Haibun for the friend who never left

The NaPoWriMo prompt couldn’t be more appropriate.

My husband had a dream a few nights ago, more vivid than any dream he had ever had before. In the dream, he walked into the kitchen where I was preparing a meal. The children were in and out, talking. He stopped in surprise. Finbar was lying at my feet, long nose resting on his paws, his ears raised in recognition.
“I can see Finbar!”
I replied, “He’s always there, but only we can see him.”
“Not the children?”
I shook my head. “Only us.”
Husband crouched down and stroked him, and the touch ran through the dream and tingled in his waking fingers, the silky-smooth hair of his head and ears, the longer, coarser hair of his neck and flanks.
“He never left,” I said.

That same morning, I checked up on our application with the rescue association, for two friends that had touched our hearts, inseparable companions of misfortune. The reply was immediate. They’ll be on their way in the next few weeks. Finbar will have company soon.

Air is electric
in spring it buzzes with joy
even in sorrow.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

59 thoughts on “Haibun for the friend who never left”

  1. Oh so wonderful Jane! Our furry loved ones come to us in dreams though they never leave our hearts. Maggie is still with us, watching over our new pup and probably chuckling at what we’re letting her get away with! I hope your new friends will be with you soon. Great news.

    1. I didn’t know you’d got a new pup! You were still too full of Maggie to think about another one last time you mentioned her.
      Husband said it was the first time he could remember dreaming of Finbar, and it was the only dream he had ever had where all his senses were involved. he’d never touched anything in a dream before. It must have been a sign, because I asked the galgo rescue association that same morning if they’d accept a request for a couple of friends and they said yes! Some time early May they’ll be here.

      1. We lost Maggie in November 2020 and I didn’t want another dog as I missed her so much. We still do, but I’m useless without a dog so we started looking June time. By chance we found Maya and she joined our family at the end of February aged 13 weeks. She’s going to be a big dog, but totally gorgeous. Hope you can have a look at some of the photos. She’s hard work though. I bet you’re looking forward to your new babies joining the family.

      2. I know you were very hesitant about getting another dog. I’d never use the term ‘replacement’ as it’s daft.
        I’ll pop over to your blog to see the pictures.
        We said, when it dawned on us that Finbar was slowing down, that next time we’d get a ‘normal’ dog, and one that wasn’t to big and strong and difficult to control once he’d made his mind up otherwise. When he did die, so suddenly, we realised we didn’t want a ‘dog’ we wanted another Finbar with the same ambivalent attitude to people, and the total lack of doggyness. And we didn’t want an only dog, just as we never wanted an only child. I hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew…

      3. I agree with the ‘replacement’ being daft. Maya is Maya and a handful as she is totally different from Maggie. Saying that though we went into it with our eyes open and knew we’d have our work cut out for us, but in the seven weeks she’s been with us, she has come so far and learning every day. Training is coming along, and we have signed up for classes to help all three of us!
        I can’t wait to see photos and read posts of your new furries. I’m sure you’ll be fine and once you get into your own routine, it’ll be great. I love dogs, no matter what the breed, but GSDs have always been my favourite. Maya will be so worth it.

      4. Once you accept that you can’t teach galgos human concepts of obedience, any more than you can train a fox, it gets easier. They will come back when they remember you, but once they’re running, they’re in their own world. Can’t ever let them off their leads unless there is no distration around, no cars roads etc. But I get the same thrill of having them around as I would a tame wild animal.
        Maya will be a different kind of dog, but the love will be the same, and she will know more, I think. She won’t have a residual fear of being hurt or abandoned, she’ll just know you’ll always be there.

      5. We were lucky and got her directly from a breeder who we have kept in touch with. She’s been wonderful with her support in answering my questions about food quantities and exercise.

  2. smiles all around, I’m sure. such a vivid dream – and now the next dream-inducer arrives shortly, along with that particular click-clack of nails on hard surfaces, and all the other moments that dogs do to teach us to be here, right now ~

    1. I used to hear those nails clicking down the hallway at night, that particular noise that long ears make when the head shakes… It will be lovely to have the house full of daft dog noises again.

      1. I used to hear Molly shake her head when her ears bothered her (typical springer thing). From time to time, I still hear her. Yes, walking across the kitchen floor.

      2. We hear the ears flapping the nails clicking and the long whip of a tail bashing into the furniture. Most galgos seem to have broken tail bones… Finbar did.

    1. Me too. One wouldn’t have been enough. And thinking about it, a dog living with only humans is a pretty unkind or at least unnatural sort of an environment. It will certainly be a full time occupation.

  3. Oh, Jane! How wonderful–the dream and the news. I’m happy for you and your husband. 💙
    (Coincidentally, we were talking about dreams last night, and children mentioned dreams they’d had recently of their cats who had recently died.)

    1. It was such a strange dream. It was the first time he was aware of having dreamed of Finbar and certainly the first dream he’d had where he could touch and feel anything. I’m not sure I ever have.
      Adopting dogs from Spain is like adopting a child. There’s a similar vetting process. As they say, the volunteers in the refuges invest so much of themselves into rescuing these dogs, caring for them and trying to patch them up, that it breaks their hearts when they hear that their adoptants have ignored the advice and let them loose too soon and they’ve been run over or lost. We have had to fence off an area as there is no fencing here at all, and it’s been complicated (and expensive!) but it’s on the way now, so we’ve been given the green light.
      It’s normal to dream of lost friends. They’ll probably be hearing them and feeling their presence for a long time.

      1. Dreams are so fascinating. Younger child and I have lucid dreams, and she also has sleep paralysis.
        I can’t wait to hear more about your new doggy friends! It’s good that they do vet people.

      2. Son has lucid dreams and I had one. Not pleasant!
        I don’t know when exactly they’ll be sending them. Probably when there are a few more adoptions. So far there are four. A woman who lives close to town and who has two elderly dogs is interested in galgos. She’s already steeling herself to losing both dogs very soon. I’ll see if I can persuade her 🙂

      3. The misery of galgos in Spain is quite well known here, being reasonably close to Spain, and dog people get very upset about it. She’ll maybe take the plunge.

    1. I’m hoping it won’t be a double dose, because Finbar was not easy to handle. With luck, the two will support one another and help one another get over their fears, forget their ill treatment.

    1. Yes, it was what we both wanted. I was surprised and touched at how much husband had grown close to Finbar. From no interest in a dog at all, to okay, but the next time we’ll get a normal dog, to we’ll get another galgo, and ending up with we’ll get two galgos. I hope they behave themselves.

  4. Electric and ethereal– are the two emotions/states I’d say I experienced as I read this beautiful haibun. Thank you for sharing Finbar’s beauty.

  5. Last night, I had a dream about our border collie, Megan, prompted, I’m sure by my poem. It was nice to have her there “for a day.” As with your husband’s experience, it seemed so real.

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