Now anyone who really and truly knows me, can surely attest to the fact that my number one weakness in this world are puppies, so the mere thought of two week old puppies whose eyes were just opening, coming into Mountain Haven was so exciting that my heart took a leap and behind my mask I had (and still have) a huge smile. You see, there is something so magical, sweet and soothing about just being still and sharing space with a mamma dog as she cares for her puppies. I know this to be one of the best feelings, and I couldn’t wait for Lisa to experience this. This is totally different than when we have 8 - 10 week old rambunctious, joyful puppies. To be experiencing the love of mamma and her babies, and having her allow you to be in this space with her, to care for her, to provide for her, be still and present with her, does so much for your soul, so much for your heart. I’ve always believed that dogs are great teachers as they live on an emotional level. If we honor that, and tune in, we stand to gain so much.
I left Lisa in the room with the pups for a bit and then came back in to find her whispering softly to Viola, the mamma as she pet her so gently. Viola let out a soft sigh and settled in snuggling with her babies and feeling loved. Lisa looked up at me and said “I love them”, I could see she had tears in her eyes. I said, “I know, isn’t it great..”
This weekend was going to be a rough one for Lisa, and we all knew it, and to top it off, it was her birthday. How do you celebrate a birthday for one who doesn’t feel like celebrating anything? Someone who carries so much pain, loss and grief? Well, in all honesty, you don’t. You just be present. That is the best we can give of ourselves.
As the day progressed I checked in on Viola frequently only to find my friends sitting with her, all with the same look on their faces, a calm and softness that we all haven’t seen in so long.
My husband came in to see the pups, and he melted as well, smiling and snuggling the little ones, as we all tried to figure out what these lab pups might be mixed with. Marc also checked out the five 10 week old pups that were passed out from playing and wrestling, and he saw one in particular that bore an uncanny resemblance to one of his beloved dogs that had passed away years ago. I saw the same softness come to his face.
At the end of the day, everyone’s cell phones had a full gallery of sleeping puppy photos and videos to share on social media and exchange with each other.
We have all been struggling so much these past months, despite the jokes about masks, extra poundage, much needed haircuts and the like, we have been grappling with so much. Personal struggles, fears, and worry. But for some hours, on a sunny Sunday in May, there was a sharing of calm, a gentle sigh of comfort, and the quiet joy of just being present.
I wish this feeling for all of you.
Xoxo - Janine