For All You Pet Lovers Who Know They’ll Always Be With Us   1 comment



One day while sweeping outside my Inn in Provincetown I noticed a dog tag and collar lying on the ground.  I was really busy with already too much to do and decided to sweep around it knowing that somebody else would come along, pick it up, and know better than me, what to do with it.  Owning an Inn has enough of its own interruptions.


The next day I went outside, again with broom in hand to make a quick sweep so I could get on with the much more important things that were on my list for the day.  As I turned to walk back into the house I noticed that someone had put the dog collar on the picket fence where I could no longer avoid coming in contact with it.


The dark blue, leathery collar was worn and shred. Only about a two-thirds piece of it remained intact but the tags were still legible. One was a dog license and the other, an I.D. tag, with a name inscribed, Zoe, and a local phone number.  I had no time for this but neither could I leave it on the fence; so now it would find its way to my desk for two days until I did something about it. That dog collar had become an uninvited, unwanted item on my already too long to-do list, but the nagging sensation that I should call the number on the tag was greater than the time it would take to finally do it.


I dialed the local phone number and got a voice message. “Great,” I thought, “I’ll leave a message that I found this collar and be done with it.”


A couple more days went by. The dog tag and collar had now become like an ornament on my desk.  In the quiet of late evening during that welcome undisturbed time of catching up, the occasional wandering thought would lead my eye to that collar to wonder about who it might have belonged to and how it got to me.


In the flurry of a busy morning and constant calls I was snapped into the moment when I answered a call from a man who said,

“Someone left a message about a dog collar that was found?”

“Oh, yes…that was me who called…I’m one of the owners of the Inn at Cook Street and it was dropped in front of our house,” I said.


“I live in California now but still have my local number in Provincetown. I just heard your message when I called in…I can’t believe you found Zoe’s collar in front of your inn. I threw it into the sea at the Moors with her ashes two years ago after she died. She loved the Moors,” he said.

“Two years ago?!?” I asked….”The Moors?”  That’s two miles away… How’d it get here in front of the Inn?

“I don’t know…maybe seagulls?” he asked, trying to make sense of it. “I’m so glad you found it and that you called me – I think it’s a message from Zoe…that she wants me to know she’s alright.  I still think of her, a lot. I miss her.”


Time was suspended in the silence between us. There were so many messages for me in that experience.  How often do I push away something that’s not on my timetable because I think I’m just too busy?  Time after time what I need to know is right in front of me, and when will I get that so often the way I experience God comes after resistance and surrender?


When I hung up the phone I looked up the definition of the word Zoe. It’s a Greek word that means, “Life.”


I still have that collar as a reminder of the lessons learned, and one day I look forward to meeting Zoe to thank her for her message.


Doreen Birdsell






Zoe Definition

zoe { dzo-ay’} 
Strong’s Lexicon: Greek Origin
- the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate
- every living soul
- of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through Him
- life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, and to last for ever.

Posted March 16, 2012 by doreenbirdsell in Snacks for the Spirit

One response to “For All You Pet Lovers Who Know They’ll Always Be With Us

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  1. This is such a great story …


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