Ahnung was one of those dogs that you felt an instant connection with. She had such a gentle spirit and such soulful eyes that you couldn’t help but love her the minute you met her.
It was last fall when My Voice was exhibiting at a local event that I had the privilege of meeting Marilou. It only takes a moment to realize what a kind soul she is. It’s no wonder a dog like Ahnung was destined to cross her path and become part of her family. We began talking about Leech Lake Legacy, a non-profit she founded that helps dogs, cats and their humans on reservations in Northern Minnesota, which quickly led to her telling me about one of her three dogs, Ahnung. Ahnung was a “res dog” abandoned on Red Lake Reservation and saved by Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue when she and Marilou crossed paths. I think anyone who knows the two of them could see they were kindred spirits who were destined to find each other.
Ahnung became a therapy dog, giving comfort to the sick and teaching compassion to at-risk youth. She was big sister to Missy and her two brothers – Legacy and Mister. She was the light of Marilou’s life. Bottom line, this dog brought a community of people together by touching everyone she met. Sadly, Ahnung was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in 2011 but battled bravely and with dignity. She lived with good quality of life, wagging her tail and spreading her joy well beyond anyone’s expectations. She stayed here with us until she knew her work was done.
On Sunday, after a gathering to celebrate Ahnung’s life, it was time to let her take her final journey. The community of people Ahnung brought together were there as she closed her eyes. No words can express the gratitude I have for Marilou sharing that precious moment with all of us, just as she selflessly shared Ahnung with all of us for so many years.
Ahnung means “star” in Ojibwe, the native language on the Red Lake Reservation. No doubt that we have a new star in the sky watching over all of us now.
Stay tuned for a blog post about Leech Lake Legacy and the work they do after my weekend of volunteering with them.