Sue Ellen Gallant says of her soul pet, “Skye gave me many gifts, unflagging devotion, loyalty, comfort, companionship, fun and joy. Because of Skye, I have an even deeper compassion and understanding of life, a true understanding of unconditional love, friendship and loyalty. For someone who has never had this experience with a dog, I cannot adequately explain it. What we humans take a lifetime to learn, dogs already know: to live a life of love; a life without hesitation, prejudice, jealousy, questions or criticisms.”

How did you and your soul pet meet? After losing my Doberman Angel at 13 years of age, devastation set in. I loved her more than many people. Angel was a huge part of my life, as well as my families. I didn't think I'd ever love another dog like that again.

It was at least a year and a half that my heart began to feel a little stirring, the wanting to love another dog. I had decided a Golden Retriever would be a great choice as my daughter was now 4 and I loved the look of the friendly, fluffy coated Golden Retriever. I had been attending several dog shows and loved to watch the Goldens going around the Judge's ring & how gorgeous they were when groomed so beautifully. At the dog shows, I began speaking to a woman who was showing Golden Retrievers. We became very close friends & I made the decision to wait to get a puppy from her. There were many other breeders that I could have gotten a puppy from, long before, but due to the friendship this lady named Susan & I developed I told her I would wait.

Finally the day came to get a call saying one of her dogs was expecting pups! I was so excited. I prayed there would be more than one female, as Susan wanted to keep a female for herself. About 62 days later 8 puppies were born. Two girls, 6 boys! YAY—a girl for me. Now the 8-week wait began.

On a cold December day in 2002, my daughter & I made the almost 2-hour drive to pick up our girl. Upon arriving, we received a warm welcome from Susan, and many "kisses" from her adult dogs. There, directly in her living room, was the pen with the remaining pups. Some had already been picked up & taken to their forever homes. When I approached the pen, I saw 3 chubby velvety golden puppies. I immediately locked eyes with one, picked her up & said "Here's my girl". Susan said yes, that's her. My daughter said, "Mommy, how did you know which one was ours?" With tears in my eyes. I said, " I don't know dear, I just knew". That is how my life with my precious Skye began.

Because Skye came from a Canadian Registered Kennel, she had to have a "kennel" name. This is what they use if the dog is going to be shown. But any pup coming from a registered kennel has to have a registered name, to receive her "papers" & pedigree. Because we waited quite awhile for this puppy & I wanted her "call name" to be Skye, I finally came up with "Klaasems Long-Awaited Eclipse" aka Skye. Klaasems is the name of the registered kennel & you must always put the kennel's first.

Do you feel that you and your pet have a soul connection? Skye and I definitely had a soul connection. She was very in tune with my feelings and emotions, as I was to hers. I don't ever remember Skye being anything but happy. Life for Skye was love: she loved all people, and everyone loved Skye. If I was sad & tears ran down my face, Skye always licked them away and would lay her precious head in my lap. So many times, we'd lay side by side, my arm over her, my face buried in her thick golden coat. She was my best friend, she was my everything, she was a huge part of why I put my 2 feet on the floor every morning. I still feel the connection we had, even though cancer stole her from me 14 months ago in the prime of her life. I feel her in my heart, I feel the cord attaching us together, hopefully forever.

What special things did you do together? Everything Skye & I did together was special. She was such fun. At times she was so silly I would call her "my goofball". The most fun times were out playing soccer or frisbee. Others would throw her frisbee, and sometimes she would jump & catch it. Maybe because I taught her to do it, but I had a special way of throwing it so she seldom didn't catch it. Over, over & over. She loved her green frisbee, and I have kept it. Not for any other dog, but as a memory of my girl and how she loved it so. Skye was my shadow, literally. No matter where I went, what I did, she followed or walked beside me. She didn't want to miss a thing.

What special ways of communicating did you have? Besides the basic commands of sit, stay, come etc. that Skye was taught as a puppy, along with hand signals, I truly believe we communicated on a much higher level. I knew her... I "read" her, and I believe she responded the same way. She knew my moods; she gave me what I needed emotionally. I knew what made her at her utmost level of happiness, I knew when she wasn't feeling well. She and I communicated on a higher hierarchy, at a "soul" level.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the deep connection that you experienced with Skye? Every moment spent with Skye was truly a joyful moment. Our times at the beach, which is my favorite "soul searching" spot, was doubly enhanced having Skye with me. Seeing the happiness and joy she brought to others. No one could be around Skye & not smile or laugh. She brought out the kindness in people. She made sad people happy, if only for a brief moment. Skye taught me "not to sweat the small stuff". She taught me that every moment was one big gulp of fresh air & how to live a life of gratefulness. She taught me that when a loved one comes home, to greet them with a smile. To be loyal and to never pretend to be something you're not. A deeper compassion and understanding of what life really is, unconditional love, devotion, companionship, fun & joy. I know it makes absolutely no difference in how much money one earns, or how many possessions we own, being blessed having had Skye in my life made me rich.

"Skye" by Ashley Reid,