My family’s dogs were a big part of my life when I was a little girl. I learned to stand, clutching fistfuls of fur and hauling myself upright against our German Shepherd Nikki, who bore my maulings good naturedly. I created miniature worlds between his paws as I sat and played, marching little animals across his shoulders… He also taught me my first adult lessons in grief… Returning home from school to find him gone, it broke my heart, but I thank him for his gentle love and guidance. In comparison to myself, my mother has always been a ‘dog person’. I am primarily a ‘cat person’ but I love dogs too and have had a couple who have co-existed happily alongside my various cats.
Rosie was another notable character from my mother’s succession of dogs… my first sister dog, she taught my older son how to treat a dog. She would tolerate no nonsense, yet was loving and kind. When my younger son was born, I laid him at her paws. She sniffed him delicately, sensitive nose reading all the nuances of this new little person I had brought to her for inspection. Then she gave me a look as if to say:
“Another one! Don’t you think I’ve done my duty?” However, she went on to become an adored auntie dog, to hug at the end of a hard school day and receive comfort and understanding from her wise brown eyes.
My older son was quite offended on one – he went towards his little brother, intending a play fight… he never reached him, as Rosie stood and pushed herself in front of my younger son. She bared her teeth – just slightly, but the message was clear:
“Hey! We’ll have none of that here!”
She grew older as my son moved from toddlerhood into a little boy – he learned the same lesson I did at about the same age, our beloved animals never live as long as we want them to, but our lives are the better for having known them, and learned their lessons of love and loyalty that they have to teach.
Next was Rowan, beautiful and golden. She took more to my older son, but had plenty of time to spend with my younger son. I watched them both, once, outside at my mother’s as my son drew complicated chalk pictures and explained them to her. She watched, fascinated, her ears twitching to the enthusiasm in his voice and eyes following every line of the chalk.
Good natured and loving, she also had a congenital heart defect that my mother was unaware of until it was too late. My son and I stood outside the vets while my mother said her goodbyes. As I comforted him, a tiny white feather floated down from the sky to land at our feet. I had my words:
“Rowan was such a good dog, God could only lend her to us for a little while, then He needed her back. She’s left you a feather from her angel wings.” My son still has it.
Now my mother has Erin, paler than the traditional Shepherd colours of black and tan – her father was white – show quality, but really just our little girl. She’s the most vocal dog Mum’s had, and can say things like “Horrible”, “Hungry” and “Harare”. Perhaps she’d like to visit. She’s loving, affectionate and trusting, my mother’s constant companion – I’d worry about her a lot more if she didn’t have a dog. Erin has one particular game that I find reasonably amusing… she shows me she’d like her toybox moving so she can look into it. Then I have to get her toys out, one by one, and show them to her. She’ll prod them with her nose and that’s a sign to put that one away. When I happen to choose the one she wants, she’ll grab it and run off… sounds quite tedious but the dog enjoys it! Another favourite is to chase my younger son around the garden, leaping and grabbing and SQUEEZING his bottom with her teeth to produce a scream…
All these canine family members had, and have, love, loyalty, trust and an innocent sheer joy of life… Dalmationite helps you live in the moment, rather like a dog, encouraging you to enjoy this present incarnation and connecting to the base and sacral chakras. It is both protective and sensitive, a guard dog for the spirit, as it will enhance your awareness of danger but help you to remain calm and deal with it.
The black spots are Tourmaline – skulls don’t have to be scary, they are actually quite a powerful symbol of new life and knowledge
A typical interpretation of this stone is that it can help you attune to the innocent child within, strengthening your sense of fun, helping to dissolve depression and restoring energy. Dalmationite can stop you from overthinking and help you get out there and just do it… At the same time, instilling awareness and the ability to plan for every eventuality. A good stone for children – what child doesn’t love puppies! – it encourages fidelity and stabilises emotions and can help you release the desire for revenge that could be potentially harmful to yourself. It’s another good stone to use for animals, enhancing the link between Mother Earth and her children.
I think we could learn a lot from our canine family, their unquestioning love and trust in us should be repaid in our care and love for them. Their ability for love and joy in life is one that we would do well to adopt ourselves… dogs just get along.
“Hey! It’s good for all animals you know!”