My Best Friend: Psychic Bonds

When you can’t rely on language to have a connection, a psychic bond is the answer.  It is a heart and head connection requiring no audible noise.  Claddagh in the early days was a bit of an escape artist, but she always seemed to have a reason to go where ever it was that she would end up.

In 2008 in the hours leading up to the 48 Hour Film Festival debut, Claddagh disappeared out of my friends yard.   His dog stayed within the fence, and Claddagh was no where to be found.  Knowing that I had a bunch of shit to do in a short period of time, looking for my dog was last on the list.  As I washed up in the shower, in my mind I said “Claddagh, if you don’t get back here in the next five minutes, don’t bother coming home.  You are stressing me out right now.”

A few seconds later my friend hollered through the bathroom door that he found her.  After finishing up, I came out and asked him where she had been and he says “You’re never going to believe it… She was just over at this guys house down the block.  He said that he saw her at the fence and she took one look at him, jumped the fence and ran over to him and just started loving on him.  He told me that he had just lost his mother and his dog in the last 24 hours, and it was like she came over to console him.  He volunteered to watch her while we go to the film festival.”

WOW!  I was floored.  My dog had sensed this man’s deep despair, and she broke the rules in order to go give him some much needed affection.  I couldn’t be mad anymore.  I was proud of her, and I hoped that she looked both ways before crossing the street.  They neighbor watched her for a few hours without incident, and I was able to enjoy the film festival without stressing about my dog.

Claddagh had two run in’s with getting put into Doggy Jail.  The first time was probably around 2010.  Some friends invited me to go to Breitenbush hot springs with them; but Breintenbush is a dog free zone.   I asked another friend to watch Claddagh for the day, as we would be leaving early morning and wouldn’t be back until later in the evening.

It ended up that the person who was going to watch her, flaked out; and I wasn’t sure what we could do with her.  I wasn’t familiar with the roommate that would be home, and I knew that their backyard fence was low enough for Claddagh to escape.   I told the group, “I can’t go.”  And they assured me that Claddagh would be fine.  Despite having a feeling of uncertainty, I was cajoled into going on the trip.

We got up to Breitenbush and spent several hours hanging out in the hot pools.  Sometime around 3 pm, two of us decided to take a hike in the lush forest surrounding the area.  While hiking I made the observation out loud, that it seemed wrong of us to be hiking in such a beautiful place without our dogs.  Right around that time I felt a panic set in, and I just wanted to get home.

I think it was probably 10:30 or so in the evening when we returned to Corvallis.  Sure enough when we get to my friends house, Claddagh is nowhere to be found.  Two friends head out on foot, and I drive around hoping she is still in the neighborhood.   No luck.   The roommate that was home said he let her out around 3pm when he left for work.  So she was left unattended in a backyard with a fence low enough to scale.

Here is where things lay over into the psychic world.  These friends lived very close to the only park in Corvallis where it is a dog free zone.  Claddagh had jumped the fence and went straight over to that park and was picked up by animal control and taken to the shelter.  The following day was a holiday and the shelter was closed, I couldn’t be with out her for another night so I knocked on the employee door because I knew there must be someone there to feed them.

I could hear Claddagh barking from outside the building as I walked around looking for the employee entrance.  A kindly little old lady answered the door, and I told her that I could hear my dog crying and that I really wanted to get her back today.   The lady led me back, and she could tell that my dog was who I said she was.   She told me “You are a good doggy parent, I’m just going to let you take her home today.”   She waived the fee, and sent Claddagh home.

I told Claddagh “if it is a no dog zone, you might want to avoid hanging out near there.”   She seemed a bit shaken with her time in lock up.

A few months later Claddagh would escape again, but differently.  I had plans for us to go to the Corvallis farmers market, and before we got down there I stopped into a convenience store, in the time it took me to purchase a cold coffee and a pack of cigarettes, she had jumped out of the back window.  Now, mybad, because I didn’t notice she wasn’t back there until I got to the farmers market… and low and behold, an empty back seat.

I got back into the car, and drove back to Philomath where the C-Store is.  I start walking the blocks, calling for Claddagh.  I see some kids on skateboards and I ask if they have seen a friendly, red and black dog wandering around.   They say ‘yes’ and I ask them to show me which direction she went.  They lead me toward a boarding house where we had a friend who was living there, so I definitely felt like they had seen my dog.

Now, Philomath is about eleven miles from the farm we were living at in Wren.  I spent an hour looking for Claddagh and then I had to get on with my day, so again, silently in my head I called out to her and said ” I don’t know where you are or what you are doing, but you better not be anywhere near the highway.  I have shit I have to do today, you are stressing me out.”

