When Huskies Run. Lessons about Letting Go

11114732_10206844648777381_7919204143617200677_oHave you experienced a rising panic over the thought of losing a loved one?

Do you have  a wonderful dog?  Have they ever run off on you?

Here is a recent story of fear of loss and practicing to remain calm.  I will share a tool I use in dicey situations when I want to call on my intuition to serve me to take action to help.  I call this the, What’s the Plan, Stan? Tool.  My hope is that this tool can give you some ease when things get scary.

First, the story.  Luzy is an Alaskan Husky raised as a sled dog, she is now my skijor partner and she can pull an 80 pound sled 30 miles with me skiing behind and never get tired.  She is my soul sister, personal comedienne, wise woman, and mischievous crazy guru.  Like any good friend, she is constantly teaching me.

We have skijored over 700 expedition miles together. We paddle board and hike and sit and stare together.  She knows I am going to fall down before I do, I trust her, admire her, and laugh a lot around her.  Sometimes I laugh-groan.  Like the time she jumped out of the car window WHILE I was driving downtown and bolted into the Talkeetna Roadhouse at breakfast time.  By the time I got inside, a tourist was feeding her a slice of bacon off his plate!  “She’s so beautiful” he said in his defense.  OK, a dog comes bounding into a very crowded restaurant and the reaction is to feed her??!  Yeah, she’ll hypnotize you too.  She’s got these bright blue eyes that can bend you to her will.  We have adventured side by side through other lives as well, but that story is for another time.  We are connected.

Another Luzy Lesson.  On life.  And perhaps Death.

She ran off last night for a few hours.

Rick had friends over enjoying the spring melting of Alaska and the view of the Susitna Valley from our deck.  There was Caribou sausage and good beer and she was enjoying the company.  Until.  An alluring odor caught her nose.  My husband, Rick noticed Luzy’s focus had changed and called to her.  She turned and searched his eyes as huskies do when they look right into your brain.  She gleaned that he was not that serious and so made up her own mind to dive into the woods and away.  We live on 20 acres of beautiful forest, plenty of room you’d think for dogs.  But Luzy can run across 20 acres in no time and get to roads, and railroad tracks.  Luckily, she is more interested in the wild and she doesn’t naturally head to civilization…unless she’s chasing a moose who does.

Any dog can get far from you quick, but a Husky really lives to run and they are bred for speed.  Luzy literally flies.

I returned home from my BARE Workshop with my girlfriends to see the guys jumping in their vehicles for the search.  Our beloved and understanding friends all mobilized to hunt for her.  Friends have been through this drill before, with Luzy and with their own dogs.  There are more dogs than people in Talkeetna.  We all know to tie our sleddogs up when unattended, and even then they are natural Houdinis.  We also live in Alaska because we prize freedom, for ourselves and other beings, so we acknowledge the risks and do what we can to mitigate them.  A team headed to Birch Creek, another to the neighbors, one to Joan Road, and Rick drove down the Spur Road.  We ran into other friends who kept an eye out as well and reported their husky had run the night before.

I donned snowshoes and waded through slushy snow to the railroad tracks.   I began to lose my center.  The longer I looked without finding her the more the thoughts crept in.  I have had two dogs hit by cars and lost a dear dog-friend at the very railroad tracks I was now following.  The numerous lakes and creeks are melting and it would be easy for her to fall in and have a hard time getting out.  My heart hurts just thinking of losing her and my breath comes quick and shallow, I am about to cry.

I have lived through a number of precious animals, friends, and family who have passed on.  It is never easy.  Because really, isn’t it the thought of Death that panics us?  I take a lot of comfort in my feeling that nothing ever leaves and that I can continue to connect and “be with” those who have passed on.  I see the birch saplings growing out of fallen spruce in the forest and I know for me- things just change form.  I can call on my Dad anytime and he is right with me though his body left the planet in 2010.  Same with my Grandmother Antonetta and others.  I see these beings still around, and even ancestors I haven’t met in this lifetime.  I know some of you do this also.  But, I can only connect with Dad when I am calm.  I came to some kind of an understanding with death a long time ago, I think it is a gorgeous mystery and I believe as Walt Whitman does that,

“Nothing can happen more beautiful than Death”.

