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Tuesday, October 18 2011

I have said before that if you're lucky, you get one really great dog in your lifetime - one dog that becomes so entangled in the fiber of your being that he becomes a part of your soul.  Such was my Navarre. Our adventures continue even after his death . . .


When's the last time you went through your junk closet?  Don't lie to me!  I know you have one! All sane people have one. If you don't, then your life is waaaay too organized and you probably don't read this blog anyway because the sheer unorganized, wackiness of bouncing between barn flies at home and maggots at work would drive you nuts. (but I digress . . .)

I'm one of those cruel, completely insane, people who puts my pets in Halloween costumes and photographs them. (As I explained to my Border Collie yesterday, it's a small price to pay for room, board, and lifetime health care.) While rummaging through the closet in my office to look for costumes purchases ten years ago, I stumbled upon this:

It was packed on a shelf, behind old riding boots that I can't wear anymore. One would have thought that like the board game Jumanji, I would have heard drums, but instead, I heard a heart beat.  I'm not sure if it was mine, or his . . .  but as soon as I saw it, I scaled over pieces of old dog crates, wrapping paper, and Christmas ornaments to reach it.

A moment before I cracked the rusty seal, I started to cry.  I knew what was in that can . . . and I thought I'd lost it. The lid groaned as I popped it open.  And there it was . . . there he was.

And I stood there and sobbed.  I cried and I cried and I cried.  Poor Ranger the Blue Heeler rushed into the room to save me from whatever evil had sprung forth from the closet.  But as I sat in the floor sobbing, I hugged Ranger and assured him that these were Happy Tears.  (a concept completely beyond Ranger's scope)

In 2002 I lost my Soul Dog. I was in district court when I got the call.  He was down and couldn't get up, but he held on until I got home.  We put him in the back of my 4Runner and I climbed in with him. He was barely conscious, but he laid his great head on my chest, and as my tears soaked through my shirt, I swear that I felt it . . . I felt him . . . soaking into, slipping into, my soul.

And I was okay with that.  I missed him horribly.  I still do.  He wasn't a perfect dog, but he was my Soul Dog. For years when I brushed him, I saved the hair.  SOME DAY I was going to get that hair to someone who could spin it into yarn and make a scarf for me so that I could wear my Soul Dog.  I saved his hair for years.  Then I bought his littermate, and I saved her hair too.  Over time, and tervs, the stashes of hair became a bother.  I'm not sure when, over the 12 years, I stopped keeping the hair, but I did.  I even started throwing hair away. Then I lost him, and by that time, I couldn't find my stashes of his hair.

I mourned that dog like no other, and still do. He didn't just touch my soul, he became a part of my soul. And that's why I found myself sitting on the office floor, holding a rusty tin of dog hair, and sobbing.

I am determined now that Some Day has arrived. The dog and the hair have stood the test of time.  God gave me a special gift in that dog. Now it's time to pull that lost tin of hair out of the closet and spin it into yarn. I know that several of you deal with wool sheep.  Can anyone point me in the direction of someone who can spin Belgian Tervuren hair? There's a lot of it; it's clean; and it's precious, so very, very precious.


 I posted this adventure last fall, and several readers graciously offered to spin my treasure into yarn, but as so often happens, life overwhelmed me again, so I packed the hair away and waited "until life slowed down." 

Unfortunately my life never slows down.  So my treasure sat in the closet, waiting.

And then a most wonderful angel, Sue in Wyoming, wrote to tell me that she was finally being forced to slow down from a lifetime of sheep ranching.

"Send me your Soul Dog hair," she said.

It was perfect, for although Sue and I have never met in person, like that dog, she has touched my soul.  She just "gets" it. Sue looks at the world through a lifetime of living on the land that has developed a deep respect for life and nature. And she knows there are more "things between Heaven and Earth" than most people realize. Each time I receive an email or note from Sue, I burst into tears as I read her words, for they are so beautiful.

So I packaged up my Soul Dog hair and sent it to Sue, trusting that she understood how valuable it was.  And she did.

She spun the hair into yarn and is currently knitting a sweater, but yesterday this arrived in the mail.

My head will be warm this winter!

She included a package of sage, and the most beautiful guardian angel card that read:

"Whatever you do,
wherever you go,
deep in your heart,
may you always know
you're forever within
your guardian angel's sight,
surrounded by love
and heavenly light."

Sue is an angel, and I thank God for allowing our paths to cross. 

Each time I wear this I will remember my Soul Dog, and the angel who brought us back together.



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  9 Comments  |  Email
Methinks that your heart, even more than your head, will be warm this winter! What a lovely gift! Truly Navarre will be watching over you.
Posted by EvenSong on 10/18/2011 - 03:13 PM
Wow,,,,I remember the first post when you found the tin and I cried then...well, not a dry eye today either. This really pulled at my heart strings...yes, Navarre will be with you throughout the winter and always.
Posted by Letha on 10/19/2011 - 12:28 PM
As Sue promised, the arrival of the earwarmer brought a cold snap, so I took it to work with me yesterday. (just in case I found myself working a murder in the cold wind) My co-workers saw it, commented that it was beautiful, but when they found out it was dog hair, they just shook their heads and said, "We wonder about you." (grin) They just have never had a Soul Dog. (poor things)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/19/2011 - 12:47 PM
For me, it was a cat. Stutz (as in Stutz Bearcat), a purebred Scottish Fold who just walked up to my door one day. He was with me for 21 of his 22 years, through marriage, divorce, a major cross country move and everything else. I cried like I never will again when he left me. I absolutely know what you mean by "Soul Dog." Some relationships go beyond the bounds of bodies or species or whatever. Good for you with your hat. I wish I could have a Stutz hat! :)
Posted by Valerie on 10/19/2011 - 01:45 PM
Sadly my soul dog, Sooty, was a smooth coated mixed breed so there was no hair to save. She was, and always will be, a part of my soul. Some dogs leave such deep paw prints on your heart they can never be obscured, no matter how many dogs follow their path. I also cried with you when you found Navarre's hair and cried again today over the beauty of this post. Wear your hat in good health and be warmed by his memory.
Posted by Virginia on 10/19/2011 - 03:15 PM
Oh my, what a TOUCHING story. I've boo hooed myself silly. As you know, I lost one of my soul dogs, Gidget, this summer. 8 beautiful years together we shared. She was my constant, my work partner, my friend and my family. I just wish I would have thought to save her hair when I brushed her.
Posted by Shawna on 10/19/2011 - 11:48 PM
Lily, my Border Collie, has come closest to touching my heart like Navarre. And perhaps by the time she is 12, she will be a part of my soul. She doesn't have enough hair to spin though, and Other Half has asked me what I will do when I lose Lily. I thought on it and decided that I will cremate her and have her ashes turned into one of those neat crystal pendants like I saw at a dog show. Then she can be close to my heart forever. (those companies will clearly make money off saps like me!) On the other hand, I am blessed to have had one Soul Dog. If God blesses me with two, who am I to call it sappy?
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/20/2011 - 11:40 AM
ok my eyes are all watery - and I NEVER cry! thank you so much, and thank you to Sue - small words that don't begin to express the gratitude for your sharing of this story.
Posted by clairesmum on 10/20/2011 - 08:58 PM
After reading this, I jumped up and started digging thru my junk cupboard to see if I could find the bag of hair I had saved from my favorite dog, a Terv also. Alas during one of my rare organizational moments I gave up my dream of finding someone to weave it. I'm glad your dream came true. Enjoy!
Posted by Sharon on 10/22/2011 - 08:44 AM

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