It was a long day, and I by the time I got home, I had been gone for about twelve hours.

As I pulled into the driveway, there was Claddagh, cowering, but happy to see me.  After talking to her I got the sense that she followed the rail road tracks home.  She had walked that entire way back to the farm.  Needless to say, I was quite impressed with her fortitude and sense of direction.  I am sure she followed the smell of the sheep all the way home.

Last month would signify Claddagh’s last foray into Doggy Jail.  So far as I can tell, she was out in the front yard, unattended, which is very unusual.  She had her collar off, which was normal.  And someone thought she was lost so they took her in for the night.  When I came out and realized she was gone, I went into full panic mode.   It was pretty late at night so I walked the streets with a flash light calling her name.   No luck, so I laid a sleeping bag under the tree in the front yard, and slept there until the sun came up, hoping she would smell me and wander back home.

No such luck. The shelter opened at 11am,  and though it was my intention to be there before they opened, I got lost while trying to find the building.  I arrived at about a quarter after 11, to find my dad waiting in line to see if she had been dropped off.  Sure enough, someone had dropped her off, right at a 11.  If I would have been there early I could have saved myself the $55.00 they charged me for keeping her all of 24 minutes.  She got a couple of shots out of it.

This time when I went back to identify her, she looked on top of the world.  She had gone on her own adventure and she was high on it. I couldn’t be mad at her, it just stirred the part of me that didn’t know what I was going to do when she was actually gone for good.

See, even that event last month seems like a psychic precursor to what was going to follow on the night of Aug. 25, 2018.   I was given all these tests over the years to prepare me for the inevitability of losing her.   All I can do is be grateful that she was so gentle with these lessons and tests.

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My Best Friend: You Definitely Have My Attention

You know how your best friend can usually pull you out of a funk?  They know a master way to get you to chuckle, or look at things differently, and the world will shift a little bit.

I am certain Claddagh understood how I would get fixated on things that would engage my attention to strong levels. And depending on where I was fixated, my mood would be effected to some degree.  As an empath I tend to be drawn to topics that are deeply rooted in the suffering of humanity.  I have a strong desire to uncover that which plagues humanity while at the same time trying to heal the Universal Feeling of Broken that is a template we live in.

When I lived in the mountains, I didn’t spend as much time or attention on those things the way I do now in large town. I didn’t have consistent internet and I could already just see pain existing around me to one degree or another, so it was an unspoken understanding that having a dog in nature helps all wounds.  I mean obviously it doesn’t make all of the pain go away, but it helps in certain terms of longevity and understanding.

I seriously started writing about my experiences in life at the age of twelve.  I’ve averaged 2.5 journals of various lengths per year for about twenty-six years.  I have no idea how many things I have published on this blog page alone, and this series, in this moment has my full attention. So much so, that I am pulling out the paper journals from the time Claddagh was in my life, because I am so interested in her chronology because it is inevitably tell me more about myself and how I will need to precede further.

My writing has always spoken my own code, to myself.  It is always in retrospect that I can tell if I listened or not.

What I can tell already, I’ve already mentioned a bit.  This feeling of intangible loss versus tangible loss and a feeling of loneliness or “godforsaken.”

I’ve been writing about death and loneliness my whole life, but it was sort of intangible.  I didn’t really know what I was missing, it was then easier to disconnect from the feeling of loss, by becoming callus.  When I lost my mom I was four years old.  What did I know?  I had not the experience yet to comprehend the impact of imagination when it came to comparing my experience in life to those who had yet to experience such an impacting circumstance.

Thirty-four years ago I didn’t have the ability to fully encompass what that initial loss would mean to my future relationships and my perceptions of death and loss of relationships to those still living.

I’ve written many things down about my life and perception.  In my opinion it is a treasure trove but obviously I am biased.  I haven’t written everyday, but I have written in cycles, and when I find myself in that cycle I tend to write a lot.   Perhaps it is because I feel both significant and insignificant in the world all at the same time, and the desire to record this life, outweighs the amount of words or paper I consume and collect in order to prove or assert my existence in the world.

I never thought I would have kids, and Claddagh was my “baby.”  Which leads me to the thought that if you feel lonely, the permanent solution does not exist in having a baby.  Which to some degree is exactly what I tried to do by acquiring a dog.  I’m not saying it was a bad decision, it was (what I am realizing in this moment) a temporary fix to a bigger issue that will still call for some resolution. I suspect that it’s going to take some uncomfortable work to get there. I am literally being forced to see the world with new eyes and I need some sunglasses because I am being blinded by the light.

