Hi, all. I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while, not only because I’m a restless soul, but also because I lost my best buddy last week. Taylor was my doggie companion for 14 years, give or take, and a wiser spirit I don’t think I’ve met. She let me know it was time for her to go, and as painful as it was, I let her.

So I’ve spent the past few days thinking quite a bit about her and the silly things she used to do, and about trips we’ve taken all over the country, and time we’ve spent just watching moonrise in the evenings. I found her all those years ago sitting by a highway off the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico, on my way home to Albuquerque from a camping trip to Mt. Taylor (hence her name). I didn’t realize that when I stopped the car that day and coaxed her over, that it would be the start of another journey for both of us. Those of you who have animal companions in your lives, I’m sure, can understand what I’m talking about.

My friends all tell me that Taylor picked me and if that’s the case, then I am indeed fortunate, because I learned quite a bit from her about life, living, and finding moments in each day to treasure.

She taught me peace and patience — two things that I’ve had trouble finding, not realizing that these are things we all have within, and it’s just a matter of remembering where we put them.

She also taught me to take time for all of life’s nuances, including play time, rest, and work. Finding a balance is the key to living well. That’s something else I learned from her. And she would remind me when it was time to take a break from work and do some playing.

And when it was time to get some rest.

And when it was just time to be goofy.

She was with me at several important crossroads in my life, often proving to be a constant, and something that helped keep me grounded and forging ahead on whichever road we took. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having such a wonderful buddy along for the ride. I really miss her, but that’s the nature of some journeys. And that, too, she taught me.

Happy Día de los Muertos, and may the road rise to meet you in your own travels, wherever you go.

11 thoughts on “Journeys

  1. So sorry for your loss. I too have felt this pain of losing my dog. I feel blessed I had my Ginger and then Teddy for so long. They both were a very big part of my life and I still miss them.

  2. Aw, Andi, I am so sorry to hear about Taylor’s passing. I know how much she meant to you and understand how those furry ones in our lives are so much a part of us. She was lucky that she had you and you, for sure, were lucky that she was in your life. Thanks for the reflections. They reminded me of some dear ones I have lost and as I am on the road at the moment, made me wish I had my two here to hug and be with. Peace, friend.

  3. How beautiful. Yes, you were each other’s guiding spirits and soul mates. I found a photo of Taylor, I think. I’ll be sending it along directly.

  4. Peace, Taylor. You too, Andi. I don’t know what it is about these critters, but they just get into our souls.

  5. Wonderful tribute, Andy. Wonderful pictures. What a wise sweetheart there. We are so blessed when these friends find us and make us part of their lives. May your own journey to healing be filled with the love Taylor felt for you her whole life. Peace.

  6. Ah, Andi, I just read this. Thank you for sending the link to me. What a beauty Taylor was. What a marvelous post. Our girls are up there romping together. We had them both around the same amount of time. Both rescues (BTW: bless you for adopting her, and vise versa). A friend once asked me if I had a teacher (a Guru). My first knee jerk reaction was “No!” After giving it some thought I took it back, “Yes, I do. My dog.” Never was more sincere about anything. Big hug to you! Paulette

    • I still miss her. And I think that she found me, actually, because I had things to learn and she was the teacher. And things converged on that July day in 1996 when I saw her sitting on the side of the highway, waiting. Just sitting. And waiting. I pulled over, because she didn’t act like any rez dog I’d seen, which always had places to go and things to do. No, she was just sitting there. So I got out of my car and I called her over and she came slinking over and I squatted because she was really timid and I didn’t want to scare her and she climbed up into my lap and licked my face. So I put her in the back of my car and she curled up on the floor behind the passenger seat. She was half-starved, weighed about 20 pounds (seriously underweight) and she had a tapeworm. I bathed her that night, fed her, and took her to the vet the next day and got her shots and tapeworm medicine and got her healthy over the next few weeks so I could get her spayed and then we went to doggie training classes. After that, she went pretty much everywhere with me.

      And she became a full-blown diva with an awesome sense of humor. God, I miss her. And yes, she was definitely a guru for me. I know I still have a lot to learn, so I expect she’ll probably send another dog my way eventually, when I’m ready, to teach me even more.

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