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Great Spirit

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

In Memory of Hopper, 3.28.22.

He was the greatest gift and one I had to step-up to in order to bring him in my life. I had to acknowledge his strength and big character. This great spirit was my red nose pitbull, Hopper.

How do I move on without him? Can I move on?

He consumed my every thought, my every move and my every gesture of love. I worried about him constantly. I never left him home alone. If I had to I would leave him for only brief moments at a time. I took him everywhere in the car on all my errands. He was given a fresh roasted chicken each week as topper for his food. He was my king. He was my guardian. He was my strength. I was safe with Hopper by my side. I could go anywhere and have no fear. He changed my life. We moved probably at least ten times together or more. He dreaded every time we’d pack-up to the next place. But there we were, on to the next adventure together. Each time, someone new would fall in love with Hopper in the neighborhood. He was a prancer. He strutted proudly no matter where we lived. Actually, he was show- dog quality, if he had been a purebred.

When he loved, he loved. Hopper was big love. He got close, I mean he got close. He would practically lay on top of you, all muscle and skin. He was stronger than anything I’ve ever seen. Even his head was heavy when he rested it on me.

Last month, Hopper turned eleven. I gave him my mother's birthday, February seventh. I was 54 years- old and he was eight-months, when we found each other. Hopper was a rescue, but what really happened was, he rescued me. We walked twice a day, for three miles at a time. It was the only way I managed to wear him down so he would sleep at night without tearing up the house. He was strong and I had to get stronger. I was getting in shape without having to try. It was a lifestyle change. I had to. It was a must, in order to handle his intense, high energy.

Most people feared him on the trail. Hopper intimidated me, too. I knew I had to get rid of my fear of owning a pitbull so I tapped it out and an incredible shift came over us. No more fear or strange looks. One time on the trail, Hopper took off after a squirrel. I hit the ground and he dragged me about five feet. Instead of taking off after the squirrel, Hopper stopped, looked back, and made a conscious decision to walk back to me to see if I was okay. He was less than a year old at the time. I knew I was dealing with more than a dog. He was a caring, intelligent being who was going to look after me.

Hopper was a therapy dog. Before Covid, when working in-person with clients, Hopper was part of the healing team. If my client was a dog lover, Hopper would climb up on their lap. When they were in distress, he would lay his head on the area of where they were in emotional pain. It was amazing to watch him connect at this level. He made clients feel loved and helped them release their pain.

Near the end, we had many nights of staring into each other's eyes to say good-bye. When he died, I felt his great spirit. Instead of moving on, he nestled inside of me. For the next several hours, I had heart pain, on top of heart pain, as if it were his heart letting me know he was sad. I prayed for Hopper and for the dogs who passed before him to take him home to that big playing field above. The next morning, his pain was gone but mine still lives on, deep inside.

Until we meet again, BIG LOVE for you, Hopper, forever.


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