It was only a dream. But oh, what a wonderdul dream for she was in my dream, that familiar, powerful body lunging forward as the dragon's tail coiled around her midriff. She was battling a dragon, a mythical creature, that wanted to pull her in ... or pull her away. But she stood her ground and resisted. And then the dream ended.
Upon waking up, I knew she was no longer with me, that she had died some time ago. But it felt good to remember her, to be able to see her again. She was a wonderful four-legged friend who had a big heart and who loved hard. As I sat at the computer, she would come in and I would lean down and press one side of my face against her muzzle, resting there for a few moments. She wouldn't move. Neither would I. There was a deep affection. And then she would either move on or lay down a little further away. Who could -- who would even want to -- forget such moments?
Her male companion, who is still with us, is more earth-bound. He, too, has a big heart, one who loves adventure but has to be contented with whatever little adventures he can find on our property. Unlike M -- who passed away -- he loves the water. Years ago, a stream of deep, rushing water prevented us from getting to the other side. We were in a national park and had wandered too far. After my husband made his way across, B, ever ready for an adventure, and not at all afraid of the cold, rushing water, jumped in and the strong current started pulling him away. I could see that he was struggling against the current and he never gave up, not even for a moment. I was afraid but my husband seemed to know that all would be well. B's perseverance paid off and he found his way back and joined my husband. He never gave up. It seemed that even a young dog could teach me a lesson.
They were two dogs with obviously different personalities but who also complemented one another. They were protective and worked together well although there were times during their younger days when one seemed more dominant of the other.
I remember one night when I was in bed and M was on the bed with me. B was on the floor and both dogs focused their attention on the window. M came over and stood over me, looking towards the window. She was very still. I wasn't sure what I should be feeling. Glad that my dogs -- one on the floor and one on the bed -- were there to protect me? Or fearful that something could actually be outside? After a while, both dogs relaxed and I could also relax again. And even though I knew that they could, and would, protect me, I didn't want them to risk anything doing so.
Why am I writing about M even now? Months have passed since her death. B is with us but I know he won't be with us forever. Nothing is forever. I won't live forever. I am not supposed to. As I grow older in a land whose red and gold leaves in Autumn shed to make way for the cold and frosty Winter and then the Earth is renewed again in the Spring, and even though it may be a childish thought, I am reminded that change is inevitable. The heat of the sun during the short Summer months are treasured by me for the onset of the colder months come too soon. And I still miss my M whose time had come to leave us.
I still missed her so one night, I dreamt about her again. I wanted her back and she appeared in my dream, the same big, golden dog that I knew and loved. But she was much bigger in size this time; she was huge. She was behind a fence and I recognised her at once. My M was back and I was happy. But then it struck me that she wasn't my M. Yes, she had always been larger than life to us but this wasn't M. One couldn't bring back the dead. It only looked like her but I knew, even in the dream, that it wasn't her. She only looked like her but there wasn't life in her. She was moving, prancing about, but there was no real life. Just as there was no longer any scent about her as I touched and smelled her fur after she had died. And it was time to let go. I couldn't bring her back.
There are times when I still ache for her. My husband misses her also and isn't ashamed to express his pain once in a while. For she was our guardian angel who was sent down to look after us. And she was there for B as well, the two of them looking out for each other -- as well as looking out for us, their human companions -- like true friends do.
She battled a dragon in my dream. And I know that only in my dreams will I find her again.