I am writing this during my grieving period for my loyal companion, friend, teacher/child, my faithful dog of almost 15 years, Tigger. While the emotions of sadness come in waves, there are also waves of deep appreciation and understanding for the many valuable lessons I have learned from him over the years.
Jesus came to tell us and show us how to BE unconditional love, how to share that with others and ourselves. The impact He made on our lives is so vast, the ways we have expanded our consciousness towards love, as a result, are too numerous to even count. But I have to admit…. Tigger has been the greatest example in my life’s journey of what pure, unconditional love is in its “expressed” form, not just from an intellectual understanding.
Tigger has been Jesus-Exemplified throughout his life with me. Not once was he disloyal as he was by my side 24/7 every single day I was with him. He accepted me for who I am, never judged my shortcomings, my “humanness,” and just allowed me to be me. And he loved me in spite of everything.
It never mattered in all the years how long I had been away from him. It could be minutes to hours to days, even longer than a week at times. He never seemed to hold it against me or scold me for not being more attentive. Time to him was always in the “now” and the “now” was always pure love that exuded from him to me, my kids, and my other friends who were fortunate enough to know him. There were never, ever, any expectations placed on me. He just loved me unconditionally.
He and I played ball endlessly throughout the years, and he was so eager to play (just like my human kids), each ball I threw him was as if it were the very first one thrown of the day. He would fetch them at all costs and bring them back faithfully each time. I honestly believe that Tigger would have played ball until he was physically exhausted just to please me and have fun with me, to help me be more “in the now” with him, just enjoying the moment. He taught me so much about the “now.”
Tigger kept me grounded to my responsibilities, many times in the midst of chaos. He was my “reality check” of the Presence of Love in every moment. No matter what was going on in my life, my dog’s schedule and routine were part of the daily plan and no matter what, it kept my focus, if only for a short time on many days.
He’d been on many adventures with my kids and me– the best dog ever to travel with! One time, I snuck him into a motel that I wasn’t sure allowed pets; yes, that was probably mischievous, but it was late and I could pay the price in the morning, if there was one. I wrapped him up in a blanket where he looked like Little Red Riding Hood’s “wolf” grandmother and snuck him up the stairwell. It was as if he knew what was up, and he was very quiet and pleased he was being wrapped in the blanket and carried up the stairs like a baby in our arms. He was very in-tune to me and always seemed to know just what to do. By the way, the next morning at checkout, I saw the sign that said “pets always welcome,” and I had to smile…Tigger probably knew that already, but he was playing along with me, just another game!
Many times he joined my kids and me playing Hide-and-Go-Seek in the dark–participating in the game, almost human-like. Our cat, Angel, who grew up with him, played “chase” with him when they were bored, and I could always tell when I came home that they had been playing together. Angel misses him, too, right now and is doing her own grieving, though I believe he is still with us in spirit and with her.
Tigger was mostly Pit Bull and the sweetest dog on the planet, very gentle with everyone, especially children, and tolerated their unintentional misuse and yes, probably sometimes abuse, but nothing too serious. I remember watching my daughter out of the kitchen window many days where Tigger would be sitting in her wagon, very stoic and proud, and she would be pulling him up and down the patio, just being in the moment. Just like Holy Spirit is with us, in every moment…just in the “now” and being the presence of love in that moment.
No matter how many times I was frustrated with Tiggs about something, maybe a little distracted at times from work due to him needing to go outside, he never held it against me. He would almost act apologetic at times for troubling me or having a need he couldn’t take care of on his own.
And, he would always tell me he loved me….yes, he would tell me. He would look at me and stick his tongue out real quick as if to say, “I love you.” That was his physical sign to me that he acknowledged his love for me and my love for him. It was mutual for us, though I acted human much of the time.
I have a deep desire to be more like my dog: to BE the presence of love in the world, rather than hold an intellectual concept of love, in my head. Tigger is always going to be with me and others he loved and who loved him in Spirit, in Love. He has given me the gift of Unconditional Love and, in my heart, I know that by sharing this with others, I am feeling his presence. He is greatly missed, loved and honored and I am expanding or spreading that which we are, by way of sharing what he has shown me we are capable of into the world. He has made such a difference in my life!
So here’s to my Tiggers, my youngest “child,” with great love, deep appreciation, and a sense of holding him in honor that will never end. You will always be the Love within my heart and we are always connected. With love from Your Mom.