Ace and I continued our regular walks–without further yappy dog incidents–until Ace was fifteen years old. On a particularly warm day, Ace collapsed on the sidewalk. A trip to the emergency vet and a later visit with our regular vet brought a diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis.
An expensive surgery could buy us some time and I wasn’t ready to lose my furry buddy. I pulled together the money and we drove forty-five miles for a pre-op visit. The vet staff took Ace to a back room without me and he almost died during the exam.
When they told me what happened, I requested a wet towel, a fan and a darkened room. Within fifteen minutes Ace was cooled down, calmed down, and breathing normally.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had stumbled onto the power of connections between dogs and their humans.
Considering Ace’s reaction at being away from me, the vet surgeon knew something beyond the physical was at work here.
On the day of the surgery, they adjusted their usual procedures so I could be with Ace as much as possible. At the end of the day, he was allowed to go home rather than stay overnight–another concession to our connection.
Since becoming aware of this connection between humans and animals, I've experienced a number of other connections with dogs in my life.
--Sophie and I connected while she was at the shelter. Though others wrote her off as a hospice dog, she told me we would have 2-3 years together. We had three wonderful years before she transitioned.
--My Cocker Spaniel, Rascal, and I first connected nose-to-nose when I picked him up from his neuter surgery. When he was returned to the shelter for biting at anyone and everything, he came home with me. With my beautiful Shepherd mix, Stewart, as his therapist, Rascal has spent many years in our doggie household, sleeping on my pillow at night.
I've also had connections with my Warrior Girls, which I talk about in my book, I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, as well as other dogs. Perhaps the connection of most significance for me is with Collies, starting with the dog of my childhood, Tippie. He has returned four times to support me at critical times in this lifetime.
If you feel a special connection with your pet, know they have come as a special messenger for you. I like to call them furry angels!