We have a new family member, a four legged and furry one. It always happens shortly after the loss of a family member to old age or sickness, despite our fervent protestations that it will not. We start talking about how it will be nice to have a smaller family; a less stress and work sort of thing. Sounds good logically but apparently, our hearts never agree. And so, the Universe and our higher selves conspire and next thing you know, along comes a synchronistic event for us to recognize and then make a choice about whether or not to act on it.
For years, I’ve been donating cash to the western Washington edition of Muttmatchers Messenger, a publication containing pictures and bios of animals that are in foster homes awaiting adoption. They mail me a copy each month and it’s become a long standing tradition in our household to skim through the pages and see who I’m sponsoring that month. “Hey Inga! I’m sponsoring 2 cats, a dog and a turtle this month!”
So the February / March 2003 issue arrives and I can’t find my name anywhere. This is very odd and I take another slower, more methodical pass through the pages. I finally find my name under the bio of one animal, a 3 yr. old, black female German Shepherd named Shiloh. As I look at her picture, I feel that unmistakable twinge of synchronicity. Realize that I look at this paper every month and I want to bring home at least half a dozen animals every month. If I had a farm with a big barn, I probably would. I feel a loving bond with all animals and they all deserve a good home but I’ve never felt compelled to take any action on what I see in the paper. So I just take satisfaction from the sponsoring that I do. That is, until now. I keep the paper open to this dog’s photo during the weekend and look at it often, struck by her beauty and the bond I feel. Inga, too, is awed by her but by Sunday night, we shrug it off as we are not really capable or willing to bring a dog into our cat oriented home.
I go to work on Monday. As I turn on the fountain in my office and perform the grounding ritual I do each day, I am suddenly aware of a spirit presence. I focus my inner eye on it and to my surprise, it is a black German Shepherd. I reach out to her mentally and she is, indeed, the dog I am sponsoring. I sense the deep affection we share and it feels like we’ve known each other for a very long time. She stays with me throughout the day and I find her company to be very comforting, much like that of my spirit animal, a grey wolf. This continues for several days and I report it to Inga. Upon coming home one evening that week, Inga tells me that she’s called the foster home and learned all about this dog. At first, I’m excited to hear the details but then I get concerned about where all this activity is taking us. Are we getting a dog? That would be a huge change for us and our household and something we must not do impulsively. After much discussion, we decide to go visit her up at her foster home in Arlington just so we can see what is so special for us about this particular dog. Where’s the harm in that, right?
We drive up on a Saturday and enter the foster family’s home. We are briefed on the history of this particular dog and told that she’s been brought back by two other adopters due to her being “too scary”. I’m not deterred. I’m often told by dog owners that no one can pet their dog as it jumps into my lap and demands to be petted. We are also coached about this big animal’s behavior upon meeting people for the first time. She comes straight at them at high speed, snaps her jaws right in their face and then gives them a big, sloppy kiss, all of which most humans find to be quite unnerving. Thus informed, I kneel down about 12 feet away from Shiloh’s dog crate and brace myself as her foster mom opens the door. Sure enough, Shiloh hurtles toward me like a runaway freight train, loudly snaps her jaws precisely an inch from my nose and then thoroughly slobbers me while making happy dog noises. After this ritual greeting, she sits before me and as she and I make eye contact, I can feel the mutual recognition. We already know each other as spirits and now we are meeting physically for the first time. It is joyous and there is a lot more kissing and hugging. So much for scary.
As she has a pretty serious limp due to a bone chip in one of her elbows, her foster mom tells us how much Shiloh loves to go for rides in the car and suggests that we do so as part of our getting to know each other process. We three pile in the cab of our truck and off we go into the countryside. We marvel at this beautiful creature as we drive along and every time Inga turns to look at Shiloh in the back of the cab, she gets a big, sloppy kiss from a very happy dog. When we return to the foster home, we discuss the various issues of owning a dog as well as her medical issue with her foster mom, a professional dog breeder. As long term, dedicated cat owners, it is recognized that we may not have the required skills to manage a big animal like this. We still need to figure how having a dog will change our daily routines and then decide if we are willing to make that change. We come to consensus that a trial run of seven days is in order to see how we all do, especially the cats. We also decide to pay for her needed surgery prior to bringing her home so she’ll not have that to deal with whether she comes to live with us or not.
Needless to say, Inga and I both feel a great love for this animal and in turn, she clearly loves us. Our hearts are filled with happiness and joy at the prospect of adding this sweet dog to our family. Meanwhile, our minds are creating all kinds of arguments as to why this isn’t going to work or be worth it. Feeling pretty confused at this point, we turn to a tarot deck for some insights. We ask what type of energy Shiloh will bring into our home and we get a Queen of Pentacles. Very cool! For the love and care we give our pets, they, in turn, bless the household with their Chi, their life force. This card indicates some very special energy, indeed. We then ask how she’ll interact with our kitties and we pull a major arcana card, The Lovers. And for how the kitties will interact with her, we get a 2 of Pentacles card. So we clearly have good energies to work with. (I’m going to let the images speak to you vs. interpreting them. If you’d like to learn more, visit this site and look up these 3 cards: Learning the Tarot – An On-Line Course)
We start thinking about what a good name will be for her. We run some candidates through a numerology calculator and the one that feels right is Freya. In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir. The numerology of this name resonates with this Venus energy and so Freya it is.
We go up to Arlington the following weekend for another outing in the truck and our hearts win the debate. Freya is too special to let logic dictate the easier path. We both decide, after much discussion, that we are willing to make changes in our lives to accommodate her as we can sense that it will be mutually beneficial in many ways. Of course, this decision is made prior to bringing Freya home.
Surgery is scheduled and performed. Freya comes home with us from the vet with a big patch of shaved skin and stitches. As I write this, she’s been in our home for a week. We’ve completed our 7 day trial period, as mentioned above, and as we thought, it is a real BIG change for us. We’ve debated our commitment to adopting Freya every one of those 7 days and our logical minds keep saying that it would just be easier to not do this. Freya’s foster mom even tells us that she’ll take Freya back and personally adopt her if we decide not to. So we have an out if we want it. But in the end, it is our great love for her that overrides all other concerns. We adore her and we can no longer imagine life without her. We are blessed by her presence.
Inga, Freya and I are planning on going to dog training school in the very near future so we make a better team. And all three of us are looking forward to those stitches coming out so we can go for lots of walks. I also expect it is just a matter of time before Edward figures out how nice it will be to curl up against Freya’s warm tummy while he naps. */:-)