Bjarki hesitates seeing one of the cats in the yard and slides quietly down on his belly in the grass. A gentle tug on his leash earns me a ‘what for’ arch of his brow. I plop down beside him, turning my face up toward the sun already baking the top of my head. Bjarki leans into me, pushing a tendril of a blue cornflower weed against my arm. I’m momentarily assaulted by the memory of blood flecked arms and clothes behind closed eyes, casting an abstract testament of pain in blood on the wall behind me.
“Why did it have to be Leukemia?”
A wet muzzle draws me back to the present, gold-specked hazel eyes gaze up at me. With a smile, my pain melts into a pool of serenity and quiet reverence. This bull-in-a-china-shop pup beside me is the best example of Pickles lessons in play. She imparted the patience and tenacity which I needed to guide Bjarki in her absence, she taught me how to experience his wonderment, and to appreciate the calm between those moments of curious abandonment.
The neighbor’s dog makes a noisy entrance, racing the length of fence between our yards. Bjarki watches silently, cocking his head back and forth. I feel the sigh ripple through his chest and down the length of his back, before he turns to glance at me questioning. The yearning to run and play with another dog rolls off him as he stares after the yellow lab in the next yard. He misses her too.
“I’m not quite ready to cross that bridge yet, little buddy.” I whisper, kissing the top of his head.
Pickles had that same look for years. You had to wait until she retired before getting Bjarki. He’s not a working dog, what’s stopping you now? I’m not/won’t, I can’t replace her…(Later on I’ll credit Pickles for winning that argument playing out in my head. Her want and love, were the deciding factor for me.)
These days there is a rightness, a balance in the house, marked by the resounding stampede of paws running up and down the stairs. Bjarki has a new playmate – Yazhi, a Doberman/Coon
Mix rescue from South Carolina. She’s only a month younger than Bjarki, but it’s already obvious who’s going to be the giant of the two. I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate name for her; Yazhi means ‘little one’ in Navajo. She’s the calm to Bjarki’s storm.
Without further ado, meet the pups who will carry Pickles legacy forward:
Bjarki is 5 1/2 months. He's part Doberman, Shepard, and Labrador. He's already tilting toward 50lbs on the scale. He's my gentle giant.
Yazhi is 4 1/2 months. She's a Doberman Pinscher and Coon Mix and far more mellower than Bjarki.
Hopefully after the summer, sometime in Sept., I'll be able to get back to some kind of schedule here. The pups are only young once and I aim to enjoy every single moment. Thank you, for all the well wishes and support in the last 2 months. Pickles touched so many hearts and left this one missing her dearly.
“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” ~ Emily Dickinson