My love for Claddagh was not only infinite but it was infant.  It was an infant kind of love that no words can express because it is too pure for complicated expressions.   The world could be expressed in a look or a gesture.  Looking at pictures of Claddagh, reflects what I must look like most of the time; deep in some thought far from joyful.  I never stopped searching for the origin of the intangible pain beyond my mother.

It too, comes in cycles.  All these cycles compress and unfold as time moves in the trajectory that we call forward future while simultaneously existing in a past that is added to by the awareness of its existence.

What is the ultimate lesson of Dog God?  “Love yourself as I love you. ”

How can we conceptualize this in reality through the filters of guilt, grief, and distraction?  New Age people talk about it all of the time but I don’t think many of them really get what that means because they live in a “do what thou wilt” kind of belief system.  I don’t think that I will be able to encapsulate it here because the seed of it’s awareness is just starting to sprout in my consciousness due to the new light shining on it, the conditions have just started to become ripe for its awakening.

The awareness happens with my focus while raking through old weeds.  If you read the journals in reverse you see the story unfolding from the beginning.  Everything we needed to know was there all along.  It is the knot in the rope during tug of war.

If we pay attention close enough, we realize we are never alone.  There are things begging our attention all of the time.  As I was writing this, I noticed at timed intervals that crab apples were hitting the hood of my car.  The branch above the garage door was shaking, and another group of leaves and berries would crash down, causing me to pause my typing.

Finally, I got up to see who wanted my attention.  A squirrel… of course.  The squirrels and Claddagh had their own daily camaraderie.  They would banter back and forth, and Claddagh would chase them up trees and power lines. They definitely had a relationship of sorts that never missed a day.

I felt the squirrel was saying “Hey, I notice your buddy is missing.”  And I spoke out loud and told the squirrel what was up, but he could come around as much as he wants and eat all the crab apples his little heart pleases.   See, sometimes even the nameless fur balls in your yard, can make it into the amazing story of life.

In the last day, I’ve noticed the bunnies are coming closer to the house as they realize their greatest terrestrial threat has been absent.  I noticed there were many more birds in the yard when I came to open the door.  Nature is trying to speak to me and right now it’s telling me that I should probably take old Brody for a walk.

My Best Friend: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

I can’t exactly remember when it was that Claddagh started joining me in the dream space, but what I do remember is that in my dreams I was always trying to get her back to me.   The situations of dog-napping, and a dog run loose in reality were folding themselves into the bizarre tapestry of my well established dream world.

My dream world is conglomeration of places I have lived connected by a highway that leads to different lands.  There is a city in the middle made up of places I have visited, all smushed together into one seamless landscape.   One night in my dreams I became aware that Claddagh was now apart of my dream journey.

Here I will share some of the dreams that I have recorded over the years, in which Claddagh was important to the dream story-

April 5, 2017  “I dream about my dog.  I wonder if she dreams about me?”

May 2, 2017 ” Last nights DREAM JOURNEY , where I was on some camping trip with friends. We left my dog to play with a kitten, and we started to climb the face of some rocks.

Intermittently there were these painted rocks. And as I climbed, I started to realize how high off the ground I was. There was no easy way to back down. So I kept climbing to the top, figuring there would be an easier place to descend. On top of the mountain there was an auditorium theatre, and throughout the building there were boarding rooms.

A few of us got together for a strange “cancer test” Where we had to hold some red liquid in our mouths. And the woman giving the results would come around to each person, and suck the liquid out of us with what looked to be a clear syringe with two compartments, but this syringe was larger than a caulking gun.

If you had no cancer, the syringe would suck all the fluid out… if you had cancer, it would only suck out half the fluid. One of the people in my party was told they have cancer. We go to find our rooms, and I can see my dog acting bizarre, through a glass door. She is acting riled up. Her hair standing up along her spine.

Some one says “They are here.” I want to know who. They looked like brothers from different mothers. One was ginger, and the other had jet black hair. They were dressed like punk rock Nazi’s. Someone tells me that they are demons, as old as time, and that I can read about them and see pictures of them in an old set of Biblical Children’s Encyclopedia.

I was told to look under “Deedle-lingen”? I go wandering around to look for a bathroom, and notice a wet walkway that leads to bathrooms and some guest rooms. It is gross down here.

I see the brothers walking toward me, only this time they are dressed in what appears to be ancient buffalo hide. I turn into a room, and it’s filthy. I see a toilet, and it is filled with cigarette butts. This is the brother’s room. I am appalled that whoever runs this joint, allows them to smoke inside the building.

