ZIGGY: I Was Guided by My Angel Dog - Guest Post by Jeff Crouse

In the fall of 2002 my wife and I were going through the beginning stages of a divorce and, as you can imagine, emotions were running high. I wasn’t sleeping well and had gotten up very early one Saturday morning with nothing much to do but finish the book I was reading. It was called, In the Company of Newfies and was written by a Newfoundland breeder named Rhoda Lerman.  It’s a great collection of stories about the author’s love of Newfoundlands. At the time I had the privilege of sharing life with a Bernese Mountain Dog I called Ziggy. As dogs can be, he was a constant companion who showed me the highest degree of unconditional love one could hope for. He was also a consummate comedian who could make me laugh out loud with s single look. Lerman describes in her book the life lessons she has learned from these amazing dogs. Her stories can move the reader from moments of tears to those of laughter in a heartbeat. Reading her book at that time in my life proved to be extremely therapeutic – almost as much as having Ziggy. I told him more than once that when I grow up I want to be just like him.  

In the Company of Newfies by Rhoda Lerman

Later that morning, once the sun came up I decided to drive over to the NYS Fair Grounds.  I had noticed in the morning paper that the AKC dog show was underway. I hoped to see the Berners showing. As I was walking around somewhat forlornly with my Big Dog tee shirt on, a woman approached me and told me I looked lost. She very kindly asked if she could help me. She had no idea how lost I was, but just told her I was looking for the Berners. She let me know they had already shown but the Newfies were starting soon and they were a close match. I told her that by coincidence (something I no longer believe in) that while I was more of a Berner fan, I had just finished reading a book about Newfies.  She asked me the name of the book so I told her and asked if she had ever heard of it. She said she had and in fact she was the author!! So there in front of me was Rhoda herself. I actually choked back a tear and resisted the temptation to throw my arms around her and give her a hug. Something to me she might not understand. I did however tell her how much her book meant to me and thanked her for introducing herself to me that morning.

So did Ziggy in his silent way direct my eyes to the article in the paper about the dog show? Or was it his inspiration that led me to wear a Big Dog tee shirt to the show, thus attracting Rhoda to approach me and introduce herself to me? I know I have my answer to those questions and I will let you decide for yourself.     

Jeff Crouse, Author


Meditation on a Dozen Roses ❤️

Each perfect flower picked by you
Now full in bloom, at beauty's peak
Each rose opens ripe and red and true
As if to say "Here I am!
I entrust myself to you."

Like love that's unconditional
The blooms unfold with innocence.
They share with us their gentle gifts
They know not how to have defense.

Like you and me, they're in their prime!
How to keep alive and well
Though time's passage threatens
To bring with it the thorns
Of change, of loss and unplanned pain....

My time with you is cherished.
Will every shared and lovely moment
That I long to keep in bloom
Soon fade in it's own time?

The rose, divided from its roots
Has no choice but to fade and dry
But love that grows from roots of truth
Also has no choice; it cannot die.

Excerpt from "One Heart's Journey"


Visions that Come at the End of Life

I'm still working in Healthcare where so many people are dying. I see it all the time. Today I sat with a dying man. His open eyes did not seem to see me. He was not unhappy. He was staring unwaveringly at that special place I've come to know where the wall meets the ceiling. I've seen it happen over and over again. The eye travels to the where the greatest light shines and to the creases of the room where everything comes together. The seams where walls meet ceiling. Doorways. Windows. These are the places, the portals, where the veil is pierced. The thin veil that separates Heaven and Earth. 

The man is more Where He Is Going than he is here now. He's preparing for his Passage. It is likely he'll be gone before my scheduled return on Friday. Was there light in those creases that I could not see? What was it that he was seeing there? 
Find out in Jack's next book, "Only Gone From Your Sight." We're working on the final edit. 💜

In the meantime you can find the Jack McAfghan Trilogy here:

Popular Posts