Pete recently posted a handful of dispatches. After, he mentioned to me that in my posting on animal spirit guides I hadn’t mentioned Jenna. “Just write up a paragraph. and I’ll put it in the dispatch,” he said.
I didn’t mean to leave Jenna out, for she quite clearly is an animal spirit guide. Rather than scribble out a paragraph, I instead decided to give her due dispatch space. This is because she is as amazing as all our other animals, past and present. If anything, my omission occurred because I sometimes take her easy going nature for granted.
Jenna is a black and white Australian Shepherd. She has a very thick coat, which necessitates altogether too frequent trips to the groomers – and Border collie markings – a white ruff and white socks. A white stripe runs down her nose. We were told by her former owners that there is Border collie in her
lineage. We don’t know for sure, because we never got her papers. They are in a storage locker somewhere.
Jenna became ours when her former owners decided to relocate. At the time, they were having family problems. They gave us a call, and we road Raudi and Siggy over and got her. She was sitting on the front porch steps, waiting for them to return. Jenna wasn’t a stranger. I used to ride with her former owner, Katerina, then 15. Katerina came over here quite often, and she brought Jenna with her. I think that Jenna equated our place with the good life. She readily followed us home, and has never, ever wandered off.
Jenna lacks a tail, which is one of life’s greatest injustices. Sad, but true, her housemates—Rainbow and Ryder, both have lengthy tails with white tips on them. And Ryder’s tail is now a plume – If Jenna was a different dog, she’d take this as an affront. However, little bothers the dog we call the matriarch.
If Jenna had a tail, she’d be more outgoing when around other dogs. Yes, other dogs must think it odd when they see dogs with stumps at the base of their spines. After all, dogs signal intention through tail use. Rather than attempt to find other ways of communicating with her kind, Jenna chooses to ignore them. It is anathema to Jenna to sniff butt. Tails ARE a communicative device – for instance, Border Collies lower their tails when they move in to herd sheep, for this (they think) makes them seem less threatening to prey.
I just mentioned what Jenna didn’t have because it has affected her character. I should say what she does have, which is much more intangible. This is a higher than dog average degree of devotion to her owners. Jenna wants nothing more (besides food and water) than to be with either Pete or me. She’s always nearby when we’re inside and she’s inside, and she’s within barking distance when we’re inside and she’s outside.
Jenna is also the absolute best trail dog. She sticks really close when we’re out on the trail, although lately she has foregone going out with us, and headed back to the ranch. The other two dogs take off fairly often. But not Jenna. Rainbow and Ryder recently found a moose hide, and were chewing on parts. Jenna, however, stuck close to us.
Jenna’s sticking around is oddly reassuring, for the prospect of my having to find three missing dogs is overwhelming. Plus, I know that if I lose two, that there will be at least one dog in my life.
We think she’s what’s called an easy dog. She stayed with our garden sitters this past summer – they weren’t as complementary. They told me she didn’t get along with other dogs, and that she didn’t travel well in the car. We seem to have bypassed these good dog requirements. Jenna isn’t around other dogs (besides ours) very much, and we don’t take her many places. I’m not sure if we intentionally planned it this way, or if we decided to act upon other options. Anyhow, we consider her to be a happy, mellow dog.
Jenna’s a spirit guide in that she has taught me many things. One is to be quietly insistent when you are excluded from important things – in her case, left outside. She’s also taught me the value of making eye contact when you really want something, like canned salmon. And Jenna has impressed upon me the importance of staying in the vicinity of those you love and care about. This spirit animal has also made it clear to me that intuitive knowledge is important in its own right. For example, after she was abandoned, Jenna determined that we were to be her owners, and consequently, she never looked back. Lastly, another lesson learned is to accept assistance when needed. Jenna always waits for Pete or me to assist her in getting up the stairs to our bedroom each evening
It was a wise decision, having decided to let her come and live with us. Furthermore, it was one that Pete and I will never regret doing.
Next: 266: 12/17/13: Colon