In early May 2007 my dearest friend who was battling AML called me to her bedside. Lifting the blanket, out peeked a tiny brown eyed fur baby. A gift of Grief for me from Ann! Dont you always find it’s amazing, often times surprising where we learn stuff about life and who the teacher is! If we stay open and have a look around then nearly anything can be a life lesson.

This short legged Jack Russell puppy arrived  at a  time in my life that I was wishing I could change the ‘crazy sadness’ going on, struggling with humongous waves of grief around the loss of my son and my friend’s terminal illness. In her wisdom Anne knew that this little soul would create miracles and magic for me through my grieving process and would  provide comfort to me  from the worlds unseen. You know how sometimes something/someone comes into your life for a reason… to help teach and heal you? Well  Milo, the Magical  has certainly been a reason, she taught me so much about myself and life in general… I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learnt from “Queen Mielie” as we sometimes refer to her!

Now is really Now– Milo has very little sense of the past and no sense of the future. She is totally present in Now and watching her be Now relaxes me and I am more present. It’s OK to look silly – Milo is a pretty doggie with permanent eye liner around her eyes but when she runs she looks like a happy hippo … and she couldn’t care less. Note to Self don’t worry what others think! There’s always time to Play – when I’m concentrating for hours on end writing or researching or just thinking… Milo will tug at my heels… sit down… and look at me as if to say “Time for a break Goddess of Wowess” And I stop and look around and come back to NOW… and then laugh and play with Milo.
You don’t always need a huge vocabulary – dogs need simple words to understand what we are asking them to do because they really don’t understand Human. I think Milo is very smart because she understands me when I string 2 or 3 words together… Come lets go driving! Oh she just loves cruising. Little elbow hanging out the window looking out at the horizon. Keep it Simple – Milo doesn’t need a lot to be happy. There are a few things that make up her happy bliss world… her Goddess of Wowess [that’s me]… her food… treats… a blanket to crawl under… tummy rubs… and scratches and cupcakes!
It’s OK to be mega excited about something and show it – When I wake up in the morning I’m greeted by  happy brown eyes, shining  at the fact that I am alive and in her world… she runs around in circles and growls with joy. Her exuberance makes me laugh out loud every day and feel real bursts of joy. She helps me see and feel more.
Everyone is unique – this is one thing I love about dogs… no one’s comparing themselves to anyone else because that would just be silly. Milo doesn’t look at other dogs and think ‘Jeez… I wish I was taller and had longer hair’. Sometimes loving someone is easy – Milo loves me without any conditions… it’s just a wave of emotion that is an essential part of her. And she loves me when I’m grumpy, irritable and feeling sad. I could really learn something about Love from her.
Milo2Naps are essential – Milo and I are in complete agreement on this one. We both love taking naps and just lolling… a lovely balance to all of life’s action and movement. Schlooping works sometimes – Milo is a ninja expert at schloop to get what she wants or to get out of trouble. She rolls on her back … legs in the air, practicing cuteness or to the less obvious act of staring soulfully at me… and then there’s the tail between her legs and sorrowful eyes.
We all have our territories and boundaries – Milo has very clear territory and she’ll bark to let you know that she’s protecting it. She also takes her time to warm to people and I’ve seen her back away from people who have strange energy.
You don’t always get what you wish for but you may get what you need – remember back at the beginning of this post when I said I wished I could change things. Guess what turned up? A small bouncy happy healer dog – Milo! Not what I wanted but definitely what I needed… she has helped me change some old life patterns by just being who she is. We all respond to kindness and praise – Milo loves when I tell her she’s the best fur baby in the world and so clever and beautiful. I thank her when she does what I ask… and I treat her with real kindness. When I have had to reprimand her all I need to use is my tone of voice.
Touch is vital – Milo loves touch… to be patted and stroked and tummy rubs. When I massage her ears she goes very still and just relaxes. Touching and patting and hugging her, helps relax me as well. There are days when we are beautiful and amazing and the world shines – that’s pretty much Milo’s life every day.
Milo1Always Face Forward – Milo tends to face forward and rarely looks behind her. Feel the feelin’ – dogs seem to be hardwired to sense feelings. I certainly learn lots from Milo about that one. She lets me know how she feels all the time, she also knows if someone is feeling sad or mad or glad. She helps me be more present and honest with myself.
Sometimes you just gotta stop and BE with what life presents you – Milo teaches me that every day is a new day, that New experiences can be scary, she dislikes getting wet and tends to stand back and watch for a while when something is new to her.Let Fear speak & sometimes you just need something bigger than fear to move you forward – for me the fear of no longer having Ryan or Ann present  in my life was big …Milo taught me that love is bigger than fear.

Ann and Ryan continue on in my thoughts and hugs and cuddles with Milo as WE take more and more steps together.