Today, a small spaniel crossed from this world. 

We called her Annie, but the universe knows her as Love. 

We are called to bear witness suffering, and we are likewise called to alleviate suffering whenever we can, however we can.  This has always been her lesson, and she continues to teach it even in death.  Saying goodbye to her is one of the hardest things I have ever done, she knew that.  Her body was worn out, sick and wracked with pain.  We needed to release each other, for we both have more work to do – work she must continue from above, beyond, and through us.

 She knew deeply about hard goodbyes, she knew about cruel abandonments – she was a dog of 9-11.  And she was my friend.  Sister to my son, daughter to my husband, four footed grandpuppy and a registered ‘therapy’ dog who participated in Animal Assisted Activities, Animal Assisted Education, Animal Assisted/Facilitated Therapies and Animal Assisted Crisis Response.  But she never cared about labels; she loved everyone, everywhere, anytime.  Her ‘alert’ was to go up to someone, stand sideways (technically it’s called splitting behavior – sometimes placing a paw on their foot) and look at me with a big open mouth smile and then turn that smile to the person.  Her alerts made you feel present in the moment immediately. 

I do not believe that dogs provide or give unconditional love, but I do believe that they provide us with access to feeling unconditionally loved.  She did that daily.

My heart is broken open into millions of pieces, but it is not shattered.  For I know each piece is surrounded by love.  I am so thankful and honored to have been her student even as I was her trainer, to have been her handler even as she was my partner.  But most of all, I am grateful to have been her friend.


About eteal

Reverend Teal is a minister, chaplain, artist and storyteller. She specializes in the human-animal bond and all its healing aspects.
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5 Responses to Annie

  1. Marlene Truesdell says:

    I don’t know you and I didn’t know Annie…but I do understand, all to well. Peace for you and in your heart.

  2. Debra Morwood says:

    Elizabeth – my heart breaks with yours. Sending you love and surrounding you, your family and Annie with healing as she makes her way to the Rainbow Bridge to await all of you. Love and big hugs from Texas – Debra

  3. Annie and Skye are probably up by the Pearly Gates gossiping about us, and recalling the 1st official day at the Pier “Don’t I remember you? Didn’t we meet under the linen of Table #3 in front of the Muffin buffet?!) . Annie was one of thse very special dogs brought to us by God to do very special work. She will be sorely missed by many. My heart goes out to you in this time of sorrow.

  4. Lori Coleman says:

    Annie will forever have a piece of your heart. Her love knew no bounds and because of that, you will still know her love, that she will freely share whenever you choose to think back on all that she is/was/and will be to those who were blessed to know her. All my love to you and the the family who shared her with the world…

  5. Thank you for sharing Annie. What a dog! I will keep her tucked in my heart alongside Rosie. We were lucky to have had such amazing beings in our lives. If there’s a dog heaven, maybe they’ll be working side by side.

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