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Saying Goodbye to my Baby Dog

One of the most difficult things we face is losing a beloved pet. They are so precious to us and have given their entire lives to us. Yet, the day comes that we have to say goodbye. I am enclosing a memoir I have written about saying goodbye to my dog Lady. I have had many animals throughout my life, but her struggle with cancer affected me profoundly. I think of her daily, even after all these years and remember all the wonderful times we had together.

Lady’s Goodbye by Cherokee Billie

As I pulled my 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass into the back parking lot of Haydel and Haydel Chiropractic my terrier/poodle Lady jumped up on to the center arm rest in great excitement with her tail wagging. She had always loved going to see Dr. Kerry Haydel. It was the Tuesday afternoon before Christmas 1986. I felt absolutely no joy or happiness in my heart that afternoon. I felt like I was dying emotionally. Lady had been pronounced terminal with cancer in September. Her cancer was inoperable and she had been receiving chemotherapy since her diagnosis.

After parking the car I put on her harness and leash to walk her into the building. In the back seat was a soft-sided dog carrier that contained my new puppy Shih Tzu, Julia. As I opened the car door Lady bounded out pulling on the leash to get inside the office. I reached into the back to retrieve the carrier with Julia. Lady could care less about this new puppy, as far as she was concerned it was an annoyance she didn’t need. I had just gotten Julia the day before so that I would have companionship when Lady was gone. The first thing Lady did when I brought Julia home was to bite her. She wanted Julia to know she was still the boss of the house.

I was taking Lady for a last visit to Dr. Haydel’s office, as I had made the decision to stop the chemotherapy the past week. I knew that she did not have but a few days left to life, and I wanted to give her as much enjoyment as possible. This was the off hours for his office so I knew there would be no patients that would be shocked to see two dogs in a doctor’s office.

As usual the back door was unlocked and once I opened it I let go of the leash so Lady could run into the office and find Dr. Haydel. Little Julia was whining inside the carrier wanting to get out. This was her first visit to Dr. Haydel’s office. I walked down the hallway to see where Lady had gone and found her sitting on the lap of Dr. Haydel in his office. “I see she found you.” I commented.

“My big girl sure did find me. Look how pretty you look today. “He was talking to her like she was a little human being. You could just see the joy on her face as he talked to her. His identical twin brother Terry was also in the office as well as his secretary Arlene. Terry and Kerry both took turns holding Lady and talking to her.

“She just doesn’t look sick.” Terry said surprisingly.

Terry and Kerry had not seen my new puppy and I wanted Julia to get accustomed to socializing with people. I had brought my camera, which I hadn’t used in over a year to take photographs. I wanted to capture this moment forever.

When I took Julia out of the carrier Arlene was thrilled at such a cute little puppy. “Oh, can I hold her?” she asked.

“Yes please, this will give Lady full attention from Kerry and Terry.”

We moved into the reception area so that I could take pictures of the “boys” (my nickname for Kerry and Terry) and Lady. The sun coming in from the West penetrated the entire reception area lighting it up like it was summer. Lady just wouldn’t leave Kerry and he seemed to want to hold on to her as well. I started snapping pictures and Lady posed like a professional model as usual. She loved having her picture taken. I took pictures of Lady sitting with Terry and Kerry on the sofa. I snapped her on the floor with Kerry sitting next to her and talking.

Arlene brought Julia into the reception area. She let her play on the floor. Julia wanted to know what all the commotion was about. She seemed to sense there was something interesting going on.

Lady was enjoying every minute of the attention. To see her frolicking in the office one would never suspect that she lay on the wooden bench at the end of my bed all day and night at home, because it was cool to her chemotherapy-heated body. It was apparent that Lady knew this was her last visit in the office and she wanted to pretend that her misery was an illusion.

The “boys” had me laughing with their antics. They were rolling on the floor and pretending to be dogs just to amuse Lady. It was delightful to be in their presence. It was giving me the emotional vacation I needed; I was able to put aside my misery and grief during the time we were in their office. This is what I had always liked about them, their ability to make others laugh.

We stayed for over an hour, during which time Julia peed and pottied on the light blue carpet to my horror. Kerry said, “Don’t worry about it, its no big thing.” I cleaned up the mess.

I asked Kerry “When the time comes will you take Lady to the doctors’ office for the final injection?”