I look out the window and watch a car drive straight into a deep puddle and sink into the rain gutter under the building, and notice the water turning red. The brothers are killing people, with their minds, for fun. I can’t find my group, but I am able to locate my dog. I woke up before we could get off the mountain.”

May 11, 2017 ” Last night’s dream I am back in this cruddy festival land for a weekend camp out. Again I have my dog and we troop around talking to people. Everyone is talking about God, but it seems like they are talking about some other god.

I get an uneasy feeling.

Someone secretly doses me with something, and I am trying to keep my wits about me. My vision and hearing change, I can see them (kind of like the movie They Live).

Some fella talks to me about God, and I tell him that he worships Lucifer, and he says “I know that, We all Know That.” I rebuke it in the name of Christ, which basically turns me into a big beacon of light, and I can no longer blend in, They All See me Now. I’ve got to get out of there, but now that they see me, they prevent me from leaving.

I call my step mom to pick me up, but she keeps getting distracted by the people and the scene. I pack in the back of my old red Camry hatchback ,Shastina (that I sold in 2006) with my dog; from the back seat I put the keys in the ignition and tell my step mom to drive.

We get out into a mountain highway, and cars are ganging up on us. We hear sirens, so she pulls over. The siren sounds are phantom, there are no police cars. Cars are pulling over surrounding us. I jump into the passenger seat, and yell at her to drive again, and she swiftly pulls back into traffic.

I am trying to read the 32 missed messages that suddenly pop onto my phone. I am trying to call my dad to let him know what is going on. Karen is suddenly falling asleep at the wheel, I pull over to get her coffee. I am still “tripping” and the people at the coffee stop see me and know she is with me, so they have some hand in her sleepiness. Everyone is staring and moving in on me, so I wake up.”

November 9, 2017 (the day Quantum DreamCat showed up.)  “So this afternoon a wounded cat came into my yard, and she let me catch her… she’s been in my lap for most of the day, and I have been acclimating her to Claddagh, who is fine with kitteries.

I’m falling in love, but really trying to find her people. Right now the 3 of us are sharing some Nori (seaweed).

This kittery already knows about litter boxes, so that is awesome…. Claddagh is scared to get hissed at or batted in the face, but she really wants to show love to the kit.

Tonight is going to be interesting…

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that was really lucid, and in that dream I got a phone call from a man who sounded Black, (my spirit guide always shows up as a Black dude, if you want to know more about that, ask.)

Anyway, this guy on the phone asks me “Is it okay if I let your cat drink from the dogs water dish?” And I am aware that I don’t currently have a cat, so I misdirect and ask “Where are you calling from?” Trying to discern more info.

We talked around the topic, but the phone call ended with “Congratulations” Mylar balloons appearing in the reproduction of my dream world….

I have wanted to hold and love on a small kitty for over a year…. now I am fostering one… It’s kind of intense, because it is unexpected, and I am unprepared… But I am getting some really unexpected joy at the same time… This kittery has a perfect personality, or maybe she is just a good guest.  I don’t care… I am loving every minute of it.”

These are just the public posts of dreams that I made in the last year.   When I look at them in chronology I can tell I was being informed of a future that I didn’t see.   All the signs were there, I was choosing not to see it.

When I take all of the information I see the non-linear reality that plays in the waking and sleeping worlds.   This gives me some comfort that soul truly does live on, even when it is out of material form in this 3D construct.

I look forward to her returning to my dreams, perhaps accompanied by my brother, or my Dream Guide Rafiki. I bet my brother would have really enjoyed Claddagh’s company, I hope their re-introduction was beautiful for I am sure he had a hand in the synchronicity of perfect timing for our meeting.

My brother Kevin, was my first best friend, and I know that he would care for anyone that could steal my heart in such purity.   If there is a heaven, they are there together building bonfires in the sky.

My Best Friend: What Is Nature Without You

Yesterday I was numb.  My mind was empty.  I did a lot of pacing.  I used what mental strength I had to imagine kissing the black spot on Claddagh’s head, right where the third eye sits.  I imagined the way her hair spread across her face, and in what position she may be laying depending on where I was looking.

There is a ghost in my mind, that I am trying to materialize, and I know that it’s futile.

A recent acquaintance asked if I would like to go hiking tomorrow.  My folks suggested I take a few days and go to the mountains and write, or to at least take a walk.   At the moment I can’t bare the thought of going back to nature without my nature buddy. I mean, what would I even do once I got there?  Deep down I know that nature is my solace and I feel at most peace in the mountains.  I know that when I get there it will be hard to think about this pain in the same way that I am currently thinking about it, surrounded by the reminders of  this ordinary life we had been living.

