The other day at the Farm, we had a lot of sheep in the short field to bring out instinct in an adorable Mini Aussie. While she was resting between runs I got Boo out to do some line work. Once we found our pressure bubble, the sheep were compliant. It was nice to settle in and do some real work together. It had been so long.
I don’t remember how it happened, though I dropped the line. I have not worked Boo off line in several years, save for two times in the round pen just prior to getting sick last year.
My first thought as the line blazed burning white fire on the ground was, “if Boo gets hurt, Dr. Amber is going to kill me…” when the thought completed in my mind, the line was out of sight. I braced for the panic, though it didn’t come.
I looked up to see Boo checking the sheep as she was pulling an outrun as far as the fence would allow, moving with an easy, confident trot I have never seen her use before. She squared the corner, hugging the fence, checking the sheep, checking me. She knew I did not have the line – as Lisha says – “they always know.”
I watched my dog’s soul light up and sharpen with the instinct nature provides them. “I got this,” I felt from her as she glanced at me one time. I stood silently watching her work – I had not seen nor felt anything like this out of her in our seven years.
As she rounded to balance she caught the eye of Hairback, her nemesis. It’s usually not good when these two make direct eye contact. She slowed her approach, awaiting his decision. It was crazy to “feel” – as it was beyond visible – the slight change of the direction of his head as he absorbed Boo’s energy and felt her eye. He led the sheep to me at a slow, easy pace. Normally at this point, there is an explosion of sheep, handler and dog – though that energy was nowhere to be found. Taking its place was a very natural, higher-vibe, unspoken communication and confidence. It made me feel as if I was watching from above in a balcony. I could see the field as the stage where the actors played their parts.
Boo reached balance and as I was about to ask – she was belly down. The sheep were about me, comfortably grazing, Hairback keeping one eye on Boo and Boo keeping an eye on him – though not too hard an eye – she was taking the pressure on and off of him. They had reached an understanding. Boo was in charge and Boo was, for the first time in her herding life, being fair. Hairback brought the sheep to me safely and would retain his stand as lead sheep and not lose face. It was beautiful to watch nature spin the balance – all because of everyone having a chance to make good decisions and following through on them.
I asked Boo for a stay and for the very first time she made direct eye contact with me while on sheep as I walked to her. No shaking, looking around my legs, wriggling, or anxiousness – the usual Billy Jack bolt to go “bowling for sheep” did not materialize.
I reached her and without picking up the string, gave her a soft “that’ll do” and “here to me.” She turned from the sheep to me, I thanked her and we floated out of the gate to roll around on the grass in a love fest, our hearts connecting on a whole new level.
Boo felt what happened and for the first time in our herding work, I knew she was confident she made the correct decision and followed through. I know she was as proud of me as I was of her. Of course no one witnessed this great feat though there is certainly a reason for that as well.
I truly believe it was a reward for all of our lessons in trust, projection and decisions together these past seven years, solidified by last year’s events.
My heart and soul were so full of love and pride, emotion leaked from my eyes. Boo gently took care of that just as she had so many times over the past year when my eyes poured out emotion of all types.
Making decisions is hard work though we are always better for it when we make one and follow through. Last year I had a choice to allow my soul’s light to leave or to stay and fight my way through it. I also knew there was no right or wrong to this decision.
I believe God imparted to me an awesome gift – the gift of truly knowing – for real – the definition of mortality and the emotions of impending death. The gift of belief and manifestation and especially the gift of understanding the decisions are mine and mine alone. The vast army of warriors surrounding me had caught His ear with their prayer and his eyes with their light and He told me if I chose to stay, I had to live with purpose which was – as the Indigo Girls sing – to “shine my life like a light.” Through this purpose I will heal a long history of ancient, seeping wounds which have held my soul back on so many of these old walkabouts. I will not repeat them. It will be challenging and I will find myself in uncomfortable and unknown places. I am reaching higher.
I know that people may doubt me or think I’m nuts and that’s okay. Though I know my purpose is real because that Red Dog told me so one late, pain-filled, lonely night in the hospital. He helped me make my decision to fight. The world fell away and it was just me and Liam, my weak hand buried deep in his white ruff, his yellow-green eyes locked on me – holding my soul here on earth so very, very tightly with his power and love. Angels come in all shapes and sizes and you will know them when you meet them.
It’s not easy to open yourself up to allow true healing. Lots of really nasty crap comes up. It will shock the shit out of you when you begin to discover things you have kept in you – by your choice. Even some stuff we didn’t realize was toxic reveals itself – ugly and naked in the light of self-love. You will cry, get angry, blame yourself, blame others, your God or beliefs or maybe just your “luck” – and how you feel about it all will change from moment to moment which is how you will continue to heal and grow.
Sunlight is indeed, the saying goes, the very best disinfectant. Every single thing reacts to the light – even creatures thriving at the ocean depths have evolved to create their own light. We all live to be cleansed by light.
If your path finds you making a decision to stand in the light and fight, the time is now to drop the line – and run.