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Shelly, is my border collie mix doggie love. I rescued her from a shelter when she was  just a few months old in November 2001, soon after 9/11.  For six years, she was my buddy. She followed me everywhere. Slept under my bed and gave me such joy and companionship.

Three years ago, after my divorce, I left her with my ex and her pack (we had four dogs) as I settled into my new life as single independent woman. She was well loved there by my stepdaughter, granddaughter and ex-husband, but I longed for her for three years. I thought about her often and always knew I would get her back when I was ready. It was important to me to be ready and be able to take care of myself, first.

Well, it is three years later and I have her again and I am thrilled. I missed her so much and love her dearly. It is important for me to have her in last days. She is nine and I know she doesn’t have many years left. I don’t why it is so important to me, and why her. While I loved all my dogs, I felt a deeper connection with her. I am not going to question it but enjoy this special soul connection I seem to have with her.

She teaches me so much every day. Here are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned in just the last 6 weeks since her return.

Relax often dude, take naps, chill

Focus on what is important…. fresh air, long walks, food, and love…what else is there?

Love unconditionally. Love me, love you anyway, no matter what happened the moment before

Learn how to be in the NOW.  There is only now, what torn sofa?, or poop in the bedroom?…there is only now and right now all is well

Pleasure is good.  A good belly rub or a back scratch can help shift your mood and goes a long way, rub and scratch me when necessary.

Love goes beyond appearance. The truth is, I don’t really care what you are wearing or what you look like, that’s love.

Closeness is important. Can you tell? Notice how I follow you and lay at your feet.

Empathy and compassion rocks, even dogs have it.  I know when you are sad…notice what I do..that is what people need.