I knew about Abbey girl for years. She was at a hoarder’s house- a kind woman that developed the insatiable need to rescue quantity of cats and dogs but not be able to give quality of life to any of them. Abbey’s life always made me sad. I did my best to walk her and her best friend , Sonny once a week or more when I lived nearby. This went on for a year or more. She and Sonny would come running up the fence when they saw my truck, and as soon as I got close- she would do a adorable little dance, with a huge smile on her face, and then she would go find her favorite kong and bring it to me. They were both so hungry for attention and adventure. On their walks, they just pulled and pulled to go anywhere and everywhere. I knew they were so bored in the confines of their lonely cold room in the house where they were isolated because of their cat aggression. I knew they both deserved so much more.
Then I moved further away and worried so much about these 2. Now no one would be walking them and they would be left to wallow in loneliness and boredom in that stark back yard. I kept tabs on that home with all those sad animals. Good intentions gone bad- when you save 40 animals but they are all living in squalor- can it really be called Rescuing? Well, after 5 years- the woman was in the process of getting evicted and all the animals were going to get sent to sanctuaries if they did not get homes. I have come to find out that most sanctuaries are under funded and over populated- and that the dogs and cats just live their lives out in big and small cages. My heart broke- so these 3 dogs ( Abbey,Sonny and Mars) from this Richmond home , who had already lived in cages in one aspect or another ( shelter, vet offices, crates, back yard) were now going to be sent to a forever cage. Never to know the warmth of a loving home and owner. No way! I had to do something. Enough was enough!
To make a long story short- After several months, I was able to find Mars an amazing home at a 50 acre winery. Sonny went to my good friend, Beth who is a trainer and Abbey girl came to me and my good friend,Sarah who co fostered her with me. She went back and forth between both of us for 3 months- enjoying pack walks, sleepy couch days with Maddox ( Sarah’s deaf Bulldog) and inch by inch- she wormed herself deep into my heart.
Abbey is a deaf Bull Terrier Mix. and Abbey is magical. She is my tinkerbell- a whimsical being with a Joy in her heart that I have never quite seen in another dog. She is just so so happy with her new life. How do I see this? The way she moves, the way she smiles when she sees me, the way she runs madly to me when she has lost sight of me for a moment, the way she moans when she is situating herself so close to me when we cuddle, the way she sleeps with such contentedness and security in her stout body, the way she is so settled here, the way it feels as if she has been here all along, the way she fits right in with the pack from day one with no strife. This girl is Home Forever.
And then I start to piece together the last several months before my boy passed on March 11, 2011 and I see things. I see the path he was forging- with me, with Abbey and with his soon passing. he wanted me to rescue Abbey because she was a backyard dog just like he was- and she was not living her full potential as a being who deserves committment, love and nurturing. She was waiting for me to bring her home and she was very patient because Benjamin told her it would happen at just the right time for all of us. He said to her ” Mom is going to need a big spark of joy and sunshine in her life because I am moving onto my next journey. I want you to come live with us because I want there to be a buffer in place for Mom when I go. I want you to keep her heart open, I want you to shed light on the darkness that will envelop her in the days after my passing. I want you to give her a reason to smile and feel hopeful. Abbey agreed with much certainty and happiness. She not only was going to have a family, she had a very important job.
When she came home to live with me ( I was still co fostering her), subtle things began to shift at home. Benjamin stayed out in the living room much more at night. When for 10 years, every night when I would turn all the lights off- 15 minutes later he would join me in the bedroom and sleep in his bed beside me. Every single night. Except when Abbey came home- things shifted. it wasn’t because he was jealous. it was because he was allowing her to begin her job of opening my heart more to prepare for the darkness that might try to close it. She climbed into bed with me on day 1- and slept inches away from me every night- with her head right on the next pillow. She became my little girl. Benjamin stayed out on his bed in the living room every night now. I thought it was his arthritis at first. But now I know- he and Abbey had plans and they were unfolding perfectly. He also just accepted her so effortlessly. He welcomed her into this tiny apartment right away. She treated him like the king he was- and now I know it was because he was preparing her for her most important role- to provide the greatest comfort to me as he moved on. To continue to inspire me to Open, when Life sometimes makes me want to close down tightly. She is my muse now. She is my right hand girl. She makes me laugh a lot , amidst the pain of this immense loss. Benjamin knew I needed this medicine to go on.
He brought her to me to not fill his space. he knew that could never be filled. But he brought her to me- to provide the ground for me to feel Joy, Laughter, Aliveness, Happiness and Fun while my heart was broken open. What a gift this beloved son brought. He knew exactly what I would need to wake up every day. Abbey girl is home now and we have a long wonderful journey ahead of us- where she teaches me to find Joy in a thousand different ways.