Friday With Forrest - The Magic Of A Dog

Both Hubbs and I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed the companionship of dogs for most of our lives.  Our 21 years together have certainly been enriched by those canine souls that have shared our home.  We have loved and been loved by quite a few dogs during those years - and have come to understand that dogs embody the purest definition of the word "love".  We have learned that the joy of sharing our days with a dog far outweighs the loss felt when that all-too-short life comes to an end. 

We have loved and lost our precious Bernese Mtn. dog, Sadie, our Newfoundland, Maddie, our dear sweet elderly rescue, Hickory, our beloved rescue Oakley, and two years ago, Brown Sammie - all of whom had shared our life simultaneously for a brief time.  Amazingly, 5 dogs didn't seem like too many.  They all had such different personalities and energy levels - it just seemed to work.

After the loss of Brown Sammie, I threw the idea of adding another rescue dog to the Universe.  Rather than actively looking for another dog, I handed it off to a higher power.   At this point, Chester was 5 years younger than Annie; and Annie was heading towards the age of 10.  Chester would not be a happy "only" dog as he suffers extreme anxiety when left all alone.  There was no doubt about it - eventually Chester would need another sibling.

I am a firm believer that this existence is filled with magic and the key to realizing that magic is to know in one's heart that it exists.   I knew the right dog would come along, without any effort.  I can't tell you the amount of messages and calls I got from family, friends, and acquaintances with links to dogs that needed homes.  I'd read the bios and look at the photos, but none of them spoke to me.  I have learned to trust my gut when it comes to finding the right dog.  In my world, the right dog chooses its human - not the other way around.

If you've been following our journey over the past 6 months, then you already know the story of Forrest... our rescue puppy.  But, you see, there is a little more to Forrest's story than I have shared up to this point.  

Let me first say this - a puppy was nowhere on my radar.  I did not want a puppy.  I didn't want to have to train another puppy.  No, in my mind, I wanted another dog like our Oakley had been - a rescue who was already grown, and farm-worthy. (You know, good with cats and children and chickens, and such.)  For months, the local rescue's Facebook page would pop up on my feed with the "Take Me Home" choice of the day.  Again, none of them spoke to me.  Until... one day towards the end of June when a litter of puppies appeared on the rescue's post.  Eight puppies -" I don't want a puppy"- oh wait... "look at that one, there's something about his face, his smile."  The photograph spoke to me, like the photo of smiling Oakley had spoken to me so many years ago.  There was just something about that face.  There was a lot of chatter about these puppies on Facebook.  I knew they would get homes quickly - so I wasted no time. And before we knew it, I had emailed the rescue, filled out an application, and scheduled a visit... not to bring home a puppy, but to bring home "that" puppy.  

There was magic in that photograph - a message from the universe - and I had recognized it.  The real magic happened, however, when I stepped into then pen at the rescue with 8 wrestling puppies.  They were a squirming mass of playfulness - wrestling, barking, nibbling chaos.  Except... for one.  One singular puppy came right over to me and climbed up my leg - his eyes locked on mine.  Could it be?  I recognized him immediately - and there was no doubt about it, he recognized me as well.  It was the same pup as the photo.  He wasn't at all interested in joining the squishy pile of puppy mayhem that were his brothers and sisters.  No, he had a message for me and he was bound and determined to get his point across.  I picked him up and never put him back down.  Signed.  Sealed.  Delivered.  A gift from the universe.

"Let's call him Forrest, " Hubbs said.  Perfect.

Aside from the trials and tribulations of raising a puppy, we have come to understand a lot about this particular canine soul.  I swear there are several dogs inside of his 50 pound body.  You just have to watch him run and play to see them.  They are all there moving in every direction at one time, and he is barely able to contain them.  Seriously.  I honestly believe that Forrest is the embodiment of each and every dog we have loved up to this point.  This puppy carries the soul of five dogs.  I kid you not.  He is 10 pounds heavier than his siblings - filled to the brim with the souls of his predecessors.  This dog was a gift from the universe.  This dog is the evidence that there is magic in our world.  We just have to open our hearts and see it!

