Yesterday I saw a wonderful Twitter post from @PitbullSpooning (Cherokee & Charli) who are two of the cuddliest pibbles in the known universe! If you’re on Twitter and you love dogs, I recommend following them; their photos are priceless! This particular photo showed one of the pibbles cuddled up to their human mom’s foot and the caption pointed out that they will cuddle with any available body part.
That photo and caption transported me back to the summer of 1997. I had just adopted my beloved Cavall and he was still training me. The first item on his agenda was the silly business of sleeping on the floor. Cavall had no intention of sleeping on the floor and, in fact, had no intention of sleeping on the bed or the couch, either. Roughly five months old, he was still a puppy and so he demanded a puppy pile. At the start of that summer, he probably weighed 60 lbs (ultimately he’d be 97lbs) and he insisted on sleeping on top of me. Prior to that, I don’t recall ever having slept with a pet before and it didn’t seem like a great idea to me. I was still experiencing PTSD-related nightmares almost nightly, and was a very light sleeper. I expected having my legs pinned down by a snoring half-grown dog would be disturbing and painful. It was, in fact, a bit uncomfortable until I fell asleep. After that, it didn’t bother me all. My sleep was deep and restful. Not a single nightmare. That summer I kept a dream journal and after Cavall started sleeping on my legs, it was four months before I had another nightmare. As though a switch was flipped inside my brain, nightmares became a rarity instead of the norm. That was the first gift of healing that Cavall gave me with his puppy pile ways.
Cavall’s second puppy pile gift to me arrived about a month later. I wore loose sweat pants for pajama bottoms and one morning I awoke to find that they’d crept up on one side, exposing my thigh. Cavall was snoring with his nostrils pressed against the bare skin of my thigh. In that moment, I realized that my dog loved me unconditionally and without reservation. He did not care what I looked like or how I was shaped. He was not disgusted by pressing his doggy snout against my naked thigh because there wasn’t anything inherently disgusting about my thigh…or any other part of my body. Before that moment, I had an intellectual understanding that my body image issues were a result of surviving sexual abuse, but until then, I hadn’t been able to catch a personal glimpse of the reality that lay outside my bubble of self-disgust. That was the second gift of healing that Cavall gave me with his puppy pile ways and was the beginning of a paradigm shift that transformed my relationship with my body.
These were perfect moments in 1997 and are perfect moments now, as sweet memories.
Today is a good time to think about how true love, whether given by a human or a four-legged, can be a catalyst for healing. I hope you have an opportunity to both give, and receive, unconditional love today.
Marcy & Cavall
In Other News:
I had a fun time adding page tabs and fine-tuning this site yesterday. Please take a look around and let me know what you think!
I will not post tomorrow, Friday 4/19/13 but I’ll be back on Saturday with some quotes from my upcoming novel!
I’m planning a Twitter Launch Party for Magic All Around! Check out all the details on my Magic All Around: Book 1 page tab!