Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

The Goddess of Frolic

Last week I wished a tearful farewell to a friend of 12 years, my Australian Cattle Dog, Gunni.  She’d been suffering from blindness for the last year now and was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  Living in remote Alaska with my mom, it was too difficult to provide the care she needed to live well so we’ve made the decision to let her go.

Gunni came into my life when she was 6 weeks old, weighed just over a pound, and could fit in the palms of my 13-year-old hands.  She was destined to be my project dog for 4-H and what a project she was – high energy and full of life.  Gunni’s first few nights in our household were sleepless ones for me.  Over the next two years, I trained Gunni in obedience and agility, I entered her in shows, and gained a friend.  She frustrated me to no end during some of our training sessions; so excitable, distractable, but always a willing learner if there were treats to be earned.

And then we moved to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  My life as a 15-year-old might as well have been over.  Gunni came to be my sanity during that time.  She was my excuse for long hikes through the tundra.  We went out almost every day, regardless of the weather, and hiked 2 – 8 miles.  She was my silent companion while my teenage mind dealt with the culture shock, sadness, and anger of moving to a remote island.  And as I came to love the wild and raw beauty of the Aleutians, she was still there to enjoy it with me.  During our hikes I would let her off-leash and she would charge through the tundra grass, leaping like an antelope – a vision of pure glee.  She was ready at the drop of a hat to go exploring.

When it came time for me to move away, I couldn’t take Gunni with me.  I was a college student with no stable home, no yard for her to roam, and little free time to spend with her.  So she stayed in Alaska.  Each year I would return to Dutch Harbor to visit my family.  And there was little Gunni, ready with doggy greetings, wet kisses, and excited yelping that always made me smile.  During my visits we would return to our old ways of hiking daily – she was my joyful compatriot in the adventures of wandering the island, joined often by my brother DJ.

Gunni was a loyal, childhood friend and it truly saddens me to say goodbye.  She lived a full and happy life though, and I would never want her to live in pain.  She taught me about loyalty, courage, friendship, resilience, being scrappy, strength in silence, being ever-ready for an adventure, and choosing to have fun.  So here’s a loving goodbye to my silent confidant, my happy co-explorer, and my energetic friend – the best dog a girl could have.

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” ~ Samuel Butler

9 comments on “The Goddess of Frolic

  1. whatimeant2say
    August 30, 2012

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She looks so sweet!

    • Audrey
      September 5, 2012

      Thank you. I really do miss her, I’m content knowing she lived a good and relatively long life.

  2. Chicken Nuggets and Elmo
    August 31, 2012

    I’m so sorry Audrey! I know how hard it is to lose such a close friend. You gave her such a good life full of love and she will always be in your heart.

    • Audrey
      September 5, 2012

      She was a great pal to have when I needed it most. Thank you for the kind thoughts. She’ll be missed and remembered.

  3. ethelthedean
    August 31, 2012

    This is such a beautiful post. A true testament to the love animals bring into our lives. Reading it gave me good pimples, and brought both tears and smiles to my face.

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I am also so happy to know that this amazing friend brought so much love into your life. Big, big hugs and much love is sent your way.

    • Audrey
      September 5, 2012

      It’s really amazing how these funny little creatures can impact our lives. Thank you. She deserves a good send off. Hugs right back at you, lady!

  4. betunada
    September 1, 2012

    i had made up my mind earlier today not to be touched by anything. this story undid that. good story. i’m sad. darn you!

  5. captainariel
    September 17, 2012

    really love that first pic of you two :] and Glad I gave you the one I placed in my art show! ..even though your mom wanted to buy it 😉 haha

  6. Pingback: An Addition To The Family | Dangerously Daydreaming

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