid out my limited options:

#1) Cancel my trip to Equador and stay home with Sadie as she succumbed to a very painful and fast-spreading cancer.

#2) Go on my trip and leave Sadie with her caregiver and take the (highly likely) chance of Sadie going downhill on his watch (without me).

#3) Put Sadie down before leaving on my trip.

I chose the third option and, according to the vet, by doing so both Sadie & I were likely spared an extremely difficult – and painful – month or two (she likely wouldn’t have lived longer than that with her diagnosis).

And so…at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday June 22nd, I bid farewell to my beloved buddy. Sadie’s passing was peaceful…for her. But I’m not going to lie…for me, it was excruciating. As I sat on the floor of the vet clinic, petting Sadie and comforting her as she prepared to pass between life and death, I could feel the waves of hurt surging up from deep within myself. It was brutal.

And I just went through this with my dog, Soda, five years ago…and Sable three years before that! But as Shakespeare said, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

After Sadie had passed, I sobbed my home, threw my suitcase in the CRV and headed to my friend, Lynne’s, place in Abbotsford – extremely thankful I didn’t have to spend a single second more in the house without my Sadie.

But here’s the amazing thing: although Sadie’s sudden death was akin to having a Band-Aid ripped off the old heart, the emotional aftermath – the grief – was surprisingly…brief.

One day I was scratching Sadie behind the ear as she passed away; the next day I was on a plane to Equador. In hindsight, it was as if the Universe had airlifted me – literally – out of the grieving process. Maybe I’ve wasted too much precious time over the past two decades grieving?

At any rate, when Lynne and I joined up with our tour group in Quito, Equador, we hit the ground running (well, okay…walking slowly due to the high altitude). And in the days to follow, I was too damn busy having fun, laughing, seeing new sites, experiencing new adventures, eating new food and meeting new people to be sad.

And the more I thought about Sadie, the more I realized how silly it was to be sad. She’d had an incredible life (a heck of a lot better than the flea-ridden dogs in Equador, let me tell you!). Our five years together had been chock-full of fun, adventure, road trips…and many, many orange & blue chuck-it balls.

Then, one morning at breakfast a few days into our trip, Charlie (who put the tour together), said to the group something to the effect of: “This trip is a celebration of life.”

Clunk went the coin as the truth hit me like a ton of bricks: I needed to be celebrating Sadie’s life versus mourning her death. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing…or trying to, anyway.

Now that I’m back home again and have had a few days to be in the house without her, I admit I miss her terribly. But then I look at a photo of her and see her big grin (on the rare occasion she didn’t have a ball stuffed in her mouth) and I can’t help but smile myself 🙂

In celebrating Sadie’s life, here are 3 things that stand out the most for me:

#1) Her joy…she was always smiling!

#2) Her love of new adventure (which made her the perfect road trip companion).

#3) Her relentless focus. Sadie the retriever took retrieving very seriously. Some have called her ball-obsession a bit OCD. But Sadie was born to retrieve and by God, that’s exactly what she did, day in and day out. May we all learn from Sadie’s intense focus. I sure have.

Here are some of my favourite photos:

Sadie & MA in Utah

 

Bring back the Expos!

 

Always in style…

 

Happy times together, California

 

The one time Sadie WASN’T smiling (or holding a ball in her mouth) because someone was holding her dinner HOSTAGE!

 

The look on Kitty Meow’s face is priceless…oh the indignity of a DOG not letting me in my own home!

 

Serious Sadie in her Russian hat

 

Relaxing by the fire…

 

Happy campers!

I was laughing out loud, putting these fabulous photos into this blog…hooray!

Take care and have a wonderful week! I would love to hear from you about your beloved pets 🙂 

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Animals, Intuition, Souls, Spirituality by Maryanne | June 7, 2019 | 6 Comments

Message from Intuitive Massage: STAY ON PATH

 

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

“Lynx is the guardian of the secrets and, more importantly, the knower of the secrets.”

– Totem & Power Animals, A-Z

Have you ever heard of a soul-massage?

I hadn’t. But when I was asked recently if I’d be interested in receiving a complimentary “soul-care intuitive massage” and writing a blog about my experience, I said sure!

I didn’t really know what I was in for…but I figured it was likely going to be a positive, relaxing experience. Well, I got a lot more than I bargained for. But when it comes to matters of the soul, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Yet again, I was reminded there is so much more to this life – and to us – than meets the eye.

