I had thought that since Maia was old, ready to go to heaven, and since I could talk to her, that this would be easy. It really is not.
There is more room on the bed, which I find awkward instead of relaxing. Feeding the animals takes half as long because I don’t have to feed Maia syringes of aloe, put pills in cat-food meatballs for her, and have conversations along the lines of, “Please. Why won’t you eat? You are wasting away.”
Maia was more than 90 percent wild. She was as domesticated and calm as a high-percentage wolf dog could be. Our lives now, without her, are drastically different. Places that were unsuitable for me to relax and not pay all of my attention to my wolf-dog are now places I can go, with Stormy. He has now been able to linger off-leash in town, at the beach, at the dog show, and at the stables as Lilly the filly gallops in the arena.
I hear Maia. She has told me she is learning about wolves and people and why she hated to go into town. She learned that calculating all the stimulation was not fun for her, and it was hard for her to act appropriate/domesticated when strangers came too close. Maia was well behaved but she was trapped between two different worlds.
I feel her licking me when I cry, or poking me with her nose when I am not paying attention. I see her running and digging at the beach and pacing around me in circles in the mountains. I hear myself telling my clients, about their animals, “You may think it’s your imagination but it is not. Believe it.”
“Mom, I am never leaving you, wait until I come back to you,” I hear over and over, and I remember how when Lala, my dog before Maia, died, I prayed for her to come back and how I looked for her. Maia informs me, “Lala never wants to come back. Mom, she is happy and busy here. She helps so many people. She is done with Earth.” I want Maia back badly, but I am way too busy for a puppy. Maia says, “When it happens the timing will be perfect.”
Storm, my Aussie, says, “Maia is only gone from her body. But her spirit runs beside me. Sometimes I am jealous that she is young again. I am exhausted from all the fun things I have been doing. The car is the hardest because I am alone sometimes and have no one to talk to.”
Makia, my cat, says, “Maia has talked to me and she has told me that it is remarkable that we were friends considering she was such a large part wolf. She told me she is sorry for hitting me too hard with her nose or when she used to chase after me. She says I should stop fighting with Serafina because when you get to heaven all the reasons that you fight with others don’t make any sense. She also told me that I will not need to be brushed everyday to have my body feel good because there is not extra fur there, or any pain.”
Joey, my oldest cat, says, “I feel a little less safe because she was our protector. The house feels empty even though we all are still here. I have seen death before but this time I feel a little lonesome.”
Serafina, my youngest cat, says, “I see Maia lying in the front yard sometimes. That is something she was not allowed nor ever wanted to do. When I asked her why she said she is practicing for when she comes back as a dog. She says she is practicing not caring when non-threatening beings walk by.”
Bean, my bunny, says, “I miss that giant dog. Sometimes I see her spirit. Once she asked me why I eat hay. I didn’t know what to say. I just like it. She said she would find out for me why bunnies eat hay. I am still waiting on that answer. It is hard not knowing what to do with sadness.”