Story and photo submitted by Caryn Casey
She came into our lives somewhat unexpectedly yet fueled by a force of destiny surrounding the moment, choosing, and immediate attraction that grew quickly to love. She has spent almost the entirety of her fifteen-and-a-half years secured in our collective hearts. Impulse, our toy Poodle, is tiny at eleven pounds; all spiral curls and heart. We thought she would be a perfect companion for our disabled, Zen-like, somewhat sedentary dog, Legacy, and though she was that in many of their years together, she became my touchstone. In times of sadness or fear she has helped quiet the tears, her soft affability evidenced by kisses offered freely, and patience beyond compare. She has been cradled, coddled and snuggled- this familial, unfettered, teddy-bear-like mascot of sweetness.
At the age of nine, the shadows that rolled in and robbed Impulse of her eyesight, in turn cast a light on the truest core of her being. Her cureless, hereditary disease was compromised further by cataracts, yet she transitioned so smoothly we questioned the diagnosis. She continues to navigate her way outside, scaling a couple of steps, and though she no longer jumps on her favorite couch, where she sat perched on the back as she took in the energies all around her, she did so for many years when it seemed impossible for her to manage. A veterinarian once told me, her blindness would likely be harder for our family than Impulse. I mourned all the things that she easily let go of as though they were nothing but trappings anyway. It was as if to say, “I don’t need to see all of you because I know you. I am safe and adored, and it is enough.”
We have come to snap our fingers with the phrase: “this way,” akin to a GPS system for Impulse when she needs guidance. She gets stuck sometimes and barks with emphasis to let us know this; she loves food and relishes each bite more than ever before. She experienced the devastating loss of Legacy, but more to the point, she allowed us to grieve fully with a peace and a little distance; she was here but less needy. Imp acclimated to this new normal just as she has every other health challenge or new circumstance she has encountered. She still travels 33 hours by car twice a year to Minnesota and back to Los Angeles without a peep of discontentedness. Her code is simple: trust fully.
When the younger energy bounds through the family room, in the form of our grand dogs, Dharma, Nora, and our newest rescue, Ariya, Impulse maintains her aging grace. She seeks refuge when she needs it from the chaos at times, but mostly she is here, among us holding court with the wisdom of her years and experiences. What may have been taken from her, she freely gave. She reminds us daily that it is our choice to seize our moments, to transcend what we cannot control, and if the cookie smells good? Eat it.
Caryn, Burbank, CA www.muchmorethanme.com