It was a dark and stormy night…well, at least a dark and really cold one. So dark that I had a difficult time finding the driveway to the home I was supposed to visit. I was on my way, my pug Waffles, in tow to conduct an interview for an upcoming article in Upper Valley Life Magazine on “pet love” -- the interesting services we will pursue for our pets. This interview was with a woman who does animal reiki and while she had provided me with her address, this time my GPS failed me. When I finally found the building, I was equally perplexed on how to get inside and nervous as I have never brought one of my pets to an interview before. Waffles had accompanied me to one of our writers’ workshops with Jon Katz and was on her best behavior then so when the interviewee suggested I bring her along and allow her to try some reiki on her I agreed.
Waffles and I roamed the perimeter of the fence, but I was unable to figure out how to open it so we eventually climbed a long snow-covered slope to the woman’s front door. No one uses the front door here in New England – never. She opened the front door and said, “I can’t believe you braved the front door!” I looked at her and immediately realized that I knew her. She had mentioned that she had once worked at the Upper Valley Humane Society, the place where I frequently took my former pug Mira for obedience classes. Vader would accompany us and everyone liked him so much they would allow him to walk around inside the class. He was old by then, 9 or 10, chubby, but not so old that he didn’t enjoy taking part in the class. I think he liked to show off to Mira that he already knew sit, and stay and come. But he also had a calming effect on some of the other dogs and he became a favorite with all the teachers and volunteers. I think we took the class four times earning four different certificates just because Mira and Vader enjoyed themselves so much and people enjoyed them. It turns out that the woman I had come to interview was one of the assistants in the class, a woman with as calming an influence as Vader. I could easily understand how she could be successful doing energy work.
No sooner had I declared “I think I know you,” then she said, “Maybe. Our you Vader’s mom?”
“Yes,” I replied and while I started to tell her he had passed, she was already saying, “Oh my gosh, I was just telling someone about him today.”
Vader and Mira had taken the last class at least four years ago. He has been dead for at least a year, but this woman not only remembered him but also had been talking about him that very day. She volunteers at a local library and one of the children there told her he had a black pug. She said she knew a black pug and told him about Vader. “Vader was quite a presence!” she said to me.
He must have made an impression for her to remember him so many years later. We conducted the interview, met one of her Lhasa apsos, had a reiki session and reminisced about Mira and Vader. To learn about the Reiki, you’ll have to read the article when it comes out (I’ll be sure to post it), but suffice it to say Waffles and I left calm and happy even though she managed to have a huge accident on the woman’s floor. She claimed not to mind and I believed her. She was a true dog person, I knew.
“Let’s keep in touch,” I said on the way out. “We dog people are our own tribe.”
“Yes,” she said. “I love being part of a pack.”
So do I especially one that shares my memories, sorrow and joy.