Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Four Star Movement

Masaka, Misu, Muraca and Micco
amidst all their toys!
My tears finally started to slow down yesterday. On Tuesday I could barely open my eyes, then later in the day I got a text from Heidi, " ... today has been rough seeing all their toys out in the yard but no one there to play with them. And I haven't got it in me yet to put away the puppy living quarters downstairs. I never thought I would say I miss the smell of four stinky puppies as I walk downstairs ...". The tears, once again, started to flow. Yesterday morning I woke up more rested after having a good night's sleep. As I took time in the morning as I always do to meditate, reflect and write I realized that transformation HAS to come out of this tragedy. In the midst of incredible pain there was light ... the light of love, kindness and compassion was shining brightly all around the puppies. I believe with all my heart, that they came to us for a reason. I believe they were meant to be the first transport for Jill, Erica and Kristen of Pause for Paws, three amazing women who started a non-profit to help raise money for animal welfare organizations. I believe they were meant to have the best 9 days possible at Heidi's home. I believe they were meant to wiggle into every open crevice and crack of our heart, and to even shred our heart into a million pieces. In our pain, we will see that we are not alone. And in our pain, we will be inspired to act and explore and transform a status quo that is no longer okay. In our pain, we will build an even stronger community and we will open our hearts up even more, not only for these precious animals who bring us together, but for each other.
Muraca (white moon) basking
in the sun

Yesterday afternoon I get a call from Jenny. She tells me to check the Animal Humane Society website. We always go there to check and see if the animals we have brought in from Leech Lake Reservation are up on their website and up for adoption. I'm parked at the post office and with my phone go to the AHS adoptable dog website. I scrolled down and when I get to the letter M, my heart skips a beat. I see a puppy on their website, her name 'Micco' and in parenthesis 'chief'. For a split second I am lost in a different world and thought they came back to life, then I realize, 'no Marilou, you were there with them, holding them, as they crossed over rainbow bridge.' I keep scrolling ... there are 4 other puppies 'Misu (rippling brook)', 'Masaka (strong)', 'Muraca (white moon)', and Memory. Then it hits me: AHS must have named these pups in memory of the ones we lost to parvo. Tears once again start to fall. I call Jenny back and she tells me Lynn called her to let her know that they got a litter of 5 puppies in that were ready to go up to the adoption floor. The Golden Valley AHS site manager Anne Johnson approached Lynn and asked, 'Can we name these pups in honor of the parvo pups?' They have 5 puppies, so they creatively name the fifth pup 'Memory.' Jenny tells me that Lynn called her because she didn't want to call me and make me cry again :) Well Lynn, it didn't work!! The tears started flowing again. I am moved and touched by the gesture of compassion shown by the staff at AHS. What an incredible tribute to the Misu, Masaka, Muraca and Micco. And what a powerful message you have also sent  .... We are not alone. We are in this together. We are so much stronger when we stand together and lean on each other.

So the spirit of Micco, Misa, Masaka and Muraca will live on in the bodies of these 4 pups now up for adoption through AHS, and they even have Memory the fifth pup making sure their memory and spirit lives on!

Heidi shared with me photos. You can visit my flickr site to see what a great 9 days these pups had with Heidi.

Yesterday morning, I posted the following on my facebook wall ... I am looking to create a program, the Four Star Movement, which will bring a community together so that there will come a day when the ending of the story for these beautiful four puppies will be a very different one ... 

Are you a rule breaker and when faced with a challenge or painful situation look to build bridges rather than point fingers or put up walls? Do you think outside the box more than inside the box? Do you believe that anything is possible? Do you believe that there is good at the core of every being? If you answered ‘yes’ to these 4 questions I want to hear from you. I’m looking for volunteers willing to join me in the creation of a program which will fall under Leech Lake Legacy or MnPAW, and will be in memory of Micco, Masaka, Muraca and Misu (The Four Stars)… 4 beautiful pups we lost to parvo on Monday who are bright new stars in the night skies. I have ideas brewing in my head and want to brainstorm and network with others who share my passion and belief. These four stars will continue to live on and their light will shine on brightly. Email me at if you want to join me in the Four Star Movement.

Micco (chief)
" ... Wisdom is often born in the shadows, frequently more visible in the darkness than in the light ... we must move into darker places if we are to find the wisdom we so desperately need. We rarely go there willingly, though every life contains its own cycles of grief and celebration. To meet wisdom in these dark places we must be willing and able to hold all of what life gives us, exclude nothing of ourselves to the world, to tell ourselves the truth. Wisdom will stretch us far beyond where we thought we could or wanted to go. She will show us what we cannot change or control, reveal what is hard to know about ourselves and the world, and tear at the illusions of what we think we know, until we are surrounded by the vastness of the mystery ... And all the while, wisdom asks us to choose life.  She does not want us to just continue, to hang on, to survive. She asks us to experience life actively, fully, every day -- to show up for all of it." ~ Oriah

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