Love where you live!
LA MESA -- So before the election cycle gets into full swing, I would like to share something I am working on. I’m writing a new book and what follows is the introduction to it. My reason for sharing this is that I know that our highest selves are all pretty much the same: we love people who love us, and grieve when we lose people and animals. We love our little town of La Mesa. We feel empathy for people who suffer something we too have suffered. It's how we're wired despite what it might seem like in the heat of election craziness.
My hope for myself this election season is that even when someone I disagree with really, really vexes me I will be able to step back, take the time to reflect on how much greater are our shared ideals than are our disagreements. It’s easy to make things personal, and that’s okay when they are. But when it’s “just” politics or policy, I, for one, am going to be watchful that I keep everything in perspective.
Please feel free to comment if you have any best pet moments. I’m heading off to meet a new rescue in a couple of days. His name is Bear. Life without a dog is just not quite the same. I have a new red collar in my car in case Bear wants to come home with me.
Introduction to STAY: What Dogs Do ©Chris Shea, 2014
When my beloved Newfoundland Ben died on the 2nd of June, 2014, I was stunned by the power of grief that came over me. After he left, I lay my entire weight on his black furry body, warm in the June sun out in the cool green grass of the park outside my house. Within seconds of his last breath, a neighbor’s bell on the balcony rang out like a school bell despite three facts: the bell never rings, there was no wind, and no one was ringing it.
Was Ben telling me something? No death for good boys? Only soaring around the park without the discomfort of old bones and joints? “Home in time for supper, mom!” Was that what the pealing of the bell was for?
I tried to nap later in the afternoon, but sleep was somewhat elusive. I held onto and breathed deeply the fragrance of one of his “babies,” a stuffed bunny he had only recently taken off my bed and claimed as his own. It smelled like Ben. It still does, if only faintly. I have not given up that habit yet, sleeping with Gray Bunny and maybe never will.
The expression “reeling from grief” fit the state of my broken heart. I looked on the internet for books about the loss of a dog who was like a soulmate. But finding nothing, I decided perhaps once I got over my deep sadness, I would write something. Something about how the heart of a dog never dies because no dog is constituted to leave his owner. The loyalty, affection, intelligence and courage, to say nothing of the humor, companionship, mischief and feel of a dog must be immortal.
I know there will be people who think I am turning my dog and all good dogs into something they are not, but I know I am right. Everything in my heart and soul tells me that it is the nature of a dog to STAY.
Chris Shea is the owner of Life Sighs, an inspirational card shop on La Mesa Boulevard in the Village. She writes On La Mesa when the spirit moves her.