Ace the Wonder Dog

Ace the Wonder Dog

A couple of years ago I began emailing frequently with a new internet friend, a young woman from Egypt who is very close to her animals and wanted to learn to better communicate with them. Several of us were learning the art of deep mindfulness around our animals and reading an astounding little book called Kinship with All Life, a classic for animals lovers written decades ago.

Though we had only previously talked about our horses, one day my new friend told me that she sensed that I had a dog that had something very important to tell me.  I had three dogs at the time, so she described the one in question using her limited English as “light chestnut” – exactly what his color would be called if he were a horse – and then proceeded to describe clearly what I recognized as my golden retriever’s personality. So I kept an open mind and went about my business. Interesting, I thought, but what did I know about animal communication?

Not long after that another friend and I were discussing how amazing the web of life can be and how we sometimes “know” things even though there is no logical reason for what we know. We were talking about the animals and I remembered what my young friend had said about Ace.

And you know what? Suddenly inspired by the fact that this particular friend was a gifted animal communicator I walked right out the front door where I saw him peering at me through the glass while we were talking and intently watching my conversation with my friend. I asked him if he wanted to tell me something. And his answer might as well as been delivered over a loud speaker.  I felt his answer suddenly, “I just wanted to remind you that when we met, you knew me…and that I was your dog.” I felt like one of those cartoon characters who hits themselves on the head with a big “duh.”  It was a reminder of precisely the very topic of the conversation I was having with my friend in the room.

I met this loving canine soul when he moved in next door to me in town many years ago. One day his owner, a single father, asked if it might be possible to pet sit him while he took his boys away for a Christmas holiday with family. He was a perfect gentlemen, house trained, the works. How hard could it be?

Hmmm, a beautiful dog to lie in front of the fireplace for a few days with me, what’s not to love about that. My “Yes!” took about two seconds to leave my lips. I had missed having dogs in my life since losing my first dog Chad so many years before. In fact being so busy with four young children it just wasn’t practical to have an animal but I wanted one so bad it almost hurt.

So into my life walked Ace, the Wonder Dog. My reaction was stunning and immediate. “I KNOW this dog,” I felt. “He’s MY dog.”  It was as clear as that.

The next thought after this one – you know those “rational” thoughts you use to talk yourself out of a sudden intuitive insight – was that perhaps his energy reminded me of my childhood dog, a black lab. Similar “retriever vibe?” Or maybe he represented what I WANTED in a dog.

No, I got another strong hit that he was MY DOG. I told his owner that if he EVER sold Ace or had to let him go to please let me know. He assured me that Ace would always be in his family and that his boys would never under any circumstances want to let him go.

Two or three years later I got a sudden phone call. “I have to move, the boys are living with their mom now, and am leaving town in an hour.” my old neighbor said.  “If you want Ace, he’s yours, but you have to be here within the hour.”

Needless to say I dropped everything and drove across town – I was now living on my horse farm – to pick up “my” dog.

Well I took him straight to the vet as I knew my friend’s idea of hygiene and mine were different. By this time I had another dog at home to protect. So he got a good bath and some shots and was tested for heartworms.

The heartbreaking news was that he was riddled with heartworms.  I was so angry at my friend that he didn’t spend $10.00 a month to prevent this. Because he was a large dog at 100-plus pounds, and was already 9 years old, my vet said that the traditional treatment of arsenic would likely kill him.

“Take him home and let him live a comfortable life and enjoy what time you have,” said my vet.

We decided to give him a preventative for new heartworms which prevented the babies from maturing but wouldn’t attack the adults, which could kill my sweet boy. So I resigned myself to do exactly that. Just accept whatever length of time we had together.

“I may not have long with him but I’ll love him,” I thought.

This simple decision at the most basic spiritual level is called “holding sacred space.” If we become a vessel for love and maintain a prayerful intention for good it often happens.

Thus began a years-long love affair with this darling dog. He soon discovered he loved the water and cooled off in the creek regularly, his previous owner’s admonition to the contrary notwithstanding. He accompanied us on walks and ten mile bike rides through the countryside. And he became the Morning Greeter of Neighbors, along with his buddy Kash, making the rounds daily to bring sunshine to each one.

I took him in to the vet several years later and he tested negative for any heartworms.  The vet was amazed.  He even joked that he wouldn’t have taken a nickel for Ace when I first brought him in. And I shocked him when I told him that for a long time he even ran with my warrior many miles a week.

Today this lovely dog is losing strength in his spine and back legs at the age of almost 16. Yet he still literally BOUNCES (pretty hard in his body) like a puppy, happy to see me every morning on our trips to the barn to feed his larger farm mates.

