Notes from the Abbess

The other day I posted about the great autumn to be found in the midst of spring.  We are constantly immersed in the rising and falling of our lives, as close as our own breath.  Tune, aka Abbess Petunia (or more commonly, “The Abbess”), will be turning twelve in June. We have had her for nearly two and a half years and what a treasure she continues to be. When we adopted her we thought if all we do is give her the best retirement, then that is enough (after spending her life neglected in a breeding kennel).  She is my Abbess and Muse, my devoted companion, the one who has taught me about healing from old wounds and the tenderness required for her, for myself.  She teaches me about sheer delight, embodied joy, and the grace of napping.  She is a poignant reminder of the preciousness of those we love.

In the last few months she has had two surgeries to remove malignant tumors from her mammary glands and both thankfully have been low-grade with clean margins, meaning it doesn’t seem to have spread and hasn’t required further treatment.  She has remained quite spunky although in the last few weeks has had some noticeable slowing on her walks.  She is not quite as enthusiastic about walking as far, often deciding after a few blocks to turn around and head back, so we have stayed closer to home.

Yesterday I found another lump in her chest, near where the two others were found.  We are going to the vet this afternoon to see how to proceed this time. I continue to practice being present to this moment and celebrating the gifts of her warm body to me right now. My heart feels tender and full of love.  If you have a companion animal, pull them close for a moment, and please send some healing to Tune. 

May your own weekend be filled with love and tenderness.

** Come back on Monday for our next Poetry Party **

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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