It is an old Irish tradition to think that the fairies observe all that transpires in our mundane lives. They are erratic in their oversight of our existence, of course, because, by their very nature, they are easily distracted little beings and often off in the forest cavorting with fireflies and butterflies and such. But there is one thing tha causes them to pause and take notice. Fairies know each and every time when a new puppy is born.
Fairies are great lovers of dogs, probably because in addition to being easy to distract, fairies are often a bit lazy too. They are known to hitch a ride on the backs of dogs whenever their wings need a rest. You can’t always see them, but you know they are along for the ride when the dog sits down and lifts a hind leg to scratch. you might think he has picked up a flea, but that’s not it at all. He really has a fairy rider on his neck and it tickles where she is holding on.
When a new puppy is born and takes its first breath of air, a fairy breathes deeply too and smiles a smile of welcome at the new life. And this is how it begins. The fairies will watch this puppy grow. In fact, each dog has his own special fairy rider who acts as his companion all through his life. The fairy riders choose a puppy that they like and with some reverence climb up on his neck to ride along with him through whatever life may bring. It is a relationship of deep affection and great respect.
The fairy rider will be there when the puppy is ten days old and its eyes open on the world for the first time. Fairies sigh and get all tearful when a puppy looses its first tooth. Like tooth fairies, fairy riders know this means that someone they love is growing up.
At about a month old, puppies begin to stand up and play with their brothers and sisters. They wobble about with one another and sometimes fall right down and roll over on their backs. Fairies giggle when puppies learn to play. It is like riding a clumsy elephant that keeps falling down and getting up again. At this stage, fairies spend a good deal of time hovering above their puppy waiting for him to get upright again.
When puppies are two months old, the fairies watch over them very carefully. It is the time when a new family comes to take the puppy home. The fairy riders wonder what is in store for the mas they leave their mother and venture off to become pets and protectors for their humans. When the puppy finds just the right human and goes home to a happy home, the fairies clap their hands and laugh right out loud with glee for they know that it will be a long and adventuresome ride.
The fairy riders go along on all sorts of activities with their dogs. Riding along with dogs and holding on tight, the fairies search for lost people, they guide the blind, they pull sleds, and protect homes. They go for walks with us, accompany us to work, ride in the cars and sit in our laps; all riding on the neck of our dogs. They are there, even when we cannot see the, sleeping nestled in the ruff of your Collie, the hair of your Poodle and the fur of your Shepherd. Have you ever seen your dog’s coat glisten with good healthy in the sun? That sparkle is really a glimpse of his fairy rider that you are seeing. Through all of the adventures a dog can have, his fairy is right there with him holding on for dear life during romps in the fields or swims in the creek.
One day, the fairy waits for her dog to lie down for a nap. Just as he is falling asleep, she climbs up close to his soft ear and whispers something. If you get very quiet yourself, you can hear the fairy rider give her dog a very special and final gift of friendship. You can hear her say:
“Good and gentle creature, you and I have spent many an adventures together. You have been my companion through many a rising sun and a falling moon. You have kept me warm with your presence and your companionship. Your loyalty and devotion has been a treasured enrichment to my days. It has been an honor to be your rider and guardian, but I sense now that you are tired and can carry me no more in this life. I sense that you must go. I bid you quiet passage and thank you for allowing me to ride along for all this time and especially at the time of your leavetaking. Now do not stay for me, but go as you must.”
The old dog’s ear flicks ever so slightly as his fairy rider breaths gently whispers her final blessing to him “Go now in peace.” And he does.
She wipes a brief tear, turns and flits away following the sound of a new puppy’s cry in the distance. She is off to meet him and begin a new unison with this fresh new life. A puppy is born and the fairies smile.
Good-Bye little Buddy, this is for you and your Mamas who loved you very much.