Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrating two years of knowing my north star, Ahnung

Ahnung lounging on the back
patio -- her favorite spot!
October, 2010 is a special month for us as I celebrate two years from when I first met my precious girl Ahnung up at Red Lake reservation shortly after she was rescued by Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue .... her name was 'Mama' at that time as she had been abandoned with a litter of 8 puppies and left to fend for herself and her puppies in the bitter winter of northern Minnesota. She has no front teeth ... her teeth ground down to her gums in an effort to scrounge and find food in the dirt and rocks and earth. We later learn she also has heartworm and a pellet in one of her nipples from a gunshot.

I had not planned on adopting this sweet girl. In fact, with two big dogs in a city home in St. Paul the last thing my partner and I needed was a third big dog. But often the best things in life are the unplanned and the unexpected .... Ahnung (which means 'star' in ojibway) came into my life for a reason as we have helped each other both heal.

Ahnung when I first met her
October, 2008
In November, 2008 I return to Red Lake to bring Ahnung home to the cities and into Pet Haven's foster program. Our bond continues to grow and I realize that there is a spiritual connection so deep I simply cannot ignore it. Ahnung takes her first city outing in November, 2008 and on that outing I take her to the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis where I spend a fair amount of time taking classes and writing ... I share more about that excursion on a blog post. 

Since then she has been my angel ... we officially adopted her on January 3, 2009 and became a registered therapy dog through Delta Society in December, 2009. We volunteer now as a team working with at-risk youth, in hospice and will begin visiting cancer patients shortly. Ahnung maintains her own blog :) and has a facebook fan page ....

We received a beautiful gift and email yesterday when Ahnung received an email from one of her facebook fans. With permission, I am sharing with you a portion of the email:

Hello Ahnung –

I want to thank you for so many things.  I have been following you and your mother on Facebook for some time now and reading your blogs too.  You both bring so much joy into my life.  I am a pastor serving a Lutheran church in Minnesota and so often you bring me to the sacred and holiness of life.  This is a sweet thing because in the midst of my calling to bring those very things to those I share life with, I’m not always filled with them myself.  So, you guys are kinda my pastors. 
Ahnung - registered Delta Society
therapy dog!

What brought me to the point of writing today was your mother’s post on the Hunter’s Moon.  Her last paragraph is one of the most moving things I’ve ever read.  I like the poetry of Mary Oliver very much (and am heading to Barnes & Noble later today to pick up a newish book of hers) and it reminds me of her writing.  I’m also drawn to the mystical presence of the saints – a great cloud of witnesses – upon another shore and in a greater light – who have gone before us and I so often think of them in the night sky.  And I consider it my calling to find the holy, the sacred, the gift and the grace here on earth – in those we share life with.  Your Mom said this, sang this, so well.  Please thank her for me.

I came to you through a good, good friend of mine who went through the MSW program through St. Thomas and met you and heard you speak.  It may have been last fall.  She knew I would like you, so she took one of your business cards for me (which is proudly displayed on my bulletin board) and told me about your blog and Facebook page.  Since then, I’ve been a follower.

So again, Nung Nung, thanks to you and to your mother for making my day today.  And for doing the same so many other times.  While I’ve not yet told you until now (beyond some “likes” to your Facebook postings), you both are a gift and blessing to me.

Peace, my Friends.


Ahnung has been a true gift to me .... I hope in some small way I have been able to give back to her even just a a little. We are grateful that our writing and our blogging continues to touch the lives of others. Thank you "C" for taking the time to write to my sweet girl Ahnung and for letting her know that she is a gift and a blessing. Thank you also for your kind words to me. It means a lot to both of us to know that we are helping others in their respective journeys as we walk through our own journey of life ....

With recent health challenges I have learned be even more grateful for each day .... this morning I woke up feeling great!! A good night's sleep, no pain, my persistent cough subsiding and feeling energetic .... there are days when my body really struggles as I can feel and sense changes happening in my body at a cellular level. 

Every day is a gift to me now. The truth is, we don't know what tomorrow will bring, and that's okay. We have today. We have the moment ... and for me, my sweet nung-nung is a constant reminder to me to live in the present moment. 

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