Who will keep me warm at night, if I choose to camp?  Who will I share my meal with once that big meaty steak is done cooking over the open flame?  Who will alert the bears and beasts that we are peacefully sharing the space of nature for a few days?  Who will alert me when something suspicious- this way comes?

I know that I never really thought of Claddagh as “protective”, there was never any real reason for her to have to step into that role, and I really feel like she trusted me to be the protector.  When I think of going back to nature for long periods of time without her, I feel a sense of fear, despite the seemingly carefree nine years I was roaming and camping on my own before she came into my life.  I became incredibly comforted by her company.

When we were on our three month camp out, she wandered away from the camp site enticed by the smell of horse manure on the near by trails.   Frantically I called her back.  I walked around calling her and eventually I her her sharp cries in the distance.  I kept calling and walking until I honed in on her howl.   I found a distant campsite with a van and a tent.  Claddagh was tied to a tree with a rope, and an old drunk Native man sat on a near by camping chair.

I asked him why he had my dog tied to the tree, she was obviously responding to my calls.  The man said nothing, so I angrily walked to the tree and untied the rope.  Claddagh and I walked by to our site, side by side.

Claddagh was always more fun to walk with off-leash.  She was really good about either walking right by my side, or running up ahead about twenty feet and then stopping and waiting to for me to catch up.  I use to enjoy playing statues with her.  She would run up ahead and just as she would turn around, I would freeze in position.  I would hold it until she ran back to me to see why I wasn’t moving, and then I would just resume walking and we would do it all over again.

Nature was a big playground for us to make up games.  Sometimes we were treasure hunters.  Sometimes we were ninja’s.  Sometimes I would just trust her to take the lead in order to see where we ended up.  We stumbled on old graveyards, abandoned buildings, and perfect bubbling streams.

A few years ago we went out and my car battery died.  We walked the long dirt road back to Happy Jack and just hoped that some one would help.  Happy Jack looked desolate and the weather was turning dark and stormy.   Just as we approached the asphalt a big green truck drove by and I started waving frantically.  They pulled over and turned around.  Two kindly older gentlemen were in the cab.  They worked for Game and Fish and were happy to assist me and Claddagh.  We hopped in the back seat and they drove us back to the site and proceeded to jump my car.

I started packing up, and shared my last two Red Stripe beers with the men, who had never heard of Red Stripe before.  They gave Claddagh some treats, and were on their way.

It’s like I’ve always had “Angel Power”, but Claddagh amplified it.  We had double Angel Power between the both of us and often times it felt like things turned out the best for both of us, because she was there.  I think people subconsciously know that the way a dog acts, says a lot about the owner.  If you feel you can trust the dog, you can probably trust the owner.

More than once we were invited to stay with strangers who ended up being wonderful hosts.  It takes a special kind of person to invite an unknown person with a dog into their home, around their children.  We were blessed to have those kinds of experiences.

Claddagh and I didn’t go on many group camp outs.  One of the last ones was July 4th, probably four years ago now.   There was a rather large group of us, and almost everyone had a dog. I was so proud of Claddagh getting along with everyone.  There was one dog, belonging to a friend, who was younger and less adapted than the rest of the dogs in the group.  He really wanted to get to Claddagh, and it was slightly problematic, yet she wasn’t giving into violence.  I was hoping that we were entering a new maturity phase where it might be easier to be around more dogs without causing anxiety.

I was able to see that play out a couple of times as home, when an occasional lost dog would end up in our yard.  If they were friendly and tagged I would bring them into the back yard until I could figure out where they lived.  Claddagh would casually share the back yard, peeing on their pee, sniffing what the guest would sniff.  One time, a guest dog was super playful, and they ran around together, playing for the fifteen minutes it took for the dog’s family to arrive.

In all reality, I felt safer having Claddagh with me.  I haven’t really tested my fears in recent years, and it’s a scary prospect at re-exploring that side of me that has been dormant.  I’m not sure how I will be able to step back into it.

The idea to go camping came up a few weeks ago, and I really did want to go with Claddagh, but what I said was “If I go up to the mountains, I’m not going to want to come back down.”   That is really how I felt, that if we were to go back up there, that, that is where we would want to stay forever.   It’s like going back to the place you had a honeymoon, only you are returning solo.  All the magic that place may have held is no longer the same place.  You feel a haunted feeling, you see the ghosts of the past at every turn.  You turn to comment on the scene only to realize you are talking to yourself.

