Close up Ariya kissing mom from top of couchAs I mark the first anniversary of releasing our precious dog, Legacy’s body, from this earthly place, it has been clear her presence lives in ways that almost defy description. I was once told that in the midst of grief, some people are able to celebrate the life of their loved one almost immediately. They can visit a place of joy and peace about their passing and recall rich happy memories. For others,  the reliving of the event of death, the unbearable essence of loss and emptiness that permeates the soul can be around for quite some time despite the desire to let it go. I am of that second group.

The idea of another dog was not in my realm. Known for being passionate about the love of dogs, and helping to save rescue dogs, this may seem counterintuitive, but it was my truth. About nine months after Legacy passed on, my spirit became restless with the thought that perhaps the time had come to adopt another dog- maybe one that needed us more than we needed her. At least, initially.   After visiting a rescue facility one day, to see a dog we didn’t ultimately feel was a good match for us, I allowed myself a brief  window of time to look on the internet.  If I didn’t find one, I was willing to let go of this notion for a while longer, knowing timing is key in this endeavor. When I saw her, the little smile on a dog named Destiny’s face, despite the description of her having been found on the street being abused by children, a knowing inside of me began to stir.

 It’s a wonderful and poignant  story, one that includes the caring graces and efforts of Saving K-9 Lives Plus, www.savingk9livesplus.org, a devoted foster mom, Annalisa, a trainer, Drew,  who gave this quirky little energy propelled Sheltie/Fox terrier some wings to navigate around her fears, and a connection well beyond anything we could have hoped for. We didn’t expect a dog with such a rough start in life to bond so quickly, deeply and trustingly. But she did. We named her Ariya; pure, precious, valuable, and not ordinary, according to a Buddhist translation.  She is beautiful, agile, silly, smart,  demonstrative once she knows someone, and above all, the manifestation of faith. She is a reminder that light always penetrates darkness, and love remains; it prevails above all.