He did not hesitate with his answer “Of course I will – don’t worry about it.”

We had to leave before rush hour traffic hit, as it would be a nightmare getting back to my mobile home. My emotions were so over the edge I didn’t need the added burden of rush hour traffic in Los Angeles.

I put Julia back into the carrier and she started whining once more. Lady was getting very fatigued although she didn’t want to stop getting the love and attention from the “boys.” Terry kissed and hugged Lady goodbye stating, “It’s going to be OK, I will always think of you.”
Kerry told her “I will see you again in a few days.” Arlene didn’t know what to say it was beyond her.

I attached the leash back to Lady’s harness. As we went down the hallway Lady moved like a great burden had been lifted from her. I opened the car door and she jumped into her seat next to me. She stood up on the armrest in the middle of the two seats looking at the door of the office, as though she was saying goodbye to the office. I said to her “OK Little Sunny Sunshine let’s go.”

As I pulled the car out of the parking lot I knew I had lifted her spirits that day. I started to sing to her “Foxy Lady” by Jimi Hendrix, she always loved when I sang that song to her. It’s hard to say goodbye to someone you have been so close to and loved so much. I just knew I had made my little dog Lady happy for a change. After so many months of suffering she deserved to feel happy.

Lady Passed on January 01, 1987.

The Story of Adam & Eve’s Pets

Adam and Eve said, ‘Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us everyday. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.’

And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in
spite of yourselves.’

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal and God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, ‘Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.’

And God said, ‘I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.’

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.
And they were comforted.
And God was pleased.
And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.’

And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.’

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat’s eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility, and they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat . . ..

didn’t give a care one way or the other.

My Spirit Encounter of the Evil Kind

by Cherokee Billie

How do you begin to tell a story about a night when you were bombarded by evil spirits? The best way is to start from the beginning.

My story begins in December 1986 when I got my first pedigree puppy, a Shih Tzu, who I named Julia. Since I never had a pedigree before, I bought a book all about the history of Shih Tzu’s. They originated in China and were not exported out of China until 1930. Prior to that they were treated like royalty because they guarded the spiritual temples from any evil spirits. They were known as the Temple Spirit Guards. I found that quite fascinating and proceeded to have my life with Julia.

Julia was a very sweet and affectionate little dog. Everyone who saw her instantly fell in love with her precious face. I was used to having dogs who loved to go wherever I did in the car, but, from the beginning, Julia would cry and scratch at the doors trying to get out. I took her to the park, and she was very unhappy. The only place she enjoyed going was to my father’s office and to visit him. My father was Cherokee and always had an instant connection with animals. For some reason he could come and take Julia off in his truck, and he would have no problem with her.

As time progressed, I decided it was best not to try to force Julia out and let her be happy and content at home. To her that was her temple and she was guarding it. I did not really understand what guarding it was for her, but I just let her do what came naturally. In time I was to have a clear understanding of her spiritual nature.

After a year and a half I got another puppy, a Yorkshire terrier named Natasha. She was much more like the dogs I had in the past and wanted to go everywhere in the car or wherever I was. She was not content to be in one place like Julia. They got along well and played and slept together. The three of us were happy together.

I moved in 1996 and Julia had no problems adapting to our new home. In 1998 I purchased my first house and had a live-in housekeeper, Teresa, move in with us. Because Teresa and I were the same age, I thought that we would have a lot in common. In the first week I realized that was not going to be the case. I asked her to watch a movie with me, and it was a comedy with a sweet scene of two people hugging in the shower that only showed them from the neck up. Teresa turned her head from the television and said, “I can’t believe they would show such filth in movies.” I was stunned. I knew then that we would never see eye-to-eye on things. Teresa made me suspicious because she was overly religious and behaved like someone who was in a cult. She was very secretive about everything, wore dresses down to the floor, and always had on long sleeved shirts buttoned to her neck, no matter what the temperature. I often wondered what she did all the hours she was alone in her room. I felt that she did spiritual or religious type rituals. I just had no idea what they were.

