Saturday, July 22, 2017

Honda Element (Ahnung mobile) moves on ...

In 2004 I purchased my Honda Element. I walked into the dealer in Burnsville, MN looking for a new vehicle. The sales man asked me what I was looking for, my lifestyle, what was important. I described to him what was important ... I had 2 dogs at that time (Shadow and Shen). My dogs were my 'kids'. He walked me over to an orange Element on the sales floor. I remember thinking, that is the ugliest vehicle. He could tell by my expression how much I disliked it. He told me, 'let me just explain why'. He proceeded to show me how the seats in the back folded up so easily to create a large cargo space, how it would be so easy to just wash out the vehicle and spray it down ... this one happened to have heated leather seats and a DVD player (a Bug's Life was in the player .... he smiled and said, your dogs could watch movies!). After a couple hours I was driving out of the dealer with my new orange Honda Element! I figured the 'ugly' boxy look, and the orange would grow on me!! I needed a vehicle that day! Let's just say it didn't take long for me to fall in love with my Element, both the look and the color and the ease in which the seats lifted up so my pups could have lots of space!

This vehicle has been through so much with me. When I got involved in the animal welfare community in 2006 it became the vehicle that helped transport animals. When I went up to Red Lake Reservation in 2008, it was the vehicle that transported my beloved Ahnung (along with 17 other dogs/puppies/kittens) back to the Twin Cities ... it is the vehicle that has transported more animals to the next stage of their journey in finding forever homes. It has been the vehicle where Ahnung and I spent many hours ... where her energy infused the space ... it was the vehicle that took us up to Grand Marais (along with Legacy, who joined us in 2011) for our trips after we learned she had cancer. It is the vehicle that transported Ishkode (aka her chosen pup) in 2013 after she had transitioned to the spirit world.

Ishka as a puppy (2013)
I had planned on driving the Element (my Ahnung mobile) until it died. It had 180,000 miles and was an amazing vehicle. I would have purchased another Element, however, they no longer make them anymore. The next vehicle I had thought about was a Jeep Renegade ... yeah, i had come to love the boxy look! But it would have to be many years, in my mind, as the Element was probably going to last me until 300,000+ miles! Well, as Ahnung always does ... she communicates with me. One morning my friend posted on Facebook she was looking for a used car. She has a small business, Tiny Tails, where Ishka spends a few days each week as she gets the most amazing care, daily pack walks and so much more! My friend also comes to our house and helps with our pack of 5 dogs when we need help (Ishka, Legacy, Mister, Missy and Piper). With the exception of Piper (16.5 years old) she takes the big dogs out on pack walks. I honestly don't know how she does it!!! I only take them for walks, one at a time!! :). Anyway, when I saw her post on Facebook, I had this image and thought pop up. It was like Ahnung was talking to me ... The Honda Element needs to go to Tiny Tails! Ahnung was telling me it was time to let go, for the Element
to move on to the next part of her journey ... and so there have been many tears as I have said goodbye to a vehicle that been symbolic on such a deep level and has represented my connection to Ahnung, transporting so many rez animals (including Ishka), and my work in the animal welfare community in Minnesota. Last week I purchased a red Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. Yesterday, I said goodbye to my Element and she has now moved on to being the Tiny Tails mobile! It makes me sooo happy to see her continue her work helping an amazing small business and friend. I am also happy Ishka will continue to get to ride the Element. Ishka also broke in the Trailhawk yesterday, named 'Starfire' (after Ahnung which means star in objiwe, and Ishkode which means fire in ojibwe).

Here's to new adventures with Starfire and the Tiny Tails mobile!!!! And thank you Abra and Tiny Tails for providing my Honda Element (formerly the Ahnung mobile) with a new home and purpose!!!

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