Valentine’s Day can be a drag for “single” folk with all the two by two stuff. Usually, I just ignore the day. That was true four years ago today, the day when I helped my dog Thor leave his body. If you have had a close relationship with a fur friend, you know how they can split your heart open. I called Thor a Borderhusk; he was a combination of Husky and Border Collie, a beautiful fellow who, when he met you, would sit and lift his paw in greeting. He was the “straight guy” in my husky team of Light’n and Thor.
It had been an 18 month painful journey with bone cancer for him. I held him and told him how special he was and how much I loved him. His breathing slowed as he moved into deep sleep. “Go to Light’n –be free and whole” I said—and he was gone. “He’s in doggie heaven,” Matt, our kind hearted vet said. Up until the moment when they carried his body into the clinic and I was left alone in the car, I had no tears. I simply knew it was what must happen. Then, alone in the car, I could not stop crying, letting go of the two of them—Lightn and Thor.
That night I ran on the dunes with Snowfire, watching the clouds swallow the sun, for the first time just the two of us. The next morning in the hail and rain, we headed South to Yachats, a place that has been a healing spot for me since I was a child. I missed his presence, the way he rode in the front seat smiling. Opening my motel room door, I am greeted by a big red helium heart floating around in the room. Only then, did I realize it was Valentine’s day. “Oh great!” I thought, what am I going to do with this thing?” batting it out of the way as I made my way across the small space. “I can always throw darts at it…if I had them. Or set if free to the ocean…” Then I found an orchid on the table. It was a beautiful orchid..but…
I got Snowfire’s leash and suggested a walk. Snowfire is a white Korean Jindo, a beautiful fellow, who spent a lot of time in the Pound and shelter. This was his first motel stay and public trail walking experience. I decided to let him lead me on the path the meanders along the rocky beach front. Totally into his senses, we went this way and that. A mile or so down the trail, he leads me to a bench. On the bench is a small package and a note. “FINDERS KEEPERS. HAPPY VALENTINES STRANGER!” Inside is a beautiful , fused glass pendant, full of light. It is heart shaped with butterfly petal wings inside. I am so touched by this gift of Beauty from a stranger. Standing in the ocean’s roar and mist, I am surrounded by love.
Several years later, driving the same route to Yachats, I glimpsed a sign in Lincoln City—FINDERS KEEPERS. “Strange” I thought. It took me a while to look it up on line. There is, based in Lincoln City, a collective of glass blowers who leave beautiful glass blown objects on the beaches for other to find (see their story under FINDERS KEEPERS) What a lovely way to give the gift of Beauty, the moment of excitement and discovery. The magic of this moment, I carry as my story of Valentine’s Day.