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Red Snapper.
Sonny Son.
Completely Sketchy Dingo.

There are human beings on this planet and then there are souls.

Human beings bash and bruise the navigation of life.

Souls transcend life.

They exist on a plane above.

I remember an infant looking right through me the moment we met.

She was twelve months old yet stared me down with a quiet concentration that dripped of compassion.

I warned her parents that strangers will show up at their door one day and take her away because she's the next Dalai Lama.

Souls are energy on the temporal/emotional plane, a pure mental being almost oblivious to the corporeal world.

There are souls in forms other than human being.

Human beings are creatures of designed comfort.

Souls comfort the creature in human beings.

Human beings are ultimately concerned with security at the expense of all else.

Souls are only concerned with souls.

Sonny was a soul.

I know myself to be a soul, an empath.

A person, a soul, who viscerally feels every day, the ills and joys of the world.

It drains a soul to live amongst humanity.

The constant human scramble to survive takes its toll on a soul.

But souls know souls and they reach out to protect each other from humanity.

Sonny protected me from humanity.

I believe in the higher reaches of existence.

A place where benevolence rather than defense accommodates life.

Sonny was a benevolent soul, the best kind of human being.

I first met Sonny the night of a girlfriend's birthday.

She had been crying her eyes out for six months at the loss of a Heeler/Cross we had adopted from the pound.

I cooked a dinner to cheer her up, but she moped all the way through it.

The phone rang.

Kim Lord from Whistler Animals Galore, or WAG, was calling to see if we'd be interested in fostering a Blue Heeler she had in stir.

I warily looked across the table at my miserable friend and simply said,

"It's for you."

She suspiciously looked at me, took the phone, listened for a few seconds, her eyes grew bigger, her disposition brightened and we enjoyed our first agreeable evening in months.

The next day we found ourselves, once again, at the WAG lock-up.

Bandit, our first dog from WAG, was a Red Heeler/Cross and my introduction to Australian Cattle Dogs.

A tremendous breed of working canine.

He was a handful only because he had no soul.

That's not to say I didn't love this beast, but there was only one entity on the face of this earth as far as he was concerned and his name was Bandit!

When we first met Bandit he would run free around six or eight other dogs we were walking on leashes for WAG because the staff assured us he would behave himself.

We'd walk them all to the beach at Lost Lake and let them loose.

Bandit was clearly the fastest and true to his nature would herd the lot of them to their exhaustion and his obvious delight.

On the way to the beach he would race circles around our entourage through the forest and underbrush on both sides of the Valley Trail.

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