The massage was by Lisa Meikle, founder of Bodacious Living by Lisa, a beautiful boutique spa in Nanaimo, BC.

Lisa Meikle

Before our session began, I asked to use the bathroom and Lisa pointed it out to me. But when I went to slide open the pocket door to go inside, the door wouldn’t move. I told Lisa the door must be locked.

“It can’t be,” she said. “There’s no one in there to lock it.”

I tried the door again. Still locked. Lisa came over and tried the door herself.

“Well,” she said. “That’s odd.”

To which I smiled and said, “Maybe I’m being locked out…spiritually, I mean? Maybe I’m here today hoping to find answers that I’m not meant to know yet?”

After using the upstairs bathroom, we began our session. It was in two parts: the first part was a meditation and intuitive reading in a pretty little room – a sacred space – complete with candles and cushions. Tranquil, serene, peaceful…that’s what I felt the moment I pulled back the curtain and walked in.

I put my glass of water on the floor in front of a sculpture of the Divine Feminine and Masculine then sat down. Lisa asked me if, for the intuitive readings, would I prefer to pull cards from decks about goddesses, angels and/or animal spirit guides?

I shrugged. “Doesn’t matter to me.”

“Let’s do goddesses and spirit animals,” she suggested. “I don’t use the animal cards very often, but I am feeling that we need to with you.”

She placed several different decks of cards in front of me, to pull cards from, then left the room. I pulled a few cards (but didn’t turn them over) then just sat quietly, waiting.

When Lisa entered the room again, she walked over towards the door near me but didn’t see my water glass on the floor and kicked it. The glass shattered. It was a water glass…it should have broken into a few pieces at most. Not this glass – there were tiny shards everywhere.

“I am SO sorry!” I said. “I shouldn’t have put that on the floor where you couldn’t see it.”

“No, no, no,” she said. “It’s not your fault. I just…it’s just weird, that’s all.”

“Do you know what a broken glass can signify?” I asked. “Spiritually, I mean.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“It’s supposed to be a portal to the other side,” I said. “When a glass breaks, apparently that means the spirit world is very near.”

“Ahh…” she said with a smile. “This is going to be a very interesting session.”

And it was. The next 90-minutes flew by and most of what Lisa read to me resonated strongly – either for personal or professional reasons. For the purpose of this blog, I will just share the information pertaining to the animal spirit card I pulled: Lynx.

Apparently, Lynx is the keeper of secrets. When Lynx is acting as our animal totem, we will receive guidance on which secrets to reveal – and when. Likewise, there are times when we are not meant to know something because it is not in our best interest.

After the intuitive reading and discussion, I had the actual massage and it was lovely! The purpose of having a massage right after chatting about intuitive matters is to help the ideas discussed really sink in…to our psyche.

I left Lisa’s spa feeling relaxed, focused and significantly calmer. I also felt tremendous clarity on a few matters I had been grappling with, mainly to do with my writing. Some questions – pertaining to my personal life – remained unanswered.

But my experience didn’t end there. The next day, I was driving in my car, flipping through radio stations and I heard a woman telling a story. The woman was First Nations and she was telling the interviewer about the time she was walking down a mountain trail and could sense an animal was watching her…and walking huge circles around her. She couldn’t see the animal nor hear it, but she knew it was there. The animal finally revealed itself to her, from a distance…and it was a lynx!

I stared at my car radio…kay, that is weird.

The woman then told the interviewer that after realizing a lynx had been circling her, she practically ran down the rest of the mountain. And at the very bottom, she found a sign that read: STAY ON THE PATH! DO NOT LEAVE THE PATH! THIS IS AVALANCHE COUNTRY.

I looked at my car radio again, even more weirded-out.

Then, I kid you not, the woman said to the interviewer: “I knew it was a very special experience I’d had but I didn’t know what the lesson or message was. I still don’t. I’m not even sure why I told you that story…on the radio yet!”

“That’s because the message is for ME!” I yelled at my car radio, like a lunatic.

And what, exactly, is the message?

That I need to smarten up and STAY ON MY PATH. I know what I am here to do – as a writer and as a person – but I need to stay super focused and do it. I can’t keep wandering off the path…and I know perfectly well what that path is. Lynx is always circling…there to help me (as a writer/storyteller) determine which secrets need to be kept and which ones need to be revealed – and when.

As for the answers to my personal questions? Well, just like the locked bathroom door…the answers will be revealed to me when the time is right time – and not a moment sooner. But in the meantime, I need to stay on the damn path!

