Saturday, December 22, 2012

Close Encounters of a Dog Variety.....

Living in a house that was built in the 1840s comes with certain issues.  The old structure needs TLC and there are limitations based on size and such.

Then there are other the presence of past residents.

I can't point to any one specific incident but let us say that my wife and daughter are convinced that we have some kinda of presence going on there on an irregular basis.

Now, yesterday, I had a close encounter of a different kind here in Afghanistan.

Friday is our one day a week off. We call it the "layabout day" as that seems to be the main occupation on the day off.  I was taking a mid-day nap and just woke up at the end of it.  I was laying on the bed, awake but with my eyes closed.  I was fully aware of all the noises around me, like the Ipad playing music in the background and the sounds of aircraft flying overhead.

Then, I felt the presence of someone I didn't expect - My Dog Tessa who died this year.

She suffered from Canine Myloepathy - a nerve disorder that is very much like ALS in humans.  We eventually had to have her put down as she was no longer able to stand, walk or take care of her bodily functions.  The nerves that controlled all the muscles in her lower body were immobilized and that made it very bad for her. She passed away in March 2012.

We used to call her our " Moose Mutt" as she had a body that resembled a Moose - Large body with spindly long legs - she was very much beloved by all in our family. She used to run and gallop just like a horse and was very smart.....extremely intelligent for a dog.

She had a habit of "nosing" me with her long snout when I was sleeping and she wanted to wake me up.  She would get up next to the bed and push her snout under my hand until I woke up and started paying attention to her.

Yesterday,in my room here in Afghanistan, I felt her doing this to me.  I was awake - not dreaming.  I felt her snout with the wiry whiskers nosing underneath my hand, forcing me to pay attention.  I gently moved my hand back across her snout and felt her face and her ears. This was what she wanted and I would stroke her ears & head as a sign that I was paying attention to her, even though I was still in bed. 

Yesterday, I felt the same things as I lay there.  I stroked her head, laying there awake but with my eyes closed.  It went on for about 2 minutes until I had to open my eyes and see what was going on.  I opened them and found myself alone in my room - she had gone.

I know some might be skeptical but this was what I experienced.  I spoke with the Missus and her surmise was, " Well, people ghosts - dog ghosts - I don't see any reason why you would expect anything different."

Tessa loved me and was my dog.  She was the smartest and brightest pup I ever had.  That she would worry about me and want to check in on me here in Afghanistan is very understandable.

Mark Twain wrote: "  The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." -Letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899

Amen, Mr. Twain.  I am glad that my old Moose-Mutt stopped by to check in on me.  I will find her one day when I am called home to our Father's Table.  If our Dogs are not there with us, it will not be Heaven by a long-shot.

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