Roald Dahl once said: "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
I didn't realize it at the time, but one of the magics in my life had been in my dog Kona.
We started the year with a perfectly clean bill of health for her at the vet. In fact, the vet couldn't even believe Kona was just two months shy of 14 years of age. He thought she was closer to 8 to 10 at the time. Kona did have a minor limp in her leg but upon examination, the vet couldn't find anything wrong and chalked it up to her simply getting older, maybe experiencing a little arthritis.
By May, it was obvious that a lump was starting to form on her lower leg joint. Took her in to be checked out and they did xrays. The worst was confirmed and she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. My heart dropped. I felt like my world had suddenly come crashing down around me. I attempted to pull myself together and asked the vet what we could do for her. Not much he said. Given her age and arthritis, chemo and / or amputation are not feasible. I asked how long he thought Kona had. At the time he felt maybe six months.
Bone cancer in dogs is a cruel and insidious disease. It creeps up silently, almost benignly, and by the time it whispers hello, it is often too late to do much in the way of treatment, depending on the health and age of the dog. It's often called the slowly exploding bone, and for just reason.
As Kona's lump grew, and it grew rapidly going from a pea size to basically an egg size inside of 2-3 months, she was having more and more difficulty getting around. She would avoid walking as much as possible.
Yet her spirit remained unwavering and strong. She continued to boss the others in the pack around and her appetite remained good even up to the final day.
I hired an animal communicator in July to make sure I was doing everything I possibly could for Kona within my meager resources and power. I was reassured I was doing all I could for her and Kona gave a pretty close time frame as to when she thought she'd be ready to go. It was an illuminating session in other ways too. One that left me feeling a wide range of emotions but mostly relief. Relief that I was doing all I could and that Kona knew how deeply I loved her, to the depths of my soul and beyond. It was also heartbreaking in some ways but these two sessions I had with the AC also allowed Kona and I to communicate in a way that I can't even do justice in putting into words. It made me feel even closer to her and reminded me of my instinctive feeling that Kona and I had been on journeys before. That this was another journey and that we'll have more journeys together in the future. In other words, we were soul mates.
Some people have a hard time understanding the human / animal connection. Some don't think of animals as being sentient or of having souls. But as Anatole France said "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
From the moment I met Kona, there was an instant connection and we shared journey together that lasted just over 14 years. She saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. She was there to comfort me when my grandmother passed away and I was on the floor bawling. She just sat quietly by my side, watching over me, and comforting me.
She was my magic in this life. She opened me to love. Research has shown that people who have been abused, or have experienced trauma in whatever way and have a challenging time connecting with other humans oftentimes connect more readily and easily with animals. Love is a universal and inter species language, emotion, and energy. So however and wherever you can experience love is a magical thing.
She was my rock. She helped me to realize I have the strength to get through whatever I face. And even when I felt I just didn't have any strength left, she was there to remind me that I'm stronger than I think I am and more courageous that I give myself credit for.
I released her to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, July 29th. We had one last session together with the AC a few days prior and Kona let me know it was her time.
Part of unconditionally loving another soul is knowing when to let go, regardless of how much you want them to stay. Kona was terrified when I put her on the table. She was trembling all over. It was as if a part of her didn't want to leave, but she knew she couldn't live in this dimension any longer in the shape she was in. As painful as it was, I pushed aside my own fears and selfishness and I comforted her, talked to her, and maintained eye contact with her until the contents of the syringe mercifully released her from her physical pains and limitations.
It was a powerful, bittersweet, and heartbreaking moment we shared as her soul lifted away and I was left burying my face in her warm fur, feeling like my whole world had just shattered into a million pieces.
Someone posted on their FB wall the other day a picture of a woman with her dog and it said "I wish the Rainbow Bridge had visiting hours."
They do. Any time. In your mind, your heart, your soul, and in your dreams. Any time I want to visit Kona, I go there. I talk to her every day. I also shed tears every day. I miss her every second of every day. But she's here. I may not feel her presence, but I know she's here. She's in my soul and I know she listens to every word I say and I always feel the love between us.
That's the magic of it. Any time you want to visit someone who is no longer around, you can visit them in your mind. Like a book can transport you to places or events, your mind can instantly reunite you with your best friend. Daily, Kona and I take walks on the beach or just sit and just be. Daily I tell her how much I miss her and love her.
She said she'll be back. Next winter some time. Whether one believes in reincarnation or not (I do) I look forward to seeing her again. And what a reunion it'll be!
Until then, I have more than enough love in my heart for my other dogs. Many dogs have had a piece of my heart. But Kona will always have my soul.
I've been blessed beyond measure because of Kona. One doesn't need money to feel rich. With Kona, I felt like the richest woman in the world :-)
See you soon my sweet Kona Bear.
We are all magical. We are all love.
Happy New Year!
P.S. The Dolphin's Wink is now on Facebook!