Little Did I Know
For Summit

​Little did I know
It was 9 years ago
When Tyler and I were housemates
And a friend had two Siberian Huskies
A black & white male, and a brown & white female

And then there was a first litter of pups
A simple question:
“Would you like one of the pups?”
First litter came and went
I was always happy playing with my friends’ dogs
Tyler’s Abraxias
Adam and Robin’s Chaka & Bubba
Bob and Sally’s Misty & Freckles
Then came a second litter
“Would you like one of the pups?”

“No, I need 25 acres” was the excuse
But thanks to Tyler
Who reminded me that I had a whole forest
Far surpassing 25 acres
Since I hiked everyday, everywhere
And those puppies were so cute

Little did I know
How my life would change
With the simple act of bringing a puppy into my life

I had no idea
When I went to Denny & Jen’s house in the VOC
To look at the puppies
And see which one I wanted to bring home
That Summit would pick me
Because that’s exactly what happened

I have always loved huskies
For they symbolize the outdoors
Strength and Courage

​I knew his name
Before I knew him
For I love to hike
And any dog of mine
Would surely be a hiking dog
And just as I love to reach the summits
It would be nurtured into his being
And “Summit” was his name

These nine years have been amazing
I never understood the connection
Between animal and human
Though the connection we developed
Was far beyond my wildest imagination
For Summit was my first dog
I truly had no idea what I was in for
But we each gently showed one another

It was Summit
He came and sat on my lap
While the other pups shied away
Looked at me with those big blue eyes
A three leaf clover on his fathead
And I knew
He was the one to come home with me

I remember he cried all the way home
I felt so bad taking him from his parents
At the tender age of 8 weeks
But now I was his parent

Little did I know
The bond that would form
Between human and animal
Between myself and Summit

Summit became my family
My best friend
Someone I could talk to
And he’d always listen
Someone I could love
And he’d always love me back

He was my baby boy, my child, my friend
I watched over him
No different than a parent watching over a child
Loved him, nurtured him, taught him
And he grew into a beautiful, gentle and kind being

Though he was so much more
He was part of my life
Really my life revolved around him
What I did, the actions I choose

For just as a child needs attention and supervision
So does an animal companion
And that’s what Summit became
My companion in life

Whereas friends came and went
He was there, strong, he remained in my life
Whereas jobs came and went
He was there, diligent, he remained in my life
Whereas girlfriends came and went
He was always by my side, as I was by his
Whereas homes came and went
My home was never without him
He was there for me, I was there for him

As a puppy, I protected him
As a dog, he protected me

​Without any questionable doubt
He was the most influential person in my life
There is no one I love more
Than my beloved Summit
We shared an unconditional bond
Of love and trust, of compassion and nurturing
Of growth and self-discovery
Of divinity

Little did I know
How my life would change
How I would gain insight to true love
A love that I never even knew existed inside me
Though Summit brought it out
How I would reflect a connection greater than the cosmos
We each brought out the best in one another
​​Throughout the years
Summit and I have endured so many changes
Countless residences

598 Jordan Road when he was a young puppy
Where I reinforced the backyard fence with wood palettes to ensure his containment
Where we went for walk up the wash to the Jordan Historic Park
I still remember watching him fumble in the wash
His little legs trying to navigate over the rocky terrain
Slipping, sliding, falling, and getting up
– just to keep up with me
Where he had Abraxias as a role model
And he would chew on her ears
And she always treated him with kindness
Makes me smile thinking about these moments
And we would throw countless parties
Where he learned to socialize well with others
When I would throw him puppy birthday parties
Where he learned to share with other dogs
When we got to go hiking every day

When he was just four
We moved to 1791 Chavez Ranch Road
This was a big step for us
A house with no fenced yard
Bordering Oak Creek, surrounded by national forest, adjacent to a popular trailhead
Though Summit was perfect
He just knew, to always stay close to home
And out of harms way, even when javelina were nearby
His intuition was incredible
For he loved to swim
And he enjoyed going in the creek everyday
Whether it was winter or summer, he was swimming
He loved that house, for it allowed him to be wild
And that was the type of residence I wished for him

Then we moved back to Uptown, behind the Hyatt
On a cup de sac on Forest Road
And that was good because there was forest nearby
But Summit missed the creek, as did I

From there we landed in West Sedona
At my friends house on Grounds Drive
And again Summit, showed me he can be trusted
No enclosed yard, no fence, no gate
And he always stayed close
For a short moment
We landed on Inspirational
Where Summit got to live with a multitude of dogs and people
Although quite chaotic, he was always calm
And there he met Amar, who is Daniel’s wolf mix
At the time he played with her, but still showed he was alpha
And years later, when their paths crossed again
Ama being bigger than Summit, she showed him respect
Today I learned something, Summit’s profound wisdom
His connection to me, even in spirit form
May connect us again physically, through Ama’s bloodline