Yes, he has a good life. And I love this dog. My dog.

{Allison Peacock Photo:  Our beloved Ace died at age 16 a couple of months after I wrote this blog post, the week before we left the farm for Austin.  The kids called him “lion dog” because they were sure he was more lion than canine.}

By | 2018-04-14T15:05:42+00:00 April 19th, 2009|Animal-Inspired Mindfulness|5 Comments

About the Author:

Allison Peacock is a Spiritual Wellness Practitioner and the Practice Manager at Lake Travis Integrative Medicine. A mind-body medicine expert for more than three decades, she is a passionate teacher of Integrative Medicine approaches, including self-care, building resilience, spiritual transformation, self-regulation and Earth-honoring spirituality.

5 Comments

  1. Pierre April 19, 2009 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Truly a lovely story! Enjoyed it much!
    Have had my cat “Lucky” for nearly 5 years now…a nice presence when I get home in the evening…waking me up at least once in the middle of each night…for food or to get outside… At times my mood reflects in his eyes…he can be very expressive but not as emotional as the female Boxer I had years ago…Tekila was her name…

  2. Allison Peacock April 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad you liked the story. When we allow deep communion with our animals it can be so rewarding! (Except when they awake us in the middle of the night. Bad, Lucky!)

    Hugs,
    Allison

  3. Tzviah Idan May 6, 2009 at 4:15 am - Reply

    This story really resonates with me. I once adopted a street dog in the very touristy city of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, close to all of the sites of Jesus’ ministry during his three years in Galilee. This was about 16 years ago. This dog was a beautiful Australian shepherd – mix, with a real working dog attitude — and cute as a button. A friend who managed a restaurant on the Boardwalk would feed her and other strays, and as I would eat lunch there a lot, I got to know this dog and felt a real bond with her.
    An unspayed female, she seemed to have a constant sexuality about her that had all the male dogs followed her around in a daze — when not in heat — or perhaps she was just their ring leader. She was so smart that she would sneak into the back of the local hotel kitchens and wait to be fed by animal-loving staff or steal food on her own.
    After a few months my friend tried to convince me that I was the perfect person to adopt this dog and I finally took her home for a trial. It took only one day for me to realize that we understood each other perfectly. She immediately started carrying herself with the pride and dignity of a loved dog– tail and nose up in the air, and a ‘look at me, ain’t I wonderful’ attitude — something no street dog can do well. The first time I walked her downtown and over to the restaurant — all the “regular” customers, who should have recognized this dog, did not — they asked me where I had bought this lovely purebred bitch and would not believe that she was the same street dog.

    Because of her seemingly endless l attraction to other dogs, I named her “Easy”. Easy would walk to work with me, which was at the local tourist information office. She wasn’t allowed inside the building so I would leave her on the grounds of the surrounding park. Foreign tourists would remark over the dog who seemed to herd them over to our office door.
    I worked an 8 1/2 hour day so Easy would disappear for hours on her own routine, make the hotel kitchen rounds to see if anyone would feed her, and who knows what else. If I wanted her to come to me I only had to think, “Easy, come here” and within 5 minutes she would be standing by the office door.
    Probably because of her instincts as a herding dog, I only had to think something, and she would do it. Training her was intuitive for both of us and completely effortless.
    Something happened once that I will never be able to explain…. Maya, my young niece, took a bus from Tel Aviv to Tiberias to visit. She is also an animal lover and she and Easy were great pals. She had no idea how to find my office so I told her to speak to the woman at the Information window at the bus station, who would provide her with instructions, and even a local map, and would also phone and give me a heads up. I was waiting all morning – no phone call. Suddenly my niece appeared at the office door together with Easy. She told me that when she got off the bus, Easy was waiting for her at the station and led her to my office. The bus station is a good quarter mile from my office.
    If anyone can give me a logical, “rational” explanation for this, I’m eager to hear it. I prefer to think that Easy could read my mind.
    When I had to travel overseas for almost a month I left Easy in the care of a young girl who lived on the kibbutz where I stabled my horses. She was riding and training one of my horses. By the time I returned to Israel the two of them had bonded so closely that I could not in full heart bring Easy home. Every time Talia was at school or away and I was at the setables, Easy would find me and things would be as always, but once Talia was in the picture, I was obviously second choice, so I choose to leave them together.
    Thanks for listening.
    Tzviah Idan

    • Allison Peacock May 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Great, great story. I have an Aussie, too. They’re truly intuitive and very, very talented.

  4. […] Something about the photo called to me and inspired me to help this friend since after losing his buddy Ace a few years ago, I knew Kash would enjoy some canine companionship for a short time. As a bonus it […]

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