Now…whether this was, in fact, my “Lynx spirit guide” communicating to me – through the radio (!) – doesn’t matter. What matters is that I got the message.

And at the risk of coming across as flakier than a Jamaican patty 🙂 I’m sharing it in this blog because it’s a good reminder to all of us to stay on our path. It is SO easy to get overcome by the waiting avalanche of distractions (such as the damn phone) that can keep us from focusing on – and appreciating – all that really matters in our lives.

For more information on Bodacious Living by Lisa, please click here.

If you’re in the Nanaimo area and are interested in receiving a soul-massage, I highly recommend it. Lisa also offers a wide variety of other spa services such as facials (I had one a few weeks after my soul-massage and it was delightful), pedicures and manicures. Lisa also has a great selection of skin-care products available.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here

published in Animals, Change, Decision Making, Dogs, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized by Maryanne | February 27, 2019 | 12 Comments

Gypsy Caravan Slows to Halt

 

Loading up the CRV (then unloading it again & leaving half of it behind at my bro’s, of course, because it wouldn’t all FIT), preparing to leave AB, Jan 2019

“Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.”

– Anon

Well…it had to happen eventually, I suppose.

The Pink Gazelle Gypsy Bohemian Road Trip Warrior & her Fearless and Furry (but rather lame at the moment) Retriever Sidekick are having to, dare I say…put down roots.

Here’s how it all went down:

Sadie and I left Alberta at the end of January. I loaded up my 2001 CRV (yes, the one with 350,000 km) and staggered across multiple mountain passes. And I do mean staggered…the CRV did fine; the retriever not so much. She literally WAS staggering along on three legs, trying to keep weight off her injured shoulder. Being held captive in the back of the vehicle for a few days was probably the best thing for her.

We arrived in our VRBO in Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island in early Feb and I promptly got into a spectacular argument with one of the neighbours. This decidedly unwelcome welcome to the neighbourhood was countered by another neighbour arriving at my door with a plate of sandwiches and goodies. Life in a nutshell, right there 🙂

Then the snowstorm hit:

And I got to thinking…it might be time to revise my plans?

What the plan had been was that I was going to Australia for 2 weeks in March to visit family. Then Sadie & I were going to head to Eastern Canada to house sit for family in Ottawa.

But as the snow piled up outside my window and my wounded retriever softly snored, I admitted to myself that she was not going to be sufficiently healed by March, to be left in the care of others. Nor was she was likely going to be up to a cross-continent road trip in April.

So what did I do? I sighed, reached over and picked up a quote card from my “Intuitive Insights” quote card sets. This is what it said:

Ahhh…yes. I smiled, leaned back and had another sip of hot chocolate. And it hit me: I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The snowstorm and subsequent road conditions were forcing me to sit STILL (very difficult for a gypsy gazelle), be quiet, listen to what my soul was trying to tell me…and then act accordingly.

Two days later, I calmly made the decision to postpone my Australia trip to the fall. I then found and booked another inexpensive little VRBO for the month of March (just north of Qualicum Bay). Then I contacted the bank about a mortgage, called a realtor and started to look at homes & neighbourhoods in the Qualicum Beach area.

Within a week, I’d found our adorable new home AND a new (to me) CRV with low kilometres!

Sadie and I move in to our new digs at the end of March. No muss, no fuss…it all just clicked into place when the time was right.

Here are 5 lessons I’m taking from these transformational past 3 weeks:

1. Sometimes we just have to STOP, be quiet and make the decisions we need to make.

2. We know what we need to do. We just need to be quiet and listen to what our soul is trying to tell us what the next step needs to be.

3. Sometimes all that is needed is to make one decision or change…and then everything else just clicks into place. It’s almost like the Universe is waiting for us to take that first step.

4. The time comes when we reach an age (15 for some, 50 for others) where we finally realize that listening to the chatter of other people’s well-meaning advice & opinions may do more to confuse than clarify.

5. The only thing worse than making a bad decision is making no decision.

I hope there is something in this blog & lessons learned that resonates with you.

I will share pics of my new home & vehicle in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my time here in Qualicum Bay:

Sadie (left) & her look-alike friend, Belle

P.S. Sadie is doing much better! She continues to improve, slowly but surely, and is going for longer and longer walks. Why…it’s almost as if her shoulder injury was part of the plan 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here

If you would like to order the (dare I say magic?) “Intuitive Insights for Soul-Inspired Living” Quote Cards ($7.95 per set), please visit our new store on Etsy!