 

 

 

My Best Friend: Who Am I Without Her

I was a dog owner for just short of eleven years.  I’ve lived a decade immersed in that mentality.  Where I go, my dog goes.  If my dog isn’t welcome, I probably don’t want to be there.   I ditched out on parties early, avoided certain places all together, all for the sake of companionship.

Sometimes Claddagh would hang out in the car if I wanted to make an appearance at some event where she either wasn’t welcome, or I knew would have too many dogs and give her anxiety.  I would pop out every half hour and spend about fifteen minutes with her, eventually, most times cashing out early and going home.  Every once in a while it would be a late night in good company in calm environments with people who adored her and her dog friends around.   Those were the good ole days.

I knew I had to be friends with the people who had dogs that got along well with Claddagh.  Introductions were always the most awkward for her.  Dog protocol is all about the butt sniff.   Claddagh wasn’t having it.  Anytime a new dog got near her posterior she would growl, effectively telling them to “fuck off. ”  If the dog interested in her, could let the desire to sniff go for the amount of time it would take for Claddagh to get comfortable, they could then get close enough to take some sniffs and walk away to give her space before doing another cruise by.

Claddagh always had anal gland issues, though they seemed to be less bothersome in our last two years that were dominated by a diet change.  I wonder if she was insecure because of the glandular build up.  Maybe it was just sore.  In the beginning I thought maybe she had been tapped by another dog and there was trauma there, but that could just be my wild imagination.

It’s strange to think that we surround ourselves with living beings, daily, and yet we don’t really give them much thought once we get comfortable with their presence especially when we just trust in the routine of life.

I can’t focus on thinking about anything but my life with Claddagh, right now.  I go to distract myself with topics I generally find interesting and they have no allure.  An emotional cord has been ripped from my chest and I wonder how I will ever be able to fill the obvious hole in my heart.  I don’t want another dog.  I want my dog.

I am something different than I was two days ago.  Now I am “dogless.”  It feels wrong. So much of my personal identity was shared with this companion animal.  I am caught at an emotional crossroads that I’ve been to before.    Do I shut myself down and wall myself off as I have in so many human relationships, or do I see this as an opportunity to grow and change and to better understand and appreciate the various wavelengths that love can exist within?

I’d like to to believe I will follow the latter. I suppose I need to explore what this means for my human relationships.  Obviously the depth that I feel about this situation can not be ignored and I think that my willingness to dive those depths can be intimidating to the humans around me.

See, even though I am making this outpouring about a dog, these feelings are universal with any sort of significant loss.  We come from a history of people distracting themselves from their pain, and I find pain unavoidable.  I always have, but I believe in the Spirit of things and that Spirit always reminds me that everything is temporary and that things can always get better but one must have a willingness to believe that Truth in order to take advantage of it’s reality.

Claddagh brought to my life more depth than can ever be articulated.  We didn’t need words because our souls were in constant conversation.  My writing was able to take on even more depth because of Claddagh being there as an influence in my perception of the world, and because it was amazing to try and imagine the world through her eyes specifically when she was at play in nature, or when she would just stare at me for minutes on end.

She was a reflection of my soul. My soul mate.  It seems rare to find anything or anyone in the world that you would want to covet forever.  I am hopeful that I won’t have to wait another twenty-seven years to begin another journey like I had with Claddagh. I am hopeful that the depths of whatever is to be, extends ever further than I could dream or imagine.

I think if you really love and adore someone, you should consider taking on their best attributes.  If I were to take on the best attributes of Claddagh, I would be more excited for everything that life has to offer.  I would make each person I am with, feel like the most important person in the room by giving them my undivided attention.   I would wait to eat more meals with company.  I would go for a ride for no good reason more often especially if someone just wanted the company.

My life over the last six years has become quite isolating, and Claddagh took the brunt of that.  We went from fairly nomadic to completely stagnant.  Over the six years I just slowly stopped doing the things that we enjoyed most together because nature seemed so far away.  We aged and got lazy and uncomfortably comfortable together.  But, we were together, every single day.

What a great partner.  What an amazing friend.

My Best Friend :Soul Training

Sometimes you meet someone new, and you just instantly know that you will be friends.  You are not sure why, or what it is you have in common, but something flows between you that is almost effortless, and it is like a breath of fresh air in a world full of stifling pollution.

Usually it happens at “just the right time.”  “Just when you need it most.”  You may even feel “saved.”

Is Dog, God?

I’ve been seeking some sort of salvation my whole life.   Mostly I want to be saved from being lonely.  Lonely isn’t just a word, though; it is a big concept.  It’s definition isn’t even vast until you start researching the synonyms… “godforsaken” is my favorite.