As Hubbs always says to those who say "I'll believe it when I see it" - 

"No, you'll see it when you believe it!"

Yes, this universe is filled with magic... but first, you must believe!

Today... a woodsy walk (View here on Youtube if video doesn't load)


jaz@octoberfarm said…
i believe this exact same thing. it's how i picked each of mine. there is so much that we humans do not understand. i watch the dogs for hints. the animals know.
Karla said…
Loved this video! Happy dogs on their sniffari! The cat distribution system sent us all of the 12 different cats that my Hubs and I had for the 23 years we've been married. We never went looking for one. We didn't have dogs, as we both worked full time and long days. We lost the last of our cats in June this year, at 17 years old, and have no plans for any more. We are enjoying retirement and the freedom to travel without needing a cat sitter. It was getting harder and harder to find one. We do miss the sweet companionship of them.
Misty said…
So very true! We lost our beloved Boston Terrier in June of 2020. Never in a million years would we find a pup like her! Fast forward to Oct of this year. We saw a post of Bostons that were ready for home. We went to see them. A little boy who looks all most identical to her! We brought him home and named him Murphy. Every day he shows traits that mimic our girl Gretchen! It's uncanny! He was meant for us and we were meant for him!
colleen said…
I love this story!! We had been looking for a yellow lab to rescue and believe it or not we found one. She had some issues and now has seizures but the long and short of the story daughter and I went to see her which was two hours away. When we arrived the lady answered the door and with her was a dog but surely not yellow. Finally my daughter asked "is this her" and low and behold it was her. She is a fox red, yellow lab. I guess I didn't know about fox red labs. Long story short I guess it was meant that we didn't ask for a picture before heading out and I'm sure glad we didn't. She was 3 when we got her and now she's 7. She needed us as much as we needed her. Bridget is the name she came with. xoxox
littlemancat said…
Our kitties always found us...we felt that the beloved cat that had passed on sent the new kitty to us.
Your post made me cry, in a good way. I do understand your thoughts

Lynne said…
Wonderful post Beverly.
Joy bounces right out of Forest . . .

So many people have asked us, “when are you getting another dog”
We usually say, probably not.
But my quote/mantra . . . “When you know, you know!” plays in the background.
I agree with your post message and your “knowing”.
Forest is all about ENERGY . . . love his run and bounce!
Agent X, not said…
In my experience, this is 100% true. Thank you for sharing.
Judy said…
What a beautiful story and video. Thanks so much for sharing
Wanda Devers said…
Yes, my pets have all found me.When one finds you, you must become it's parent. Losing them to death is devastating but I remember them all with love.
Jeannie said…
Such a beautiful post. Thank you!
Heather said…
I agree with you - the right dog finds you.... Several years ago, we were looking for a new farm dog. A local rescue was having an adoption day, so we dropped in. That particular event didn't have what we were looking for so they sent us to another site that was also hosting an event. We walked in and I immediately locked eyes with one of the two remaining pups. He was clearly ill, but there was something about him. We don't normally adopt male dogs, so I figured I was going to have to fight an uphill battle with my husband on bringing him home. Thankfully, even though this sick puppy was absolutely none of the things we were looking for, Justin saw the same thing I did and agreed that he needed to come home with us.

We almost lost him from whatever he had - they even offered us another puppy, which we politely declined. We told them that if the little guy died, we'd consider it, but he was going to stay with us to the end, no matter what that might be. Thankfully, a round of fluids and antibiotics got him through. I felt like he needed a cowboy name, so he became "Tuff". (After Tuff Hedeman - a famous bull rider.)

I have often thought that Tuff is a reincarnation of every dog that was ever "mine". He shows bits and pieces of all of them. And like your Forrest, Tuff is much bigger than he should be - sharing his skin with all his predecessors. He is the most loving dog I've ever had - he loves cats and has one that's his. He's also raised two puppies and a rescue kitten.

I tell him every day that he's "My Bestest Boy". :)
Bee Haven Bev said…
Such beautiful stories! Thanks for sharing.
Bee Haven Bev said…
Such beautiful stories! Thanks for sharing.
billie said…
Love this post so much. I believe!