Another move in west Sedona
Landed us in a Casa with a fenced yard
And two dog companions for Summit to play with
Though I know Summit preferred the lack of confinement

Summit, being the perfect partner
Transitioned well to being “homeless” on Blackhawk
While I searched for a new home
And enjoyed living with Kim, even if it was under protest
Summit loved our daily morning walks to the creek
And playing with Harvey, the neighbors dog
This was a unique time for us
Ironically, this was the only time in Summit’s life
That he ever got caught by the dog catcher
Luckily I was able to rescue him quickly
Perhaps, instinctively, it was because he knew this wasn’t home

Then in May 2014
Summit and I moved to
What would end up being Summit’s final home
On this Earthly plane, in his physical body
A house up on the hill in west Sedona
On Oak Creek Blvd
Again, Summit’s instincts proved to be superior
No fence and he always stayed close
Even when Ben & I built his bed to be on my front porch
And I would work till the late night hours
Summit would always stay close, laying happily on his bed
Though he had the freedom to go anywhere
He always stayed close to me

No matter where I lived
Summit was by my side
When I would go to bed
I would talk to him and pet him
And we would go to bed together
When I would rise, I would look for him
Sometimes lying right next to me
Other times elsewhere in the house
And when I found him
I would pet him, nurture him, show him my love
When my rooster alarm would sound
Summit would howl, so beautiful
How I miss the howling when I hear the rooster now
How I cherish every howl he sung to me

Summit, he was so much more than a dog
I never understood the connection a man has to their animal
Nor do I think anyone understands the connection
Summit and I shared
For it was beyond ordinary
It was special, it was deep, it was a gift
I wonder if I am capable
Of ever loving another creature
How I loved Summit
I wonder if it’s even possible
If another living creature
Can love me
As Summit loved me

When I go to sleep each night
I yearn to connect with him
In my dreams
When I wake each morning
I dread getting up
Knowing he’s not there

Summit taught me so many beautiful lessons
I never knew
That I was capable of such love
To give, to receive
I never knew
Patience as I learned from him
I never knew
The importance of playtime
As he made sure to remind me of everyday
I never knew
The connection between man and planet
As I learned from him
Observing his connection to Mother Earth
As I learned from him
So many gifts, so many lessons
From an extraordinary four-legged soul

I never realized
How Summit truly touched the lives of others
Far beyond being a “guide dog” for me
Countless clients, who he made smile
Enhancing their Sedona experience
In ways only he could do

I remember
Back when I was doing 4×4 tours
We would drive Jeeps up Schnabel Hill Road
And he would always sit shotgun, asleep
As our clients got bounced around in the back
They were always so surprised, how could he sleep
For he knew terrain, and he was happy to be with me
So he slept with joy, exuberance, embracing the fresh air
On one occasion
We were way back, close to the Shaman’s Cave
And Summit was running after my Jeep
As we were touring clients about
Then I saw cows so I stopped the jeep to get Summit
And what happened next began my mile plus run
Chasing Summit, chasing cows, a dozen in fact
You may think cows are slow
But having Summit on their heels
Jumping over the prickly pear, mesquite, agave
I ran over a miler that day
Chasing Summit, chasing cows
Something funny happened
I remember it like yesterday
When I stopped chasing him
He stopped chasing the cows
When we got back to the Jeep
Our clients were drinking iced tea on the hood
Laughing, quite amused at the spectacle they just witnessed

I remember
Back when I was doing hiking tours
Clients would always want to have Summit go along
Especially the Japanese tourists
“Can you bring your dog” was often asked
On one occasion, a client said,
“We just want to take the dog hiking, but don’t want you as a guide”
I let them know that he came with me, and I with him; but it was a good laugh
​When Summit was really young
We had an Arizona room
On one day a bird got caught inside
So I opened all the doors and windows to try to free the bird to no avail
Then I thought Summit could scare the bird to freedom
So I said, “Summit, get the bird”
So he came into the AZ room, jumped on the couch
Launched himself about three feet in the air and got the bird
I didn’t have the heart to take it away from him
He did what I asked him to do; he got the bird

Another time we were down at the creek
Summit, Abraxias, Tyler, Dave, Mike
And we were watching a blue heron in the middle of the creek
Then Summit went into hunt mode, slowly making his way toward the bird
And he almost got it, got the wing, but it managed to fly away
Well, right towards us actually where Abraxias jumped in after it
And then Tyler jumped in after Abraxias, jeans and all
That was funny