Godforsaken!  It sounds pretty profound but it breaks down to “forlorn, desolate, miserable,”  basically Emotional Shitsville in a country called Isolation.

I’ve come to accept that I don’t think like a mass majority of people, and that can be scary for both parties.  Words are steeped in various meanings and history has shown that  words are manipulated and it isn’t rare to rule with an Iron Fist.   “A certain amount of violence is needed to keep them in line”- sort of mentality that I am way too familiar with.

I’ve written five chapters thus far.  It’s time to talk about my failures as a human.  My dog has been gone for 24 hours.  I’ve been unable to censor myself online about this journey.  The only thing I hope to gain from it, is a living record for myself and anyone who cares for whatever reason.  I haven’t been perfect, and none of us are.  Is a dog God with such unconditional love?

Have you ever just brushed someone away, and said, “No, not now?”

Or, maybe had a bad day and then poured all that anger on to an unsuspecting person?

Yeah.  I do.  I think that this is an unavoidable byproduct of life if you don’t become aware of it.   One of the shittiest feelings in the world is when you know you harmed someone else.

In the beginning, both Claddagh and I had our own quirks.  Her nervous behavior and my own anxiety would clash and being the dominate in the situation, sometimes I would take it out on her aggressively.   The worst thing she ever did was chew on stuff that she shouldn’t and occasionally steal my food and coffee, if left unattended.  I didn’t get mad a her about that stuff… I would express aggression toward her when other things were going wrong in my life, and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One day I had a melt down and she really took the brunt of it.  Afterward I felt so guilty and ashamed, so much so that I consulted friends about finding her a new home.   I didn’t deserve her.  That feeling never left me.  I didn’t deserve her affection and love, because I did the one thing that you should never do, which is fly off the handle and harm someone you love.  Somehow in that large heart of hers, she always forgave and came back to my side.

She was able to see the intangible sadness that had always existed in me.  She knew that there was a certain sense of Godforsaken loneliness inside that she wouldn’t be able to fully fix for me, she was a willing “band-aid.”

That is the interesting thing about animals, their senses tell them so much about their world, yet they can’t articulate the depth of their experience to us in ways that we can relate.  So we find middle ground that makes us both feel good.   That was the goal anyway,  so any deviation from that goal feels like devastation.

I’d like to say that I never got mad at Claddagh again, but incidences did arise.  I was never as aggressive with her again, as the time I thought I should re-home her but that didn’t matter.  I hated expressing anger at her because I knew above all that she was just a pure spirit.

Today was day two of waking up without her.  I slept in until noon just to avoid the reality and because writing all of this out and drinking vodka is very tiresome.   I still want to cry but I feel resistance. My eyes go through patches of cloudiness that I can’t seem to rub away.  I know I am dehydrated.  I just want my dog.

Here are some weird facts about my Claddagh;

1.) She never, ever would shit on the trail.   She would always find a place off trail to do her business, and I thought that was super respectable.

2.) She never once peed or pooped in the house.  Not one accident like that.

3.) One time she got sick in my car, she purposely puked in the removable cup holder.  Another time she got sick in the barn loft and made sure to puke on the tile and not on the carpet.

If a dog could be considerate, I think that these three facts really represent that about her.   She knew that I could get into stressful states, and it’s like she did everything she could to not make that worse in me.   She knew that if she stayed out of the way, that I would come to her in defeat and just hold her and cry.

It took a while for us to learn that in each other.  When to walk away, to calm down so that everything could be handled with more patience and decorum.  No doubt these are useful attributes with all living beings, and Claddagh held space for me to work on cultivating those traits.

In twenty four hours, I am missing attributes Claddagh had that I took for granted; from catching pesky flies and mosquitoes, to not helping me finish the last quarter of the hamburger… just weird small things you don’t think much about.  Last night I was eaten up by bugs, and I made myself sick by finishing the last of the burger because it seemed somehow wrong to throw it into the trash.  I just sat looking back and forth and the burger and the empty spot on the floor where Claddagh would be patiently waiting for her portion.

She could have food sitting in her bowl all day, and yet she would wait to eat until I was eating.   I wish I was as good of a human, as she was as a dog.

My Best Friend: Assimilating One Another

In any relationship there is compromise.  Especially if you are living together.  I only had a handful of info when it came to Claddagh/IMA/Pasha’s past.   She was found and surrendered on a Reservation.  She may or may not be spayed.  She had BB’s or some sort of shrapnel scattered on various parts of her body.  She was picked up by a person who already had four dogs, and kept Claddagh separate because the situation was “iffy.”

