The Call of the Wild: Embracing the Heart of a Warrior

So fellow travelers, an amazing Spirit has returned to the Great Wilds.


Frieda was artist Maria Wulf’s guardian Spirit Dog. Her amazing story, is chronicled in author Jon Katz’ book Second Chance Dog. It is the kind of journey which Joseph Campbell describes as living mythology.

I have had the great good fortune to spend a little time in Frieda’s kingdom.  While I have never ventured off trail on my Adirondacks hikes, I have felt the magnetic pull of freedom from deep in those woods. I have rested in the sun under an apple tree, breathing in the Peace of  Bedlam Farm. Along with my CGBF friends, I have caught glimpses of  Jon and Maria’s precious love, moments which touched my heart with grace and hope.



Each time I attended a Bedlam Farm Open House, Frieda had an increasing presence.  From short periods at Maria’s side surrounded by a crowd of admirers, as Jon spoke about their book to hours in the yard while local artists sang or read poems.  During one reading by poet Mary Kellogg, I felt something stir deep in my heart. I looked across the gathered circle of listeners and locked eyes with Frieda, laying by Maria seated in the grass.  My first impulse was to look away, knowing from my work with rescue dogs that looking directly into a dogs eyes can be taken as a challenge.

 “Wait, Watch, Listen.”


So I kept eye contact, but tilted my head slightly downward and sideways. Something Shifted. It was as if I heard the words of Mary’s poems not with my ears by with my heart, a wild song of Truth and Freedom.  Then Frieda yawned, rolled her head towards Maria who scratched her ears


“Thank you,” I whispered.

I do not presume to have a personal connection to Frieda or any of the Bedlam Farm animals. As Jon often writes in his blog, he is well aware the animals at the farm are Spirit Guides who touch the hearts of many followers. I only know Simon helped me heal a childhood fear, the memory of being loved on by Lenore fuels the compassion I need for rescue work, watching Red work inspires me to stay focused on my creative calling and every time I have been in Frieda’s wild and wonderful presence I come away feeling closer to my True Self.

It takes courage to make the decision to set the Spirit of a beloved companion free knowing the heartache goodbye will bring.  Maria writes eloquently about her goodbye  and in choosing to share once the turning point in her journey, again blesses us with Frieda’s message to live free and open to the next adventure.


Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

I would hope in the spirit of fierce independence my readers who wish to read The Second Chance Dog by Jon Katz would order their copy from Battenkill Books in Cambridge.  Connie’s independent bookstore is the kind of  bookstore the CGBF and I are committed to supporting. Meanwhile, Jon’s beautiful tribute to Frieda can be found on his blog here.

Deborah H Rahalski

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