Heartinsanfrancisco has posted about animal totems. It is a fascinating post. It is particularly fascinating for me to read at a time in my life when I am contemplating how others understand the inter-relatedness of all life. I believe we are all connected in some way and that animals can’t be simply dismissed as food and pets who don’t get go to heaven when they die. I can tell you of many an animal that deserves a spot much more than I do.
I mentioned in my slightly manic previous post about wanting a dog. I have always had a pet, every moment of my life, except for the last 2 years. When we were children, if a dog died one night, we’d have a new puppy by the time we were home from school the next day. Either a stray would adopt us and we’d keep it, or we’d go to the pound for a new one. There were plenty of times when there were multiple dogs or a dog and a couple of cats. I’m not much of a cat person when it comes to having my very own. I’m just not drawn to them in that way, but I love them. I loved Spanky and Darla.
When I was born we had Frenchie. She was part Great Dane and part Boxer. She was the sweetest dog except for times I’d be playing in the yard and a stranger walked by. I was her pup. No one was allowed near me who she didn’t know and trust. Frenchie was poisoned one afternoon. My next door neighbor’s house was burglarized that night. We believe they were connected.
After Frenchie we got Fella. He was 1 or 2 years old when we adopted him. He was part Shepherd and part Collie. He was tan and white with long Collie hair. He was the dog of most of my childhood. He was with us from the time I was about 6 until 16. When we moved from the city to the suburbs my parents took him to the pound and had him put to sleep. I thought for the longest time that they were just evil and uppity and didn’t want a dog in their new house. The truth is that Fella had cancer and was dying and my parents could bring themselves to tell me. I cried for years when I thought of him. I talked about him every time I’d see a dog. Everyone has heard about Fella. He appeared in my dreams for at least 10 years. The dreams would be so real I would wake up and expect him to be at the foot of my bed. I would be wide awake and swear I could hear his tags clinking on his collar. I fully expected to turn around and see him again one day. I never have.
We had Duchess, a long-haired chihuahua, Sheba, an sooner, Spanky, Champ, and 8 of Sheba’s puppies as well as the others. There was one other black dog that followed me home, but he didn’t stay very long. I don’t remember his name.
When I graduated from college, my parents bought me Samson, my Yorkie baby. He went with me into my marriage and died 5 months (or a year and 5 months, I can’t remember) before I left. I had to put him down because it was killing me to watch him suffer from an enlarged heart. If I could have chosen who in the house would get put down, it wouldn’t have been Samson. We had another Yorkie too, Rudy. I lost him in the custody battle. He’s still with his dad, as far as I know.
So, on April 23rd, I will officially reach my second anniversary of doglessness–oh, and of leaving my marriage. Yay! I ache for a dog. Ache. Isn’t it funny that I don’t ache for a man? I will adjust to life without I companion whose socks I may see on my floor, but I cannot adjust to life without a dog. I really don’t want to move again, but I may have to since I can’t have a dog in my current apartment. It is just that serious. This is worse than my fleeting hankering to have a child.
Anyway, Heart offered one view of animal presence in one’s life. I found it fascinating and have taken the quiz below to see what my animal totem is. Check it:
The WolfYou are protected by the great spirit of the Wolf; a stalwart seeker of truth and justice and adament hunter of those who oppress and depress. You value truth and honor above all else, protector of the innocent and defender of the weak. Your quote: “All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost”
Take this quiz!
So, I did some more research to see the difference between a dog totem and a wolf totem (as Heart has so aptly instructed that these animals are not the same.)
Dog totem: Faithfulness and Protection
The Dog is a symbol of the small becoming the great. People with this totem have great spirit and a great ability to love. It takes a lot to break a dog spirit.People with a Dog totem are usually helping others or serving humanity in some way. Dog medicine embodies the loving gentleness of best friend and the fierce energy of protector.
You will have a deep understanding and compassion of human shortcomings. Study the quality of the breed of dog that has entered your life: is it a hunter, a protector, a companion, playful? Each of these qualities will give you insight into the qualities needed for your own life. A Dog totem is a great spirit booster.
Wolf totem: Intuition, Learning, Spirit
This totem brings faithfulness, inner strength and intuition when he enters our lives. But he also brings learning to live with one’s self. The wolf teaches us to learn about our inner self and to find our inner power and strength. But to achieve this, we must take risks and face our deepest fears. A wolf totem demands sincerity. This totem demands a lot of us but gives us much in return; a spirit helper that is always there to help and gives us extraordinary powers of endurance.
He reminds us to listen to our inner thoughts and trust our insights. They remind us not to waste resources and to learn how to avoid trouble and confrontations. People with Wolf totems have the capacity to make quick and firm emotional attachments. Trust your insights about these attachments. Wolf will guide you. Take control of your life with Wolf’s help and do so with harmony and discipline.
I think it’s so interesting how all of creation interacts with one another and how often we miss it. Wolf and Dog each say so much about who I am and what matters most to me. The timing is uncanny. I am contemplating a significant career shift. I am reminded today of what matters most to me.
The strangest things happen to me when I’m facing a major decision. I’ll tell you more about this in a couple of days.