LUCKY TOLD ME, in a dream, after he died: “If I come back to Earth, you will know it from a person who will enter our front door, and they will talk about Shetland Sheepdogs. Then you will find me, in my new body, south of your house.”
I didn’t believe it would happen quite this way. I thought that in all the northwest of the United States of America, south of my house, there would be a Shetland Sheepdog that would spring to life and mirror the spirit of my friend Lucky, who had died three years before.
Sure enough, for the first time in the years since his death, someone walked into the front door just as Lucky had said they would, and talked about Shetland Sheepdogs. After being quiet for the years, not even thinking about a replacement for Lucky, all at once I remembered his dream, coming true for me and for him.
But I couldn’t find him! There was not one Shetland Sheepdog I could find, nothing. I searched day after day, looking for him. Nothing. How can Shelties be so popular? Not one to be found for sale, not to mention that one would need to be a reincarnation of Lucky.
Way at the last of my wits, I scanned a puppy website that promised excellent Shelties, I saw nothing there. Lots of cute little pups, but not one that had the attitude of Lucky. How do we tell an attitude of a dog? When we’ve lived with them for ten years, we know their attitude: they’re playful, thoughtful, courageous, they’re ringing bells as a watchdog, they’re a gentle king to the other creatures nearby.
Not one Shelty for sale, nearby.
But Lucky didn’t mean nearby. He meant far, far to the south of the house, not in Washington State, not in the northwest, but 1,500 miles south and east of home, in the land of Missouri.
One last time, I took one final look at the puppies, and I blinked. Why didn’t I see this photograph, how could I have missed it earlier? Of all the puppies, here was one, only one, who would be thinking about his new life, not paying much attention to the camera, considering it all in the way that Lucky would consider life, most of the day!
Lucky was kind to the other animals. Some of course may have stepped a little bit out of line, and might have needed a bark. A squirrel, for instance, sometimes a squirrel might have required a dash and a growl to go well up its tree. But mostly, Lucky was kind, was thoughtful.
When we got Zsa-Zsa, a very young puppy to be his partner, Lucky wondered. Do I need this little puppy in my life?
I could read his thoughts. When we go for a walk, he said to me, I’ll be enjoying all nature, and Zsa-Zsa will bite my tail!
I tried to understand. I asked Lucky to do his best with the puppy, and he sighed. But his attitude was ironed into his spirit.
So I knew Lucky’s thoughts about most any event. Zsa-Zsa had tested Lucky against bright little puppies. What if I found him now, as a puppy himself? Would he be thinking about it, would he say, I’m a puppy now, too, and I will understand this part of my life, and remember it when I’m the king of my property. I’ll be kinder to young dogs. It may be necessary to bark at squirrels, but I’ll be kind to puppies.
Lucky’s vision of our future came true. I wonder what he will bring from the afterlife, what he will learn from this life on Earth? Will both of us discover together about our place in forever?
Such a thoughtful dog!