It’s the 28th email I’ve sent you, befittingly the day after a really significant day in my history.
November 20th marked the fourth anniversary of when my dog Wilson was killed on the road in front of me. Actually, he didn’t die right then.
I’ll always remember getting up to him while his back was turned and he happily sniffed the long grass at the edge of the field across the road from our home where we had been walking each morning until the vet had recently suggested limiting his exercise to ensure he didn’t develop hip issues as a geriatric dog.
Well Wilson never got there and was just discovering his hutzpah and the spunky side as his teenager nature. He was testing his boundaries and decided that he was ok to go off on his own adventure.
It wasn’t like he’d really meant to run away from me, or put himself near the road that day, it was just how things played out.
We were living in an Old Parsonage which was a six bedroom farmhouse with a massive extension added to the kitchen with extra spare rooms, spaces, and 5 bathrooms just in case we wanted some variety in scenery during daily bathroom trips, but I kid. The point is the house was massive and the landlords lived in the side building they had renovated into a separate home; the old mill where donkeys would crush the apples to make cider from the trees that previously surrounded the home. All quite picturesque, except the fact it was an idyllic scene set right beside a busy road with a curve right at the end of the property where I found myself that day four years ago.
When this nightmare began, I cut him off from running down the lane after his Dad who had just left to take his son to football practice. Wilson veered into the landlord’s backyard to avoid coming back inside and I thought F*ck!, as I recalled the countless arguments my ex and I used to have about how to train our 6 month old puppy. This time I had to figure it out on my own.
In trying to listen to my ex and ‘obey’ his parenting wishes for dominance and feigned rejection I went against my own better judgement and doubted myself until I felt there was a problem. I’d only waited a few minutes in hopes he would have gotten scared of being on his own as the training being pushed on me said, but the mother archetype inside knew that wasn’t the way to go.
I ran outside to find out where he was and couldn’t see him in their backyard, or the cow field behind the property, and I knew the road was all too close. I ran down the garbage truck path down the hillside drive and just as I did I saw my beautiful golden labrador puppy happily cross the road at the bend. I also saw a vehicle turn onto the road in our direction.
I booked it and reached him before the car had gathered enough speed to catch up.
In a scared and stern voice I said “Wilson James, come here” which jarred him out of his happy little reality (I literally saw him jolted by the realization he wasn’t fully living where he was going yet, and his eyes said “sh*t, I’m in trouble, I’ll run home and avoid what’s coming” was the devilish look in his eyes before he turned and put all of his force into running straight in front of the car he didn’t see coming around the bend.
I considered diving for him but could only imagine the headlines – “Canadian jumps in front of car to save her dog – dog lived, she didn’t” type stories for my family to receive in a country thousands of miles away. I stood frozen watching a nightmare unfold.
The woman driving had just been driving home from work presumably and suddenly this beautiful puppy darts out in front of her and before she can even stop she’s dragging him under her car and might potentially run over him before she can stop, and when she does, that little puppy is thrown 10 feet ahead from the force of contact.
I watched the whole thing from a side angle and will never forget the cry he let out when he landed in a horrible C shaped puddle of hurt and I let out the most maternal gutteral scream I’ve ever heard in person. I felt like I had just witnessed my child’s death, except it wasn’t over yet.
I picked my heavy baby up, bridal style, and carried him home as fast as I could, with his head dropping down and his belly filling up with pee.. it was horrible.
I was so tired from carrying his limp body while the driver calling after me condemning me for not having him on a leash to make herself feel better, and a neighbour I’d never met trailing beside me offering to give me a ride to the surgery but knowing that I needed my ex’s number from my phone meant I needed to go back inside. I didn’t really want the story “Woman Is Killed By Killer On Ambulance Ride To the Vet” to be another headline for my family to read so I ran for safety.
I dropped him down harder than I meant to when I got to the top of the garbage man’s warn trail at the edge of our elevated drive and asked the man that had stopped and was offering to drive me to stay with him until I got back.
