Pets come into our lives to show us how to live. They teach us to live fully in the present moment and to cherish this one short precious life that we’ve been given. They teach us what its like to experience unconditional love. And when we connect with them deeply, they mirror back to us the best parts of ourselves.
Bold yet gentle, beautiful, elegant, noble, bigger than life, brimming with love, happy, playful, compassionate and accepting: these words fall short in trying to describe Gunner in life. A Bernese Mountain Dog, Gunner weighed in at around ninety pounds. But it was his life force, his joyful energy that filled whatever room he occupied, not just his size.
Looking into Gunner’s large happy face, his expressive, almost human eyes, you felt as though you were connecting, not to a pet but to a spirit filled with ancient wisdom.
Gunner came into my sister Natalie’s life, a bouncing, joy filled puppy. It wasn’t training that made him a beloved companion, but something more, a deeper understanding, an intuition he brought with him perhaps from a former life.
Gunner’s devotion to Natalie helped her through some of the most difficult years of her life. She’d say, “no matter what was going on, no matter how bad I felt, how long I had left him alone, he was always there, waiting for me, happy to see me, ready to give me his love.”
Gunner had a brief moment in the spotlight. He was in the movie Twenty-Seven Dresses, a cameo appearance. But Gunner’s ongoing award winning role in life was his ability to impact everyone he met. No matter where Gunner went, people were drawn to him. He had a way of bringing happiness into people’s lives. He helped us all forget at least for a moment, our worries and woes. He helped us live as he always did, in the present moment.
Gunner made all of us who knew and loved him better people. He has gone on now to continue his journey through the universe. He left an enormous paw print on the hearts of all whom he encountered. We grieve his loss deeply but are so grateful for having had him in our lives. He’ll be remembered and loved – he’ll be a part of us forever.