Friday, July 8, 2016

The Gift from Guinness

I often thought I would write for Guinness from his own point of view.  I was sure I was waiting to hear from him.  But a year has passed and it is time to put the old boy to rest.
You know, I do believe that Guinness has his own Guinness World Record as the most photographed Irish Wolfhound on the planet... and the only one to hold a 9 year old blog!

Many dog-lovers from around the world started following Guinness' big adventures.  They sent gifts from other countries, and we even had visitors from California come to meet him.  We still keep in touch with many of the friends who loved Guinness, Groucho, Maggi and Saige.

Guinness loved spending time at the farm and really enjoyed all of the animals. He looked after sick calves.   His dream was to have a pet kitty--he had a lifetime fascination with them, but he never got his wish.

The other day I got an e-mail from my next-door-neighbour from when I lived in Middleton.  Her name is Natacha and she is certainly here in the pages of this blog.

  She was wondering about a yoga class where I live now, further up the Valley.  But the last message before that was from 2013.  It said "Guinness is out on the road, Mom is running after him."  Following that was "Oh no, he has gone into the woods."  That was nothing new for Guinness.  He was such an escape artist- opening doors, jumping fences.   I always thought Main Street Middleton was going to be the death of him. It almost was.

 I feel as though Guinness almost died every day for 9 years.  His thick file at the vets office will tell you I am not too far off.  It was one catastrophe after another...that was the name of the game with Guinness. 

He would be spotted at night at Tim Hortons with his head at the drive-thru window for treats, and was seen walking the streets of Middleton like a ghost in the night.  Somehow he kept living.  Somehow...he lived to a ripe old age of 9 (ancient for an IW) and died of natural causes in his sleep by my side.  Like Maggi--he didn't suffer a wink.  I just don't know how I could write a better story than that.  I don't know how there could be a nicer ending.


One time I had a dream.  I saw Guinness at the gates of heaven.  And he was SO bright and luminous! He had a big, bright smile on his face...and his eyes were gleaming. His heart was so open, full and proud!  He had a purple robe around his back.  He looked like a Royal Guardian.  The proudest thing you have ever seen.  My bond with Guinness was so great that if you could put into words what he meant to me you would see that indeed he was a KING!  For the time he was on Earth he was keeper of my soul and I shared that with him, and I knew he knew it.  It was a very beautiful experience to share that with an animal. 



Guinness really got into his role later when Maggi came along.  She was blind and he knew something was kind of different about her.  He knew he had to be her lead. He looked out for her in his own way.  Because of this, he refused a leash.  He thought it was insulting and he was above this sort of thing. He was very human-like in his quality that way.

 He had his own mind about how things ought to be.  He knew all the routes and all the walks.  He knew where Gramps lived and worked out his own agenda for longer walks.  He would always try and turn the next corner acting as though we were just going to go this way and there was no choice.    We also had to walk in a loop, he would not retrace his steps, so I was always trying to shorten the loop and what fights we had.   He would walk around the whole world if he could.

At camp he dug a hole  from which to rest and survey.  We called it his pit.  He worked this pit for 8 years.  It was situated between the camp, the truck, and the road so he could see all the goings-on.  Everyone that came to camp would fall or roll their ankle on the pit, but no one had the heart to fill in his pit... so he got his way.


  He never wanted to leave camp.  I would start packing up.  He was just so bad and would run away into the woods.  Maggi, playing innocent (but also wanting to stay) would walk around in circles stupid-like, waiting to hear the outcome.  It was always such drama with him and he was just such a character. 


Guinness loved to walk the grain mill loop.  There was a gate and I would park on that road a little ways down before the loop started.  When the walk was over and we reached the gate, Guinness would never walk to the truck.  I would get so mad because he just stood there refusing to come home.  He weight 170 pounds so there was little I could do. He just stood there like a stubborn ass as I loaded Maggi in the truck  and drove back to the gate.  He pushed his luck with everything.  Gosh I miss him!  The saucy fool.

Looking back at my life these last ten years is a trip down memory lane.  I am glad I kept record of these stories and adventures!   It all seems so innocent.  Time does pass.  The years go by, and there are tears and smiles at the miracle of it all.   And now I am coming to the end of my story, because everything does indeed make a loop.  Life comes full circle when you least expect it. 

And so it just so happens that yesterday, I decided to walk that loop with my brother's dog, Clyde. And who do you think  I  finally hear from-- Guinness!  I had finished the loop and I looked back.   I had forgotten about all the years of Guinness just standing at that gate.  As clear as could be- I felt his spirit there.   In my heart he was standing their smiling...and knowing.  I noticed the  smell in the air and heard the wind in the trees.  Everything was green and lush and the day was lazy and light.  Sometimes in life you get those rare glimpses when there is eternal peace held in the space of just one moment.  Boy did I smile.  Guinness was walking that loop...and he was going around again, and again...and again.

til we meet again, my Boy, my Guinny. Thank you for it all...