AFTER HE HAD died three years ago, I talked with Lucky, my Shetland Sheepdog. He talked about what it felt like, to be out of his body, why he had died, why he was not sad to leave me or his life as a mortal.
He knew that he was exactly where he needed to be, and that we would be meeting again. I agreed with that, still a few tears from the change. As he had been, I was a mortal too, and felt as though we had been separated by my beliefs of space and time. Ten years we had been friends, and I loved him still.
He was not sad for the limitation of my understanding. Most mortals have that problem.
“I’ve been always with you,” he said. “I’m still with you, even though you don’t see me. You’ll understand, some day.”
“What was it like, Lucky, dying?”
“Different for you. You were so sad. I lifted out of my body. No sorrow, no sadness. It felt as if I got bigger and bigger… I was part of everything. I’m part of the air you breathe, with you always. Don’t forget!”
“Oh, Lucky. I miss you.”
“You miss me when you can’t see me, but I’m right here! I’m here! I’m all you loved about me, I’m the spirit, the only Lucky you loved! I am not gone, not dead, I never was! You walk every day around the roads, the meadows, and I walk with you, too!”
Me and my invisible dog, I thought.
“Are you coming back, Lucky? Will I see you as a dog, ever in the rest of my life this time?”
He was quiet for a minute. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I’ll have to see about that. There’s so much to learn here! I’m learning quickly, remembering, mostly, but it may be that I’ll never be a dog again. It was good, our times then. But… I don’t know.”
“If you do come back,” I said, “Let’s pretend you decided. How will I know?”
Lucky must have been thinking about it, even though he had not made a decision. “If a person comes to your front door,” he said, “someone from the south of you, and if they tell you that there’s a place with Shelties for sale, go and see it. I’ll be there.”
I didn’t ask him how I’d know him, didn’t need to. I’ll know Lucky.
Three years went by after that talk with Lucky. Quite a few people came to the house in those years, and nobody that had a word to say about Shelties. Maybe he was already born, and he was already here on earth. Without a sign of what he had said, I couldn’t know.
After my crash, I talked with him again. Just a quiet talk, when at last I was able to walk along our path again. No decisions from him about coming back to meet me in this lifetime.
This morning, though, a few hours ago, a realtor came to meet me. She brought her Sheltie with her, Jingles. Absolutely beautiful, that dog, the same bright collar of soft fur around her gentle face, an amazing fur scarf the color of lightning, she was just this side of incandescent white, too bright in the sunlight, to see her.
We talked for a while, the realtor and I, and when I told her about Lucky, how close we had been, the realtor mentioned a place where there could be a Sheltie to a good home. It was Jingles’ birthplace. I’d have to pass the owner’s test of a home, but the dog was there.
“How I can I reach her?”
“I have her email. But she’s not far, on the mainland. Just south of town.”
After a minute, I thought about that. The realtor’s town is south of me. South of town is south of south to me. Hadn’t Lucky mentioned that?
She said they have Shelties. Today was the first time since Lucky died, that I remembered his words, now his prophecy:
Someone living to the south. Entered my front door.
This person would tell me about Shelties nearby.
Had Lucky arranged, back then, for me to meet him? What he had said in the talk of three years ago, has it come true?
Last night I had written for these pages that this was a time of the Silent Ocean, a lonely time for me. When a few readers thought I was asking for their healing ideas, I took that story off line. I may re-write it. It’s part of my life and it may be someone else’s, one day, too…I didn’t want them to think I was asking for help.
After I took that story off the website, hours before the realtor and Jingles came here, I thought in the night, maybe a dog would be good for me, and I’d be for him, too, it might solve a double loneliness.
An hour ago, I sent a message to the Sheltie owner, asked if she might have a dog available to a good home.
I’m waiting, now, to see if she answers.