I for sure love my dogs, all of them, past and present.
But love is a funny thing. For me it is how my dogs make me feel when I am around them.
Sometimes it is an easy love, where our personalities and energies mesh so perfectly it feels seamless, as one.
Other times, well it is love in bits and pieces, but not in every moment, or every day. It is a combining of two living beings that see the world quite differently, and are trying to find a common something to connect to each other. Not an obvious love, not a straightforward love, but a purposeful kind of love. And well worth it.
And then there is Franny. Love? I don’t know. Dark, judgmental, deep, soul kicking, what are you made of kind of love if that is love.
With all of my dogs that have died, I don’t have any regrets, I feel that we lived our lives together as they should have been, some mistakes for sure, but a relationship well lived, and a feeling of love remains in my heart space, tangible most of the time.
And then there is Franny. I want a mulligan, just one, and it is her.
I want a second chance with Franny, I want her back. And I have this feeling that it is not me being selfish, but rather mutual.
It isn’t for the soft squishy reasons you might be thinking. It isn’t about cuddling and loving, and sharing sweet moments together. We still have work to do together, and me to apologize for her life that I so misunderstood at the time.
She came into my life when I needed her but was not prepared for her. I for sure was prepared for a dog, just not Franny. She was my wake up call for everything about myself, my life, and what was to come. Love? Hardly. She challenged me, me as a person.
Who are you?
What do you believe?
Do you stand firmly on this earth?
How do you know?
Are you sure about that?
What if you did do that?
Why are you not certain?
How fast can you process this information?
Are you really being honest?
Do you really believe what you feel?
Can you accept what others cannot?
Can you commit, really commit?
And the challenges kept coming, every single day.
When you live in a human world with human things around you, and humans doing human things, therein lies the culture clash that we faced on a daily basis. When I was with her I saw the world through primal eyes, I heard the world in primitive tones, I felt raw and vulnerable, and I learned about my instincts. A very dark re-wilding of sorts.
She made me feel humble, confused, and angry most of the time. She stirred so many emotions in me on a daily basis, there was never a feeling of neutral, ever. I knew I stood in the presence of real power, the kind of power that is concealed to those casually looking around, but nonetheless it is there and you can feel it. But so much of this was missed because I was so buried in kid world, wife world, work world, dog world, competition this and that. Then there was Franny looking me squarely in the eyes and asking me the harder questions.
There was a day many years into our relationship that we were with each other, and I am not sure what we were doing, but I have never felt such a deep connection to any living being, and it is still there. Love? I’m not sure.
Franny brought to the surface the uncomfortable truths about me and my life and asked me to live them in the open, unapologetic to the world, as she lived her life.
She saw me for who I really was, that place that only animals can access, and she was okay with that.
She is my one dog, that one living being in my life, that has left a giant void with her absence.
She was energy, raw force, life, presence.
Love? Or is she a very part of who I have become?