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Roxie: A Teacher of Soul Tending

Spiritual Direction by Margaret Greene

Roxie was my 15 year old black lab mix who died this past fall.  She was the dog I didn’t really want, but who claimed me right away.  She had a mind of her own and when given any opportunity would take off to explore far and wide.  She lived at my side for 12 very full years.  She kept it real, kept it simple and sometimes, just kept me steady.  

As I walked with her in the final part of her life, there was so much to reflect on.  She was slow and in pain, so I was the one who held a steady, loving presence.  It was I who studied her face and her movements for signs of need.  And it was I who pressed up against her to ease her distress and comfort her.  These are behaviors she taught me over the years.  

Now that she is gone, I realize how deeply she held me and walked with me.  She was such a steady presence, a constant companion and a loving reflection.  She was my soul friend and I realize how much she taught me about being a soul companion for another.  

Roxie’s Lessons for Soul Companioning:

Welcome others in enthusiastically.

Walk in tandem without pulling or getting distracted. 

Keep on the path, more or less.

It is all about the heart, the words just reinforce it.

When someone really hurts, get deeply present.

Don’t let anyone wallow too long, there is always more road ahead.

Eye contact matters. 

Love without conditions.

Instinct is a reliable source of information; trust your body.

Speak the truth with kindness.

Stay loyal and true to what really matters.

Be yourself, it is your nature and temperment.

And remember, everyone needs to know they are "a good dog"! 

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