At Freedom Park summer 2010

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Dance

Garth Brooks has a song that says a lot about love and loss...and everyone can apply it to their own situation or need.  For me it is about finding a love and a way and a depth of loving that I didn't know I was even capable of......and then losing that and finding this gaping hole in my heart.  Here are the lyrics to the song.  I think you'll understand.....

Looking back on the memory of
the dance we shared 'neath the stars alone.
For a moment all the world was right
How could I know that you'd ever say good-bye. 

And now I am glad I didn't know
the way it all would end,
the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king.
Bit if I'd only known
How the king would fall
Hey, who's to say you know
I might have changed it all

And now I am glad I didn't know
The way it all would end,
the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

Yes, my life is better left to chance. 
I could have missed the pain but I would have had to miss the dance......

I wouldn't have given up my dance with Starskey for anything.  I would not have given up the chance to learn along with him and to play with him and to swing with him and to love him for anything else on earth.

The hole remains in my heart and maybe always will.  I still hope to find him but I also hope to begin a new dance with a new pet but it will never be the same.  Starskey was the first dog to reach that deeply in to my heart.  Maybe that was made easier for him because of all those that came before him.....Missy, Jack, Scooter, Ebony and more.  They each blazed a trail that the next one would follow and each got deeper and deeper in to my heart.

Starskey, however, remains special.  Not because he has been any different then any other dog I have ever loved - but because he was the first that came to me without first having been on his own or having been alive long enough to develop his own sense of self confidence.  He came to me as a baby to be nurtured, trained, loved, trusted, and introduced to the world.

I was proud of our relationship as it grew.  I gained self confidence as I taught him things, learned more about him, spent time with him and began to recognise his needs and took the steps to fulfill them.  Because he was a companion dog, instead of house guard or outdoor pet, there were things I learned about him that I hadn't learned about some of our other dogs.  It was a different relationship and I looked forward to our time together each day. 

Taking care of Starskey has never been a chore or a duty.  He is my friend, my playmate, my confidant and my helper.  He looked up to me to be his pack member and I did my best to fill that role for him.  He showed his gratitude by sharing his life with me and by sharing his adventures with me.  I would never have dreamed of going mouse hunting on my own - much less had so much fun doing it.  Walks around the ponds would have just been walks around the pond if I didn't get to enjoy his discovery of the world around him.

Watching the interaction between Starskey and our cats, Dufus and with other people was also very telling of the kind of dog he was.  He was rather submissive, except when it came to his food.  Even with the food - he would share his food and his treats after first establishing the fact that they were his to share.  He had a weakness (or liking) for cat food so a gate had to be installed and the cat's food put up where they could get at it but he couldn't - but on camping weekends he would often get caught raiding cat food around camp.

Starskey has a gentle soul.  He would bathe the campground baby kittens and snuggle them against him for warmth.  As fall approached and the nights were cooler the kittens appreciated the ability to snuggle with him near the camp fire - but the baths became an issue as he sometimes got them pretty wet and it was just too cold for that.  There was never any aggression toward the cats or kittens and I often wondered what need the kittens met for him.  I would watch him push them all over near the fire with his nose and then lay down with them.  Did he have gender confusion and think he was a mommy?

No - I would not have missed this dance with Starskey for anything.  He has taught me a lot.  The biggest things may have been patience and perserverance and perspective.  He taught me not to over react or react too quickly and to give him the benefit of the doubt - and I was always rewarded and pleased to see that what I feared could happen was not what was going to happen...........Until that day he went out the door to go pee and vanished.................................

Come on home Starskey - there is more dancing for us to do!  I love you!!!!

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