Spirit’s plans for me felt today in contrast to my own. The adorable new apartment that has felt like a welcome answer to my hurried question of where to move my pup and me came today with quite an unexpected surprise. After my first trip to the new place, smudging energies, air filtering, adjusting lights and such to help acclimate to what would soon be our new space, I descended the single flight of outdoor stairs and was met by a curious little creature. A dog so scraggly that he made my own muppet-resembling pup look for the first time ever, purebred. This clumsy, awkward collection of fur and friendliness was a find I usually would welcome warmly, but since Waylon’s recent attack, gave me immediate pause.
As much as I, as a dog-mom worry about my own K9’s safety in the wake of other dogs, it is for their own well being that I am concerned based solely upon my own dog’s sheerness of size. Immediately that familiar old feeling of overwhelm and ruin began to fill the space that excitement for our new little home had just held. I didn’t know where to turn. No one knows Waylon as I do. Even my ex-husband who recently immortalized Way’s tale for the pages of Garden & Gun Magazine hasn’t lived our own daily adventures in well over three years. The pancreatitis hospitalizations, the crippling spells of polyarthritis, the warm reunions after my long work trips, the horrifying absence of a once-hired pet sitter, and the now paralyzing fear Waylon now held at the sight of tiny dogs since the day an eight pound terrier chomped into his hind legs.
No one understands the sacrifices and allowances Waylon and I have become accustomed to. The sidewalks we cross in avoidance of well behaved
Labs. The lunches I trek home every single work day to give Way a small bit of respite from his daily crate life. The arsenal of meds we keep on hand, now knowing well from experience how to handle symptoms before they result in vet overnights. And now, our stark avoidance of any situation involving a small dog. No one knows our version of normal. No one else is adjusted to it. Who could I talk to?
The very first person who came to mind was the exact person we needed most, Cindy Smith. Cindy, known in some circles as the “Animal Smith,” is a compassionate, level-headed Animal Communicator based in North Carolina. Cindy knew Waylon from our mountain days, she recalled his history, and made space for us in the very same day. Her own day with clients had been long, and tiring, but Cindy’s compassion for Waylon and any small dogs in his path took over, and she walked us calmly through some solutions.
I always thought very highly of Cindy’s talents and the help she had offered in the past. But years ago when in the midst of a divorce, cross-country move, new job, new home, new life, and a string of new boyfriends, I had wanted to engage Cindy’s help in acclimating Waylon and looping him in, but I was too lost myself, and often so overwhelmed by mounting vet bills, that our sessions for years disappeared. It was such a long time ago that we spoke that I was surprised today at how easily things had fallen into place to allow for our conversation. And I was so grateful for her help not only with the pressing matter at hand, but also for how kindly she walked Waylon through what to expect in coming days with our move ahead. There were things I hadn’t thought to reassure him of, and things I was so grateful for him to know. I love change, and Waylon has ridden many a wave with me, but I forget how delicate his own compass can be, and how vital help from special souls like Cindy is.
I suppose the best part of it all was Cindy’s relay back to me of how much a team Waylon views the two of us as. We really are. My silly, sweet animal guide has been through it all with me now. I am forever grateful to Waylon for his choice of me at the shelter in the Ochocos of Oregon so many years ago. And I am so grateful for people like Cindy who by following her own path and purpose has helped so many animals, Way included.
I’m excited to interview Cindy soon, and share with you more of her own story. But for today, I just wanted to say that even though this wasn’t all easy, it is all okay. Some days get a little troublesome, but when I press on with hope knowing that the blessing is just around the corner, I always do seem to find one.