He came to us in September 2005. He was found in a room on a construction site along with three puppy siblings. He was brought home as a gift to me. At the time I was mourning the impending loss of my magnificent cat (see Eulogy for an Angel), so I was unable to bring myself to spiritually bond with another animal. Thus, he bonded with my producer Lee (his Mama). We named him Freedom.
He was part German Shepherd, part Chow, and we believe he was also part wolf. Most of all he was a kind and loving spirit. He loved to take himself for a walk with his Mama.
Freedom made friends with and loved all different animals. His first best friend was a calf named Babe. They used to run around and play all the time. It was really something special to watch. He grieved when Babe was taken away to a ranch. He quickly made friends with all the dozens of cats on our property. If he chased them it was only to play. He loved little babies. He helped raise some chicks, played with a baby lamb, two baby Chinese geese, some puppies, and numerous cats and kittens.
He was a world traveler. When we left the United States in 2006 to seek out possible refuges for people, he came with us through Mexico, to Guatemala for eight months, and to Panama for 2½ years. He then traveled to New Zealand for 2½ years. He spent his last days on a small South Pacific island, surrounded by those who loved him.
One day while in Panama, we went to get in our truck to go to town when Freedom started barking and he wouldn’t stop. He had never barked so loud and for so long, so we knew he must be trying to tell us something. We ended up finding a tiny kitten sleeping on the truck engine. Had I started the truck I would have killed the kitten. Somehow Freedom knew that. He became best friends with the kitten (Purrdida), who traveled with him over the years.
We left Panama for New Zealand, where I was to work on a movie. However, New Zealand had not animal import treaty with Panama, so we had to send Freedom and Purrdida back to the United States before sending them on to New Zealand. They were placed on a Continental Airlines flight to central Texas. However, due to flight schedules, they had to spend a night in a kennel in Houston, where dogs and cats were kept separate. We called to check up on them and the kennel keeper said she had never seen such a large dog so sad. I suggested she bring Purrdida in with Freedom; she said she couldn’t do that. A few hours later we called check up on them. The kennel keeper said that since nobody else was staying in the kennels, she decided to break the rules and put Purrdida with Freedom. She said she had never seen anything like it. Freedom immediately perked up and currently he and Purrdida were sleeping together peacefully, with the cat resting on the front paws of the dog.
Freedom was a peacemaker. From time to time some of our numerous animals would get into fights with one another. Freedom would go stand between the fighters and bark at each, looking from one to the other, as if telling them to stop fighting.
Freedom loved to run and boy was he fast. I don’t think I have ever seen a dog run faster. He loved going to the dog park in New Zealand, where he would go running around and around and around; once until he strained his leg from so much running.
Freedom was at the birth of many of his Mama’s kittens. He would get the strangest look in his eyes and on his face; he knew they were babies and he was always so very gentle with them. He watched over newborns, regardless of their species.
If you looked at his jaws, you could see how vicious he appeared, yet he was so kind and loving to everyone (except those who tried to hurt the people he loved).
I was never really a dog person until I met Freedom. There will never be another dog like him; he was one of a kind. His spirit of Peace and Love will be an inspiration to me forever.
Freedom, may you cross the Rainbow Bridge and join with Calle, Yoda and Thunder. May your days be filled with sunshine, love and happiness; and lots of places to run without pain or strain. Run like the wind, Freedom, and wait for your Mama and me. We will see you again, at a time and in a place where we will never again be separated.
Thank you for bringing us such immense joy and love. Thank you for blessing us with your presence these 13 years. We love you and miss you, until we meet again…