Ode to Abbeygale Van Buren Langford Long

Also known as: noony, noons, The Noons, nooner, muffin, abbey, ab-uh-gale, monkey, sweet girl, turkey, giblet, peanut, peanut head, cookie, cookie B, and pumpkin

You came to me wounded and weak. Rejected by your birth mother, the runt of an accidental litter. Though your eyes were not yet fully opened, I could feel your soul, your fiery spirit, the fighter within. You were a wild puppy, biting everything in sight, seeking the full experience of life, testing your limits and those around you. Never fussy, never noisy, and rarely an accident. Your spirit longed to be outdoors among the grass and the dirt.

I wish I had taken you to more foreign and adventurous places but my heart longed to keep you safe. It took me too long to fully trust you. Your wild spirit reflected mine in a way that I was not yet comfortable with. I never wanted to tame your wild heart or own you. And over the past few years, I have come to realize you only need a few rules and commands to keep you safe, the rest I can trust you with.

You have taught me that we are all spiritual beings trapped in physical bodies and the limitations those physical bodies can try to place on us. You taught me that fear and control are illusions that cloud our true spiritual nature and keep us from living our potentials. Most of all you have taught me that all living beings are created equal, just as many great spiritual leaders have taught in the past. You opened my eyes to the walking contradiction I once was caring for you while eating your fellow animal. It is absurd to let one animal sleep next to you in your bed while participating in the suffering of other animals. We are all love. We are all spiritual beings seeking our potential in this short time we have on earth.

It is getting difficult watching your body age while your spirit stays so young. With each step I do my best to adapt and make you comfortable. It is even more difficult accepting that a being so wise wouldn’t live longer than me. But when I see you chase down other dogs at the dog park or push dogs twice your size with your patented double paw ninja shove,  I am reminded that age is just a number, what really matters is how you feel. I remain grateful for each day and each adventure we get to share together.

Thank you, Abbeygale.

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