Sometimes is seems certain that dogs have a deeper understanding of love and life than we do. Is it possible we can learn some great spiritual lessons from our dogs if we pay attention? They certainly seem to know how to help us heal. I just read a wonderful touching story by a woman who lost the person that meant the most to her in the world, but found strength to keep living through her shar-pei.
Heidi Kingsbury in Santa Fe, New Mexico tells a heartbreaking story about losing her best friend of ten years despite an intense battle to help him survive. Her best friend Jack was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. Since Heidi and Jack both work in the medical field, they understood the implications of discovering the disease so far along, but both were determined to beat it. Heidi took him to chemo treatments four days a weeks for months, keeping her spirits up in front of him and being as supportive as possible. However, watching the strong 190 pound man slowly shrink to 78 pounds was simply heartbreaking.
Heidi went home every night and alone she cried and prayed, angry and sad that such a young man was losing such an important fight. He wasn’t going to beat the cancer and it wasn’t just Heidi he would be forced to leave behind. His two sons would be fatherless. The only thing that got Heidi through this tragic time was her wonderful shar-pei, Astro.
Heidi found the solace and strength that she needed in her loving dog. Astro’s love and loyalty knew no limits as he sat with her for hours, kissing her tears away and giving her a warm body to hold on to in the storm. He was so incredibly bold and brave that Heidi found herself following his lead and trying be just as bold and brave herself. She says that, “Astro was loyal, loving, and accepting of my profound sadness and grief.” Although Heidi lost Jack, Astro helped her learn that everything happens for a reason; that unconditional love can be found in a world that isn’t always fair.
Do you have a dog that has helped you survive the hardships of this world? Be sure to share you stories with us. As always, we would love to hear them!