Monday, March 28, 2011

Mother Nature's loving hand

The title of this post may seem an odd choice in light of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, but the tender side of Mother Nature has blessed me all week long as I've begun to heal from the loss of my beloved Kadi. I've been warmed by the sun, kissed by gentle breezes, and lulled into peacefulness by the splendid songs of birds. In the face of so much life, I'm compelled to notice it and be thankful for it.

Spring is a short season in South Louisiana. The time between cold winter temperatures and blazing hot summers is measured in weeks, not months, and I'm determined to enjoy these rare, perfect days while they last. I bought a cap with a bill on it to shield my eyes from the bright morning light, and I put it on and sit outside while Butch and Levi roam the yard and pace the fence line, making sure nothing has changed since the night before. I can hear traffic sounds in the distance, but the beauty of the birds' songs overpowers the noise and  captures my attention. One bird calls over and over for "Ricky, Ricky, Ricky," and another calls, "Hear me! Hear me!" They flit through the air, darting in and out of trees, and their hustle-bustle energizes me.


Late at night I stand outside with the dogs for the last time of the day and listen to the cooing of a lone dove and the hoot of an owl. The dove's call is a sound I remember from childhood, from late summer evenings spent playing outside with my sister and friends from the neighborhood until darkness descended and our parents called us back inside for baths and bedtime. All these years later I still associate it with bedtime.

The dogs return to the back door without being called and we come inside. While I give  Levi a treat and put him in his crate, Butch makes his way to the bedroom, where he waits in the doorway until I get there with his biscuit. In a few short minutes both dogs are settled down and ready to sleep. I climb into bed, pull up the covers, turn out the lamp, and lie there in the darkness just thinking for a moment. I think about the fact that another day has passed, a beautiful day. I take stock of my emotions at that moment and find mostly love and gratitude. I roll over, pull Kadi's collar out from under my pillow and hold it in my hand, close to my heart, as I drift off to a peaceful sleep.


  1. I wondered where you put Kadi's collar :)
    And I'm happy "her" loving hand is helping you heal.
    Hugs to you.

  2. I have wondered about Butch. Does he seem to be grieving? He must miss her terribly.

  3. It's good to know that nature is accomodating your grief. I'm glad you're open to the gentleness of it all.

  4. So happy you are finding some peace. I kept Maggie's collar in a baggie and still open it and breathe in a deep breath of her scent!

    I'm curious...Is Levi taking over duties as Butch's seeing eye dog??

  5. Sandy, Kadi was very attached to her collar. If it happened to come off when she rolled around in the yard, she would sit right next to it until I put it back on her. I guess it never occurred to her that she could pick it up and bring it to me.

    Lucylocket, with the exception of one moment at bedtime, which I'm still not sure about, Butch hasn't seemed to notice that Kadi is gone. He's almost totally deaf now, in addition to being blind, so I'm not sure how much he is aware of these days. He definitely is aware of his suppertime or other good smells coming from the kitchen, and he can find me wherever I am in the house, so I don't know what to make of his lack of reaction.

    Duly Inspired, I'll take that gentleness wherever I can find it.

    Holly, Levi is helping Butch out, though not as much as Kadi did, and I don't think he understands that he's helping. If Butch is outside the door, hesitating to come in because he isn't sure where to step, Levi pops out the door, brushes against Butch, and then pops back in, and Butch follows him. It's a start, even if it's a result of Levi's impatience.

  6. What a lovely post! Makes me wistful, somehow.

    Interesting how some dogs love their collars-when I first got Spot, he'd never worn a collar, and fought me when I put it on. Then as he grew and got new collars, he gradually accepted them. Now he gets upset when I remove his collar before I give him a bath and seems very happy when I put it back on. It must be the security and familiarity, like a necklace that we'd never take off.

  7. Janet, when you mentioned necklaces, it reminded me that Kadi used to like wearing mine. Occasionally, when I came home from work, I'd take a necklace from around my neck and put it on hers. I wouldn't leave it there more than a few minutes, but for that short time she'd have her chin up and her chest out, looking very proud.

  8. Another beautiful piece of writing. I have the same associations to dove-call. They haven't really started here in SoCal yet. I look forward to it.

  9. What a beautiful post Linda, such a tenderness and a warmth that made tears brim again. I wish you many more such moments.

    I have both leads and collars of my two dogs (brother & sister) in my desk drawer. They only wore them when they went out for their walks but the faintest jingle brough them running, even from the garden.


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