I always got the feeling she was raped by another dog.  She was very concerned about other canines getting in that area and sniffing around.  She seemed somewhat evolved when it came to assessing another dogs intentions.    I use to joke that she was a lesbian who only liked fixed males and females, because they were less of a threat.

I don’t actually know, but this is the feeling I got from watching her behavior.   She wasn’t a “Dog’s Dog.”   She was  a PuppyCat that wanted to be Human.  Okay, I know we anthropomorphize animals and I have a vivid imagination, but something told me she was no run of the mill dog when it came to social graces.

She didn’t want to fight, but she was willing to defend herself.   Mostly she wanted to play but found it hard to find other dogs who know the rules.  The dogs who knew the rules were dogs of friends.   We, as a group, had subconsciously created a frame work for a dog community.  The people who had dogs, were much like me.   Safety first!  Good Friendly Play!

I haven’t heard Claddagh’s voice in over twenty four hours.  I am restraining myself from running outside to call her in.  I keep making attentive notices that the scratching I hear on the concrete, is not her toe nails. My neighborhood is significantly more quiet without the dog barking battles over the fence.  Brody gives it a go and then gives up after a bit.  I guess it isn’t as fun without a friend.  Now it’s just one tiny dog on one side of the fence, and a bigger, louder dog on the other.  Who knows… maybe Brody is telling the neighborhood dogs that there will be one less voice in the mix of calls that saturate the air at any time of day.  One less shit pile to smell.

I think Claddagh had a prerogative of fun. I never felt like I could rely on her to protect me. I never wanted to put her in situations that might lead to harm.  I would avoid situations like that at all costs, especially after the dognapping incident.

She would be with me four years before she could look me straight in the eyes.  It would be just as long before she learned or discovered how to bark.

My friend Cameron and I were on a camp out.  Claddagh and I had camped together many times before this. She would follow along quietly when I played “ninja in the forest.”  Taking her collar off so that the jingle of her tags wouldn’t distract other animals.  We would sneak up on loud camp sites and check them out from the perimeter and then hike back to our camp.  We would try and trail deer.  I was secretly training her for the apocalypse.

Anyway Claddagh, Cameron and I go on a camp out.  And into the darkness of night we sit around the fire, and Claddagh stirs.  She walks out about ten feet from the fire, her ears peaked and moving around like satellite dishes. She makes her first attempt at barking, her voice cracking like a teenage boy during puberty.  She seems shocked at the noise coming from her own mouth.  I hear coyotes in the distance.  Claddagh gets a hang for this new call, and she rolls with it, barking her ever loving head off.  I am amused and astounded… I thought I had a “barkless dog.”  She proved me wrong while simultaneously slipping into a whole new maturity. Still, she never manifested into a physical protector.  We were battling a spiritual thing, and her physical body obviously took the brunt of effect.

Claddagh rarely looked “happy.”  In all reality both her and I suffer from Resting Bitch Face.  It looks pensive, introspective, concerned, and perhaps a little distraught.  Upon meeting, we both knew that we came with baggage, but it didn’t matter, it was “for better or worse.”

I never felt “safer” for her being there, but I did feel a concern of care that made me utilize all of my senses in order to keep us both safe.  Intuition and psychic bond were paramount in our relationship, probably even more so than many human relationships. We bared every season in almost every condition, side by side.  I would spend my last dollars on food for her and go hungry.   She was always a good visitor, and no one ever told us that we couldn’t come back.

I think back to Kelty Krumb. I think about how he was the last dog to persuade me into  having a dog of my own.  How he eased me into dealing with animal hair in every nook and cranny of house and home.  I think he would have liked Claddagh. I think about how my heart broke when I learned he was gone, and how much that must have hurt his owner.  I think about how amazing a dog can be and how if they are amazing enough, they will convince other people to become dog owners by setting an almost unreachable height when it comes to canine perfection as assumed by humans.

Claddagh did that to people.  People who had never had a dog before, became enamored by her very quickly.  Her perfection would settle in the imagination of those who dreamed what it may be like to have a dog.  I didn’t hesitate to tell people that it was years in the making by observation and appreciation.  I told them that she was with me everyday, and that my life continued to be unconventional in order to facilitate the reality we were living.  Most times people shrugged off that part.  They thought they could just go all willy nilly to a shelter and find a gem.

That seemed to be a rare case.  My dog was with me ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.  She sat in a car 6 hours a day some days.  But, when she got out of the car we went on adventures.  Most times it was nature, other times it was urban; she became well versed in various environments, around different people.   She would sidle up next to almost anyone, but building dog relationships was harder.

She wasn’t ordinary.  She was extraordinary.

A portal of inner exploration