Summit was surely a hunter
One of the first times we were atop Wilson Mountain
He disappeared
Only to reappear with a baby rabbit in his mouth

A quick as he was
He had an instinct
He knew what he could catch
And he knew what to stay away from
Never did he encounter a javelina
Nor get pulled into the lure of a pack of coyotes
Though just recently, I learned he sure didn’t like coyotes

As Summit touched my life
In the most profound ways
It wasn’t till he passed
Did I realize
How he was truly loved and respected
By this community called Sedona

The messages I received
Truly warmed my heart
Knowing how much he was loved
By not just me

For he was truly my companion
When I took clients to The Haunted Hamburger
If Summit were not along
They would always ask me, “where is your dog?”
Or if Summit were along
The servers always knew my order was a double haunted hamburger with the second patty separate with bacon and cheese in a to go dish for Summit
When I took clients to the wineries
It was the same
If Summit were not with me
They would ask where he was
And talk how I have the cutest and most well behaved dog ever

His obedience was unparalleled
He would sit just where I asked him to
I could spend hours at ChocolaTree
And he would just sit quietly by the front door
Patiently waiting for me to return

I remember when he was a puppy
And I began training him
At the time, I looked into dog trainers
But they all used shock collars, how inhumane
And then after a visit to Sedona
My step-mom bought me Caesar Milan’s book
And then I realized
Why should I ask Summit to listen to a stranger
If I want him to behave a certain way
I need to ask him
With love, patience, and guidance
And that’s just what I did

And he learned quickly
He could count to ten
With either hand signals or voice instructions
With a bark for each number
He was smart

Him and I were our own animal pack
And that’s all we ever needed
Each other

Whether we were on the trails
Brines Mesa, Jordan, Ciobola, Jim Thompson, Huckaby
Bear Mountain, Parson’s Spring, Wilson Mountain
Soldier Pass, countless social trails
We were together
Whether I was working or playing
We were together
Whether I was doing things with him or at community events
He was always close; we were together

My dear friend Carson shared something after Summit passed:

​We lost an amazing spirit and animal ambassador of the light today. Many big hearted prayers go out to Summit, one of the most amazing, intelligent and aware animals I have ever met. Summit was one of the softest, safest and tuned in dogs you could ever encounter. Deep piercing beautiful eyes and a calm centered animal spirit. I want to acknowledge the amazing relationship between Summit and his companion, our friend, Jim Reich. Jim had raised Summit since being a puppy and I was always impressed with the integrity and communication he and Jim had established. We live in a world where all too often people don’t communicate and really work with their animals beyond a system of reward/punishment. We tend to call this “Training” and usually equate this to making sure the dog doesn’t do the wrong things when at home or in public. What Jim and Summit had achieved goes way beyond that; they had created a conscious companionship between Man and Canine. They both listened to and respected one another. Jim learned more than can be said from the good way in which Summit lived. The same can be said for any of us who had the pleasure of looking into Summit’s Ice Blue Husky eyes and feeling a deep sense of guidance, peace and safety.

Jim, we greatly appreciate you working together with Summit and bringing him into our community and allowing us all to get closer to him. We will never know the depths of the love and bond which you two shared. All too often we lose animals whom we love too soon in this life. One lesson they always teach us is to love fully and presently, while we can. Summit will be continuing his journey of guiding souls over new trails and mountains in other places, other dimensions and other lives. His Soul is the Heart of the Guide.

As did my friend Dexx:

​I actually met Summit before I met you. It was at Chocolatree of course, and I was instantly drawn to him. He was sitting patiently waiting for you and I just had to say hello. He understood me when I spoke quietly and gave me perhaps the most gentle gaze I have ever seen. I’ve had many conversations with him and I’m lucky to consider him a friend. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you, just know you have the support of the tribe. He didn’t just make you better, I think he made us all better. Much love to the amazing Summit!!!

I am so grateful
That Summit not only touched my life
In the most special and extraordinary ways
But that of the community too
In such a heart to heart sense

Summit was truly a gift
From the heaven’s above
Not so much for me to guide
But for him to guide me
Which he did with grace
He was my greatest teacher
My friend
My angelic guide

I thank and honor you Summit for gracing my life, the lives of my friends, my family, my clients, this community. For very few get to experience the gifts we shared with one another. I am so grateful. I am so thankful.

May we each continue to further expand our consciousness, continue to learn, continue to discover, to be the best we can be, keeping our heart center, staying firmly rooted to mother earth to make the world a better place.

Aho. Namaste my furry friend.

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