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December 7, 2013: Moving Sideways

I wrote in previous dispatches about what I perceived as an inability to move forward. I was stuck career-wise and with Raudi’s progress. I did at some point indicate that Raudi and I were, together moving forward. This, I think was after the I Know you Ryder Endurance Ride.

I recently realized that I was then suffering from tunnel vision. No, I’m not moving forward. Rather, I’m moving sideways. This is quite good – lateral drift also opens one up to other possibilities.

What I did not previously see was that Mr. Siggi is responsible for this. (I would

rather say he’s responsible than his death was responsible for this, because he most certainly lives on, in both my heart and my memories of him.

I took his death very hard. What happened still doesn’t seem real to me. But quite often (at least once a day), the image of his final moments comes back to mind. I then think that if there was any way in hell to bring him back, that I would do it.

After Mr. Siggi’s death, our trip plans changed. We met many wonderful people and rode on some extraordinary trails. And in early August, we met up with Ryder, who had been abandoned at Coyote Creek trail head, in Idaho. We then became her owners. A friend speculated that perhaps she filled a hole created by Mr. Siggi’s death. I did not deny this. However, I privately thought that nothing could ever fill that hole. I still think this way.

As of late, I’ve begun wondering if there might be some connection between the loss of one animal and the acquisition of another. It seems to me now to be too coincidental, which is that our trip would go in a differing direction and we’d acquire another dog. Not just any old dog, but rather, a dog that would send my life in a sideways trajectory.

You see, many years ago, we acquired Rainbow. I then began reading books and articles on dog training, thinking that perhaps she’d make a good agility dog. I’d always had an interest in border collies – and she sort of looked like one. But she was not. She also wasn’t agility dog material. I accepted this fact and continued to love her just the same. She is a wonderful dog, and I feel quite close to her. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her bound around the woods.

I remained interested in agility work, sheepherding, and dog obedience. However, I acted upon another interest, which is horses and horse training. This was shortly after we moved here. The sideways move began at the conclusion of our last trip. I signed up for Claudia’s obedience class. I also signed up for Suzanne’s dog herding lessons. And I reconnected with Stacey, who is a member of the Mat-Su Search and Rescue K-9 unit. These are things I would not have done if we had bypassed taking on Ryder. I did take the initiative to do the above. But I would not have done this if we had not have acquired Ryder. And we would not have acquired Ryder if Mr. Siggi hadn’t died.

It does make one wonder, doesn’t it? Make of it what you will – maybe Siggi was a spirit guide for me before he died, and I just didn’t realize it. And maybe he is now a spirit guide after his death, and I am now realizing it. Moving sideways, it is a very good thing. And I am thinking that I have Mr. Siggi to thank for it.

Next: 257: 12/8/13: Moving Sideways, an Example