Guinivere, the big black dog with the big floppy ears was my first dog; she was intelligent, playful, and had a heart that could fill a city block.
Guinivere, who was also probably one of the healthiest dogs that ever lived, died at age ten from leukemia within weeks. It was one of the greatest shocks of my life. It also brought me to Divine Love.
In my garden, along the rock path to my house, stood a stone statue of Christ. A statue of the Sacred Heart. Guinivere, to my knowledge, had never paid any special attention to it. We also had a picture of Christ, framed, on the living room floor. It leaned against one of the legs of the piano, and I had put it there for my little piano students. In group lessons they often sat on the floor in front of it while working on their notes or listening to another student play technique or pieces.
Yogananda mentioned in his Autobiography of a Yogi that paintings and photographs of saints and Divine Beings emit an energy that has been scientifically measured in Indian laboratories. Therefore, whether my little beginning students looked at the painting or not, they might at least soak up its beneficial rays. If nothing else, I could look at it during lessons.
As Guinivere became more ill, I noticed that she slept closer and closer to this painting of Christ, until her head was actually resting against it. By this time she was already blind from the leukemia. Soon after she began sleeping outside at night to be near Christ's statue. She lay before His statue day and night, her head at His feet resting on the flowers. Guinivere, who had never left my side now chose the bigger Light, that of Christ. It was early fall, and to be near her often Dominique and I slept in the garden as well.
One night it began to rain, and I went out onto the porch to call her inside. She wouldn't come. I called again. No response. I could see her lying in the garden, her head by Christ's feet. It was beginning to pour, and finally, in desperation, I said, "Guinivere, I don't want you to get sick. It's raining, you shouldn't get wet, you'll get a chill." No response. After a little thought I said, "Guinivere, have you forgotten, there's a picture of Christ in the living room." Before the words had echoed into silence Guinivere was on her feet. She was extremely ill, she was blind, she was very weak. But she jumped to her feet, climbed the porch step, went in the front door directly to the painting of Christ and lay down before it. She put her nose on it and went to sleep. She didn't even lick my hand as she passed me on the porch.
This is the truth, and the whole truth. Moreover, at the time - I'm not sure that I would have believed this story if I had not seen it myself.