- Posted by Gilleen Witkowski
- On January 28, 2016
- 0 Comments
- Canada, dogs, love, Ontario, pets, puppies
Humans and dogs truly have a mutually fulfilling relationship – our dogs always teach us something.
My first dog taught me about overcoming fear, letting go, and reaching out to others.
When I think about her black, white, and grey fur, her lively energy yet calm demeanour, the way she let 3 – soon followed by 4 – little kids crawl all over her inside and outside in all the Canadian seasons, I think of the lessons she taught me and I’m grateful.
Two brothers, a hen, and our dog Colly
My parents surprised me by bringing home a young dog on my 7th birthday. My parents sought out a sweet, yet protective female dog for me. I had been bitten by a neighbour’s chained-up dog at the age of 4 and had been petrified of dogs ever since.
That automatic fear around dogs, that anxiety and worry that had stayed with me since I was bitten melted away immediately when I met that gentle creature on our front yard in Proton Township, Ontario. I was told she was part Collie and part German Shepherd, with some other blends in there, and I decided the first part sounded good enough, naming her “Colly.”
When Emma was born at home in 1994, our dog kept a respectful distance.
Faithful yet adventurous, Colly spent her days romping around the house and the yard with us kids, or snuggling next to us in the evening while Saved By The Bell or Full House played on TV. At night she was mostly outside, roaming farmers’ fields and running through the woods, often bringing us back her grisly hunting spoils of groundhog.
A few years after Colly came into our lives, it was fall, and our family had recently bought a small house on 100 acres in southern Ontario farm country.
Shortly before we were to move, we found out the devastating news that Colly had been hit by a car during the night and had died.
My parents decided that we would have a nice ceremony for her, and bury her on the farm.
So we trekked to one of the back fields at the new place, and together (I’m guessing here that the adults did most of the work) dug her a grave there. We buried her in it, placing on top a bunch of stones spelling out C-O-L-L-Y, so that she could join us in our new home, even if it wasn’t in the way we’d planned.
Although those 3 years with Colly were short, they were eventful.
I’ll always remember her as a cuddly, supportive friend who taught me to let go of my fears and reach out to others – and I’m so grateful I got to know her.
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