Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ode stole my heart.

Ode. Pronounced O-Day. Meaning "heart" in Ojibwa.

I have fallen in love with this dog, Ode, so hard that I'm not even sure what to do. Every time I read an update about her, I am overpowered by such intense _________ (my god, there are not even words!). There's a reason why people associate the heart with love. My heart feels like it's going to turn inside out, sit down in front of me, and then burst into a thousand tears. The particles of my heart feel squeezed, pulled, under pressure.

Really, I barely know how to make sense of the weight and rawness I feel surrounding the effect that Ode's eyes have on me.

Although I love dogs, I am also a bit guarded in my affection for them. I wasn't always this way, but when my soul-dog, Abe, died several years ago, my whole world fell out from under me. Because of him, I love more deeply. But since then, to really-truly-deeply love a dog feels like such a huge risk to me. Sure, I love all dogs, immensely, but I limit myself to a certain level--a somewhat safe level. I love my wolfie, Anu, and Louie beyond words. I've granted them special permission to take up residence in the deepest part of my heart. But to give my heart away, personally and specifically, to a dog I don't yet even know? To Ode?

Ode raises the bar. Not only on love, but life.

Why does loving Ode feel like such a profound act of bravery? Because I know that in loving her to this degree, my life can't help but be altered. There are probably a 100 people (ore more!) that are willing to adopt her. For this, I am grateful. But, me oh my, what will I do with her still in my heart?


**photo taken by Ode's foster mom, borrowed from here.**

read more about Ode's story here.


Elusive D. said...


Thanks so much for your note! My first response to a blog, and so perfect it came from you. . .the source of the brilliant BBP. I did the delaying dentist dance until last February, when necessity dragged me in there--it was SO nice to have that over with and settled (tho' I did end up having to pay more due to my delaying).

I love your pictures, and that one of the 12 week old dog who was burned just stunned me. So brave of her, to let any of us near her after that! Just read your newest post and it is so wonderful. Good for you to fall in love again--I'll be putting up a picture of my rescue cat (Gigi Colette de la Falaise) on the day I take her to the vet on Thursday.

How can I link my site up to other people doing your marvellous Be Brave Project?? I want to read about more people who are fighting their fears! Hooray!

All the best,
d. (theelusiveduchess.blogspot.com)

Laura B. said...

I am so sad every time I see a picture of Ode, but it makes extremely happy to know she will be ok ---- . I felt a deep sickness when I saw her picture, because I just knew... WhyWhyWhy??? Anyway, it's probably a waste to ask this. Better to spend time loving her! I'm glad you have the opportunity, Jessie!

laundrygirl said...

This is beautiful - what you have said, what you feel, this sweet innocent dog...
Sounds like you will indeed learn a greater lesson about yourself in all of this. What I see, just on the surface is that you have a very deep sense of compassion and I get all of these thoughts of you being involved in animal rescue on an even deeper level than you are now.
I admire your willingness to explore your feelings and see where they lead you.

Sharon said...

I totally understand about loving dogs. I was so deeply and passionately in love with my Sony, that when she died it was as if part of me died also... She knew me so well, could anticipate my moods, etc., knew when I needed a snuggle or a kiss... and slept with her body TOUCHING me all night long...

I shed volumes of tears for almost two months....then I found Maynard. She doesn't take Sony's place, but she has filled a need in me and a place in my heart that was so very empty.

Loralee Choate said...

There is always a risk to love, especially when you have had a deep loss.

She looks like a wonderful soul, friend.

Julie said...

It IS brave to love animals. There is a quote in a Kinky Freidman book that I am trying to find that basically says our hearts are bigger for deciding to love things that we know will leave before us.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Loralee; once you have loved deeply and lost, the risk reaches up to the sky when your heart is stirred again.

But bravery is something you know well, my friend.

I have to confess that when you first posted about Ode, I burst into tears as well.

It's funny ... I'm totally OK hearing about and healing the deep emotional scars of children who are physically/sexually abused by others all day long (my job). But when it comes to animals, I'm a mess each and every time I hear about someone abusing an animal.

Ode is an amazing dog!

mistie said...

I told my husband Ode's story and he said, stop, stop, I can't stand to know things like that.

I felt that way too, sitting at the computer, reading your post and crying my eyes out.

But truly, it is good to know she is loved by a heart as big as yours, a spirit as encompassing as you. There are no limits in how that will be returned to you.

Even now, my eyes tear up, for her previous pain, for your previous pain - but you have seen each other and a bond is there that was meant to be for a brave reminder of growing and living.

GreenishLady said...

I haven't been by in a while, but I did see your first mention of Ode, and my heart went out to that little creature. You already love her, Jessie, I think. There is no decision to be made. We cannot not love for fear of loss.

Mila said...

Hi Jessie,
I just wanted to let you know how grateful i am for discobering your blog... I really love it, the way you write and the things you write about are very touching and inspiring at the same time.
I want to thank you for that...

I did a little post about the being brave project, which i discovered via the great blog of The cat of impossible colour.
I am not satisfied with the results of the post, because i find it really hard to explain my feelings like these ones, but i felt like i needed to do this post, although i am a little scary for the comments that may appear on it. I guess it's already a brave thing i did post it, isn't it? ;)

Thanks again, and maybe you'd like to visit my blog and read it.
I hope you don't mind i added your link to the list on my blog, because my blog is really different from yours and maybe more superficial in a way.

(Hopefully my English is understandable).

Lots of love and have a great weekend!

:) Mila.

gkgirl said...

that puppy story
is so sad...
and yet, uplifting to know
that there are people like you
out there
ready to make life better for him...

melanie said...

What a beautiful dog - I can see why she has firmly settled herself in your heart. In fact, I can see the visual: like a dog doing the circle dance a couple of times before settling in for a long and comfortable slumber.

*melanie from www.meli-mello.com

Annie said...

Oh Jessie, I feel the same way about Ode! If I could I would adopt her even though I have no room and 4 pets already. She just moves me to tears. She is looking so much better! All I can do is love her and send blessings from afar.

Jo said...

Ode is beautiful. I fell the same way, and just as deeply, for a terrier at my local shelter. A stray, he'd been used for badger-baiting and his bottom jaw was mostly just skin and bone. His name was Frankie and I lived for the days I could get there and walk him, tickle his tummy, pretend he was mine. But I knew I had no space and that my two dogs wouldn't accpet him. He was adopted and is very happy. but I still think of him almost daily and it's been three years since I've seen him.
Sending all good thoughts and much love to Ode.