Spiritually charged to cling to her higher power and inwardly listening to the call of her childhood dream, Judith heeds this beckoning within and follows an unknown path of sharing her story of Threads. Each story contains a life lesson represented by a specific thread. Within this memoir unfolds a journey of self discovery and an idea that has forever changed the way she perceives her life…
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Many years ago, my family adopted a 5-month-old golden retriever puppy. He was the runt of his litter, and we were told had been returned three times because his previous owners said he was “not right.” Physically, he was a beautiful puppy with soft amber colored fur and deep brown eyes. He came by the name of Charlie, but my family felt it did not fit him, so we renamed him Casey.
From the minute I laid eyes on him alone in a dog pen, it was kismet. He would come to the side of the dog pen and instead of greeting your hand head first, he would sit, his back facing you and turn his head. He drank from his water bottle the same way, backward. I immediately understood him and embraced all of his nuances with an appreciation of the level of special that he was. Casey and I were inseparable and it became very evident that he hated to be apart from me.
Truth be told, he was an awkward dog. My neighbor, an English woman with a comical but pragmatic demeanor, would say in her thick English accent, “Judy, Casey is not normal.”
And I couldn’t disagree. He had an old soul persona and was distinctly un-doglike. He did not bark or play catch. He loved his stuffed toys, but never chewed them. Rather, he would gently carry them in his mouth and place them carefully where he lay. He never engaged other dogs, walked off leash from day one, and I became the center of his universe. He loved our family, every member, but only I could walk him on a leash. He ate quietly and rarely begged, except for holidays when Grandpa would sneak him goodies under the table. Casey was completely and utterly the perfect dog, aside from the fact he had terrible skin allergies. He required great care and I tended to his suffering with special diets, medicines, and holistic bath treatments.
Through the years we went, side by side. We walked every Sunday morning, regardless of the weather, in a local state forest park with Rebecca, a dear friend of mine, and her black lab mix, Tasha. Tasha, a vibrant and energetic dog, connected with Casey and they became great friends. They would forage through the trails, Tasha in the lead, running leaps and bounds ahead. Casey would always get about twenty feet away and suddenly look back to see where I was. If I was not near, he would wait or come running back to me. I would send him back onto the path ahead, encouraging him to go have fun and blaze a trail. But Casey would not go any farther than twenty feet.
As the years went by, it got to a point that Casey would hold onto the edge of my sleeve whenever we walked. He would hold the fabric gently between his teeth as if to say, “I will always know where you are if I keep your sleeve in my mouth.” I would return home with my right sleeve saturated with saliva, but never once torn…….