This house had been very special to me because it was designed by a paraplegic, who lived there until he died, and everything was designed for a disabled person. I had been disabled for eight years and needed this type of home. It was the most unique house I had ever seen. When you opened the front door, you were not in the house but in a courtyard. It was built in a C formation and Spanish styled. Everything was operated by pushbutton including opening the different doors throughout the house. I had cameras everywhere and could see what was going on inside and outside of my house. It was truly my dream home. I knew that the man who created the home had died in bed, but that did not disturb me because I felt complete peace in the home. I took my time before I purchased it making sure that I felt no negative energies. From the first day that I moved in, I knew the spirit of the previous owner was there as he would turn on lights. I asked him to stop doing that and he complied. But I could feel his gentle spirit around me.

From the moment we moved into the new home, Julia had a complete personality change. She was afraid of everything. The slightest noise would make her start crying and want to be with me. She would climb all over me in utter fear. She would try to climb onto my head when I was in bed, even if there were no sounds. The caregiver, Teresa, would take her outside and take her by the fence where there were large dogs barking. Every time Julia would come back petrified, and I told the caregiver to stop taking her to the fence. The woman simply ignored my instructions. Finally, I made it clear to Teresa that she would take Julia only in the courtyard where it was quiet or else she could leave my employment. This did help it.

I was greatly concerned, however, about Julia because she had never acted crazed. I was beginning to think that perhaps she had a mental problem or some other medical condition that was causing her to behave so unnaturally. It reached a point that I could not watch a movie because any sound would send Julia into a terrified state. She would cry and tear at my body. This was going on for months. I was concerned that I was going to have to put her to sleep because I could not control her and her life was miserable. I have always believed in the quality of life over quantity. I did my best to keep all sounds quiet.

At the end of the first year Teresa left my employment. The moment that she left my house that morning Julia instantly became calm. The difference was incredible! For the first time she slept and seemed like the happy little puppy she had always been.

That night the strangest things I have ever encountered occurred. As soon as it turned dark, I could hear the sound of people (spirits) rushing through the house. Doors were opening and closing and I could hear whispering throughout the house. It was as though Teresa had unleashed evil spirits into the house that she had been working with. Throughout the night I continued to hear all of these strange noises. Julia was alert and sitting awake throughout the entire night.

I do not get frightened by spirits because of the many times I have seen and had contact with spirits prior to this night. I found it rather annoying and who are you going to call at midnight? Ghostbusters? It was best just to ride out the situation and pray for protection.

At 5:30 that morning I heard a very strange sound. Natasha suffered from colitis and, when she was having an attack, she would walk in a circular motion on newspapers in the bathroom trying to stop the spasms. When this would happen, I would have to give her medicine. I started hearing the sound of Natasha walking on the newspapers going round and round. I began to call her to come to me. I called over and over. I could hear her walking on the newspapers, but, when I moved my arm to the left, there was Natasha lying next to me. The spirit was imitating her illness, and I became furious at that point!

How dare this spirit mimic my dog when she was sick! They had tried to upset me all night and could not, but they figured out the way to finally get to me.

I placed myself in a circle of corn meal and salt and began commanding that all negative energies and spirits leave my house by the power of the Divine Spirit. Within a few minutes the house became completely quiet.

Julia went to sleep, and I kept thinking about what had happened. The negative spirits never returned, but there were other peaceful and beautiful spirits that did manifest themselves over the years that I lived there.

I learned many different things from this. First, the incredible spiritual vision that a Shih Tzu has and why they were so revered by the Chinese is astounding. From that point on I have always trusted my animals to tell me what is going on around me.

I also learned that you cannot trust and allow people into your life without spending a great deal of time getting to know them and checking out their spirits. Teresa had many different entities attached to her, and I did not stop and think about her spirit before I allowed her to live with me. I now check out people’s spirits before they become a part of my life.

I trust that this story has opened your spiritual eyes to the gifts of animals and a deeper appreciation of the ancient teachings. Also be aware of the spirit that dwells within the people that are in your life.

Julia is a special little girl, and I am glad that she has been a part of my life.

If A Dog Were Your Teacher

If a dog were your teacher
These are some of the lessons you might learn…
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy
When it’s in your best interest
practice obedience
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run romp and play daily
Thrive on attention and let people touch you
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass
On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
When you’re happy dance around and wag your entire body
No matter how often you’re scolded
don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you have had enough
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you’re not
If what you want lies buried
dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day
be silent …..
…sit close by.
…and nuzzle them gently.

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