Thursday, October 27, 2011

Partings and Reunions

Oprah showed the youtube clip today  of Christian the Lion's reunion with the two young men, Ace and John, who raised him as an orphaned cub in England, until he grew too big to keep. The men returned Christian to Africa, where George Adamson (of Born Free fame) agreed to reintroduce the lion to the wild. I had seen it before, months before Pup died.

A year later, the young men traveled to Kenya, hoping to see Christian again. They were warned that the lion was now fully integrated into the wild and likely would not remember them, that it could even prove dangerous. They went anyway. There is a link to the reunion, below, which makes me cry every time I see it.

The total joy of their reunion, the strength of their connection, the inter-species love, trust and joy, wonderful as it is to witness,  just breaks my heart. This was the kind of greeting Pup gave me on return from being away. He, too, stood on his hind legs and tried to hug me, as Christian did Ace and John. It is hard to know that will never happen again in this life, when I so wish it could.

But I also have to believe that one day, we will meet again. Just before Pup died, I told him that when I die, I want him to come and get me. The way the energy in the room changed, I knew he understood, as he understood everything. He had a human intelligence inside that black fur body, and his gaze penetrated more deeply than other dogs in my life, or humans either, for that matter. It was like he saw inside me. Our connection was deeper than I have had with any other being. And he loved me better, too, than any other being ever has.

I miss my boy tonight. I'd better not watch this video again for a while. It about does me in.

And today Faiza asked me, for the first time, the big question. Her husband, Bill, is on palliative care, but Faiza has had a hard time wrapping her mind around this reality. I have been worried that she doesnt realize how close to the end we are.

Their dog Lara has stopped eating. Faiza said to me, "Does Lara know something we dont know? Do you think it will be soon?"

I looked at her and said, honestly, but gently, "Yes, I think it will." Poor Faiza. I expect very debilitating grief and collapse once Bill dies. She has pushed herself beyond exhaustion, in her efforts to care for him and see him through. But once he is not there, it is going to be very tough for her. And for Lara. I expect I will be her main support, then,  as she doesnt really have anyone else.

And Bill? He made me cackle like a witch this morning. He asked the care aide to adjust the oxygen tube attached to his nostrils.

The care aide asked, "In your nose?"

"No..." said Bill, sarcastically, "blow it up my ass!" and I just cracked up. He gave me a faint little smile, to show the old fighting spirit was still in there. When I told Faiza she laughed so hard.

People - laughter - tears -  lions - dogs - love - hearts - connection - all pretty wondrous.

Here's the clip. Warning: be prepared to cry!


  1. Hi Sherry, I don't think I can watch the clipping right now (maybe I will later); but I know what you mean about the love between one species and another. I know Pup will be 'there' to greet you someday and understand his specialness in your life.

    So sad about Bill and Faiza and Lara. It does not sound like it will be long for Bill, but he is still his fiesty self. I hope Lara will eat soon. Not a good sign if a dog doesn't eat.

  2. This post is so filled with things to think about. 1st the clip of Christian is overwhelmingly beautiful. I can see how it tears at you. There is no doubt as Mary remarks that Pup is waiting for you. And then your friend bill. I am so sorry. I will keep you in my thoughts

  3. Oh, Sherry, my thoughts are with you. I certainly can't watch the video clip now because I'm already crying.

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  5. Your Pup is to you as my Sundance is to me. One of a kind.

  6. I've seen the clip. It really is a tug on the heart strings. We so often assume that because animals choose not to "speak," they must be dumb. They speak all the time. We just don't know how to listen. So who are the dumb ones?

  7. Sherry, there's a hateful comment above you need to delete. It's running around all our blogs!

    That clip made me cry like a baby. First, the tentativeness; then, the loving embrace, no teeth bared, total trust.

    As for Faiza, you were right in being honest with her. I've known dogs so attuned to their humans they licked a part of their owner's body so hard that the person went to the doctor. Sure enough, tumor, and caught in time.

    Dogs have souls; cats, too, and all living things. We attach whatever meaning we want to the afterlife, but I believe Pup will be waiting for you, an awareness and communication that will exceed what you were afforded on earth.

    Thank you for a very good cry, Sherry. I'll pray for Faiza and her hubby. Amy


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