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Canine Angels in Disguise,
by Alexa Hartung
She is writing a book on spiritual encounters with animals,
which will include After Death visitations

 
    There is a breeder of the highest quality of English Golden Retrievers about 20 minutes from where we live.  In our development, two of that breeder's line are owned by a neurologist, we'll call Dr. G., and his wife.  This couple, or usually the wife, walk the two dogs by my house about twice every day.
 
    Monty, aged 6, the older of the two, is a quiet, distinguished dog.  He does nothing in a hurry; gives you a steady stare, and holds his head in an almost model-like pose.  He has the most exquisite broad head, satin ears, and a nose that could only have been formed through years of careful breeding.  His shoulders must have collected many a tear, in former lifetimes.  Broad, his frame covered with a gorgeous collection of gold and rust-colored hair, he stands ready to protect if necessary.  Gentle with all, even other dogs, he would only bark if "barked upon" in a rude way!  As the sun strikes his hair and turns it gold, he is a fine example of all his breed.
 
    Archie is 2 years old, and a confection of whipped cream-colored hair and blonde.  Taller and larger than Monty, he is THE perfect watch dog.  He is quick to hear, spontaneous, and has huge feet.  His exuberance is shown in his full, lush tail, which moves constantly and in a circle, when he is really happy.  Archie's head is also large, but it is his eyes and his total expression which show how he feels.  His voice joins in with Monty's if Hershey, the Pit Bull/Lab on the corner, barks nasty words in dog language.  No one will dominate this Retriever, no siree!  Just let them try.  He is ready for hugs or walking Anytime!  He can lick and lick and lick, as long as his owner will let him.  He is a tireless greeter and just goes crazy if not allowed to meet people or other pets.  His owner has her hands full with this youngster.
 
    Together, they are an imposing, regal duo; they are the yin and yang of canine Perfection.  EVERYONE looks at them!  Their size, the sun glistening on their fur, their obvious integrity, loyalty, and breeding...they are just beautiful.  They KNOW what they are here for; there is No doubt in their minds or persona.  Their self-confidence and awareness are a rare thing.  I have fallen totally in love with them.
 
FIRST MEETING
 
    When my sweet, 6 month old Black Lab puppy, Blackie, met this duo,  he too was ecstatic.  Monty was used to puppies, since he "raised" Archie.  He greeted Blackie with sweet acceptance and a few licks.  While he checked Blackie over, Archie took one sniff of Blackie's youth as they touched wet nose to wet nose, and IMMEDIATELY went into a play stance!
 
    "YEEES!  Let's GO!," Archie seemed to say, with tail high and ears erect, "...ANYWHERE!" ha ha. 
 
    His owner pulled back, much to both dogs dismay.  Blackie was full of joy, but as Archie's owner pulled back, Blackie sat down for a 'visit!'  I was so surprised.  Instead of going berserk, he wanted to VISIT?  The owner laughed, and said she hadn't seen a pup do that.  She admired Blackie's shiny coat and large-growing paws.  I bent over and told Monty how gorgeous he was.  Monty, to my great surprise, fell to the earth and exposed his tummy for rubbing.  This sent the other dogs crazy, and Blackie insisted on getting between Monty and me.  No one was going to be patted except him!
 
    As they all started to move forward, I patted Archie and hugged him.  It was lovely to have seen them.  Blackie looked sad, as they moved on.  I hoped silently that maybe one day in the future, we could all take a walk together. 
 
CHANCE ENCOUNTER
 
    My husband and I were returning from eating out.  As we turned onto our street, I saw Mrs. G walking Archie!  Further down, I saw Dr. G (who I hadn't met before) turn around and walk Monty back to Archie.  I begged my husband (who had never seen the dogs) to stop.  Because our electric windows had trouble lowering, I undid my seat belt and opened the door slowly. 
 
    "Is this a day for His and Her dog-walking?" I asked teasingly.
 
    Mrs. G recognized me, smiled, and stopped.  "ARCHIE!" I exclaimed.  He sniffed tentatively, and I encouraged him to come more inside the car.  He took a step forward and was rewarded with a lot of rubbing and patting.  "HOW ARE YOU, BOY?  OH YOU'RE SO HANDSOME TODAY!" I said.  He then KNEW this was the crazy lady, who loved him soooooo much.
 
    Dr. G walked up and had a pleased, but puzzled look on his face.  I introduced myself as the "Neighborhood Rescue Lady," who made sure she knew where all the various dogs lived and the dogs' names.  He seemed to smile with relief, and as he did so, Monty pushed Archie aside.  "Oh Monty, you are SO PERFECT," I smiled.  His broad head accepted my patting.  I kissed his soft face, pulled back, and Monty smiled.  He backed up obediently to his owner's tug.
 
    It was then that I saw the two dogs in a different way.  Time seemed to stop for a moment, even though I heard my husband say, "Let them go; let them go...okay?"  The two dogs looked at me at the same time, in the same way!  It was as if I was seeing them for who they really were!  Whitish-yellow, spiritual LIGHT was emitting from them, through them, around them, above and below them.  I was astounded.  Why hadn't I seen this before? They were obviously Special.  I blinked, but the shining LIGHT was still there, pierced only by their glowing hazel-brown eyes.  Stunned, I closed the door.
 
    We pulled into our driveway and went into the house, but I was still dazed.  How had that happened?  Was it a trick of the sunset, that Light?  No, the sun was already behind the trees.  I felt as if I had been the recipient of something.  I had been given a Gift of seeing Love: Love in Being, Love in Action.  Thank you, Monty; Thank you, Archie.  Thank you, Lord, for sweet affection shown by Canine Angels in Disguise. 
 
    I smiled, as I went to sleep that night; my mind was filled with the remembrance of kisses and licks from two very unusual four-legged, Heavenly Workers, doing Father's Will to show Love... AND WHAT LOVE!
 
A. HARTUNG
11/2005