I am able now to be pretty calm in dangerous situations, and to remain grounded.  If I fear for others close to me I feel the fear but do not fall apart.  Not so with Luzy.  I freak.  I believe Luzy and I have gone though losing each other in other lives and so it is an old pain.  This is a pain I strive to learn from, because I believe this mind pain is optional.  I will mourn and feel the pain if something dreadful actually happens, why should I live the pain when it is not even happening?  Also, imagining all the worst case scenarios does me no good and takes away my energy to act in a helpful manner.

Whether your pet ran off, your child, your parent, or another event which threatens a loved one – it is scary and can throw us into panic.

I want to share one way I get myself back to center so that I may be of the best help to the situation.  I make a plan to reground myself and connect to my deeper knowledge, this deeper self can then draw on all the information at hand in order to make wiser decisions and plan next steps.  I just want to keep practicing how to get back to calm when in the rising tide of dread because when I do that, as you will see, your natural intuitive abilities paired with a rational mind can help the situation far more that your panicked mind ever will.  Here is what I did when I realized I was going crazy at the thought of losing my best friend:

What’s the Plan, Stan? Tool

I stumble in the slush and water fills a boot.  My toes are freezing and this is not helping.  I shout some obscenities at the snow. I think, oh, great life coach you make – careening around and falling apart over a husky who of course is going to run free.  I remember the tool I made up for exactly this situation and I decide it’s time to make a plan:

1.  Do not berate yourself

I realize I am pointlessly berating myself.  There is nothing wrong with caring and worrying and I don’t have to add beating myself up to the list.  Now I feel stronger.

2.  Stop.  Take 7 deep breaths. Feel the air around you.

I stood in the snow and breathed.  I noticed the cool air around me was quite pleasant.  Now I feel calmer.

3.  Name one thing that is fine about this moment.

I asked myself, what is fine about this moment?  Right now all is well and I don’t know anything is wrong.  I said,  “I trust the universe, what will be will be”.  I feel hopeful.

4.  Send a blessing.  Notice what comes up.

Then I sent a calm blessing to Luzy that she would be well, and that is when I felt her, I sensed, if you will, her health and well-being.  I noticed that I suddenly knew all would be well.  I got an image of her licking her lips which made me smile.  This is one way I tap into my intuition.

Then my cellphone rang.  It was Rick reporting in.  He had just stopped by the house, and while we were all running around, Luzy returned to the deck and ate the Caribou sausage left out in our scramble to find her.

Because I was calm when I got this news I was able to feel the full joy and import of getting another day with my friend, rather than being angry with her.  If the news of Luzy had been otherwise, I would have been calm enough to take in my sadness and take the next steps for mourning.  I hope this gives you something to ease your pain, cause I know it ain’t fun.

What do you do to keep grounded?  Have a dog who likes to run?  I’d love to hear your comments below!

If you are interested in learning more tools for grounding yourself or using your intuition contact me anytime here.

I post Lessons from Luzy weekly on my Facebook page 🙂



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  1. Emma
    April 13, 2016

    Just beautiful, Wendy. Absolutely lovely

    • Wendy Battino
      April 13, 2016

      Thank you Emma. I so appreciate your comment 🙂

  2. Amy Harren
    January 1, 2017

    Thank you for your words.
    Last night, I drove up on my daughters beloved husky, Bandit after he had just been hit by a car. Her and I took him to the vet where we had him euthanized; death in any form is not easy and understanding that a living thing’s energy continues on is comforting.

    • Wendy Battino
      January 1, 2017

      Oh Amy, I am sorry for the loss of your daughter’s dog. You are so right, it is not easy. I hope you and your daughter can feel into Bandit’s beautiful energy right now, he is still loving you both. Much love.


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