I ran to the neighbour’s glass door and knocked really loud and then ran into my place and grabbed my phone so that by the time they answered I was running back past them saying Wilson had been hit and I needed a ride to the hospital. John was immediately running inside to get his shoes on and keys ready and there he was; talk about a blessing to have caring people in your communal quarters!
I packed Wilson up while thanking the man who’d been so compassionate and ready to help and we were off. It was here I called the vet and told them we were on our way and they got the surgery ready and then I called his Dad. My Partner at the time and the man I was sharing my life with. He answered and I told him Wilson had been hit and definitely had a broken leg so to come back now.”
He was in shock and disbelief and overcome with grief, terror, horror, and everything a parent goes through, even if the skin and species is different and lifespan shorter. I hung up and tried to send my baby boy loving energy, but his whole system was on red alert. By the time we got to the vet they took him right in and then issued me out of the room.
I had waivers to sign and said do whatever’s required. I sent a text to all my girlfriends who I knew could send as much love and light as any situation could need and asked for prayers. I prayed. I asked the Grand Overall Designer of all that is to look after this starchild in canine form, but minutes later they came out to say they had lost him. His little body had went into such shock from the trauma his organs were overcome by the pain and contractions and he lost control. His soulseed aborted his mission and he joined the world of spirit to await his next incarnation as something new.
I was devastated and terrified to tell my ex and his kids who all loved this little man too, but for whom I had given up the most time for, as his furMama. It’s part of the reason I question whether I want to have children tbh, but hopefully none for quite a few years yet anyway – I love hard and deep and don’t know how not to. I loved this dog as if he were my child and his destruction was the lynchpin on my desire to coproduce with someone who would be so mean as what my co-furparent was when he arrived.
I’d just been informed Wilson was dead and had walked into the surgery to be with the physical remains of the boy I’d loved as much as I loved him. When my ex arrived, I understood Wilson’s sacrifice on a symbolic level.
He was so angry with me for having ‘killed his dog’, from his perspective, that he couldn’t be there for me in the moment when I needed him most. He blamed me and I questioned how it would have been different if I’d listened to myself instead of him; and so the blame game goes…
I was already upset with myself so of course I needed a partner who would blame and punish me before then comforting a partner who had just watched her beloved furchild be fatally wounded, and then got to go through the #blamegame while he cooled.
I truly believe that in that moment I realized Wilson was sent to ensure I didn’t consider reproducing with the man I was choosing to share my life with at that time because of how it would have meant having to live my life according under his rule and judgement. Sure that may come across as harsh but the reality is that when we’re in a relationship with someone that doesn’t respect us but is so emotionally intelligent they can play the game as well as anyone, you really have to make sure your BS detector is fully working.
Ironically, when I called my Grandma to let her know about Wilson, I found out she was in the hospital with a ridiculously low platlette count (only 3 when 200 is considered low!) and in my grief I couldn’t process the possibility of losing her too. It was terrifying, and yet I am grateful for all of the experiences for how they taught me lessons at the time and also set me up to hear subsequent insights from a different perspective.
Wilson taught me so much and on the anniversary of his death I celebrate his life with gratitude for all the gifts his companionship during his short life brought into my life.
Teachers come in all forms, but animal messengers are some of my favourite guides!
If you’d be interested in getting a card reading I would love to offer the first 5 people to respond for a card reading and consult – 30min for $20 via paypal – I want to talk about what you’re focused on and what’s distracting you.
Wilson gifted me a lot of wisdom, the greatest of which is to be compassionate to myself before I let the angry, vengeful and mean part of me show up to criticize the part of me that is already feeling small and scared in moments that change my life, and dare I say the same is true for you?
Share a story of an unexpected teacher or lesson you received from a life altering situation, and how it ultimately made you stronger. Let me know if you want a card reading too – that feels like a fun offer!
I hope my vulnerability gives you permission to look under the veils of appearance, and into the realms of symbolism, myth and energy.
Laura Jeh – Namaste