Timeless Spirit Logo ARTICLE

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Pets"
Volume 4 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Teeny Tiny Puppy Love
by Rev. Cheryl Jewett

Being a cat lover all my life, it was a little difficult to accept I had allergies to cats. But, pet-lover that I am, I considered getting a dog. Just to be sure, I checked with my vet who said I could have either a Dachshund or Poodle, both low on dander. Who would have guessed, on a lovely summer morning, I would find the pet love of my life at a friend's house?

Having the pick from two litters of Miniature Dachshunds -- one red colored and one black and tan -- my heart pulled me toward the litter with a mother of kindred spirit, gentle and loving. When I reached into the pen where the red pups were, the mom almost took off my hand! You guessed it, we got a black and tan pup! Almost every weekend after choosing our pup at the tender age of two days old, we had visiting privileges. We'd stop by, hold her teeny tiny body in the palm of the hand, and watch her squirm around making precious little moans and groans.

And, she loved to snuggle up at the back of my neck, a cute habit I did not discourage, yet later wondered why I had encouraged such a behavior. Granted, she could see more from up there than from my lap. True, she fit nicely on my shoulders. But, as she got older, she also got heavier, soon to become quite a weight on my shoulders.

This little princess of a dog had to have a queenly name. There was a tug of war between the name Maya, since we both loved the poetry of Maya Angelo, and Christa, just because we loved the name! So, this cherished teensy piece of life became known as Maya Christa of Hannah (Hannah being her mom's name). It was hard trying to fit her papa's name - Wizard - into her name, so we decided the name was quite long enough as it was! Such a regal name for such an itsy bitsy pup, don't you think?!

I often confided to my co-workers that I worked very hard to support wee Maya's lifestyle! Her long black body sprawled out wherever she wanted in the house. She listened to the soft rock station, ate, drank, and slept at her whim. On cold winter nights, her blankets were thrown into the dryer before she crawled into her bed. During storms, she was held and cuddled. She didn't like windy days, so she was cuddled then, too. And, carrots? Well, that long slender orange vegetable was like a royal treat to Maya. I once told the vet I suspected we had a carrot-aholic on our hands. She dearly loved them! The vet would say, "That's great! They're good for her!"

We learned many times in many ways Dachshunds surely lived up to their reputation as being completely fearless. Maya had no fear of heights. There was no stopping her when she was determined to jump, whether that was from the back of the sofa or the bed. When she was a young pup, she'd take flying leaps off furniture, her ears spread out like the Flying Nun. When you would hold her ears straight up, she looked like bat-dog! My hero, Maya Christa of Hannah!

At the vet's office once, she spotted an enormous black German Shepard dog. With absolutely no thought of caution, Maya's back hair stood at attention and she growled, straining at the leash, despite the fact that dog could have had Maya as a morning snack, if it had wanted to do so! Ironically, a family member has a pony-sized black mixed-breed dog and Buddy is terrified of Maya. Go figure.

Each morning, she comes running to one of us for her morning belly rub! Afterwards, she gets a back scratch which, considering she's a Dachshund, takes longer than usual, having that long back! Do we spoil her? Certainly, we do. But, we figure the benefits run two ways. Having a pet tends to lower the high blood pressure, and, indubitably, brings great joy and uncontrollable laughter, into our lives. There are times when I'm not sure who is training whom, though. Within the deep inner recesses of my mind, I suspect Maya has trained us very well! What do you think?

You might be asking why I share these memories of Maya Christa of Hannah with you. It's because that precious puppy - a puppy she always was to us because she was a miniature dachshund - was a touchstone for me at a devastating time in my life when my youngest son was killed in a winter automobile accident. I remember withdrawing from life any number of times, and she would get up in my lap, wiggling and squirming joyously, urging me back to life. Her soulful brown eyes would light up, inviting me to look toward happier memories and more peaceful times. She would nudge her long nose against me, and my spirit became renewed.

Although ten-year-old Maya has since passed over to doggy heaven, her spiritual presence remains a vital part of our lives. We know she will greet us there one day when we pass over to the Other Shore. Before she died, I caressed her body committing to memory every part of her little body. The feel of the velvety fur on her floppy ears, the curly hair on her neck and along her back, and the soft fur on her short, stubby legs and paws. To this day, I can close my eyes and feel the texture of various parts of her body. I can feel her lying between us on the sofa which was her favorite place to be. Whenever there was an unexpected noise in the house, Maya barked; and in my mind, I can still hear that yapping when a sudden noise startles us today. Yes, her timeless spirit remains a vital part of our lives, even today.                

Cheryl, from Michigan, says, "Having had Multiple Sclerosis for almost thirty years, I've learned much about adapting and squeezing joy out of life. Therefore, I am a metaphysical minister who believes God is in everything, everywhere. And, the Sweet God-Spirit surely lives in my little Maya-puppy, who kept me connected with life after my youngest son was killed in a freak automobile accident ten years ago."

Cheryl seeks to inspire healing, so she developed a website dedicated to those who are grieving.

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