Tag Archives: best friend

My Best Friend: What a Difference Four Months Makes

The weather is warming up- and the yard is calling!

Journey Oroborus Wonderdawg has now been in my care for four months, and she is even more amazing every day!

I was reading a post I made last November- about all the dogless moments that were hitting me hard, and it’s crazy to think that so much has happened since the end of last August- but really it is only notable in my little sphere.   It probably isn’t profound to anyone else.

I guess to explain a little bit- it is the insights that have befallen me through my sadness and “rebirth” through Journey.   Journey truly represents a change inside of myself that is hard to articulate- it wasn’t something missing- it was something that had yet to be awakened but was there all along.  Like epigenetics and cultivation, I just needed the right circumstances to enliven something dormant.

I have become more patient, more understanding- attributes I wanted to strengthen but had a hard time controlling and would guilt myself to extremes in regard to; suddenly became effortless as the synthesis of past experience unfolded into a new awakening.

Claddagh and Journey have given me a  calmative understanding and awareness.  I am conscious of all the ways I was wrong to Claddagh- and I refuse to repeat the pattern with Journey.  Journey knows the spirit of Claddagh, they are married within me, and through that devotion our relationship shifts in dimensions.  I become a better soul than I was before, and I can feel and see that happening.

It may sound strange- but I really don’t “miss” Claddagh.  I continue to experience her every day through Journey because their personalities are so interconnected, there is no room for feeling loss.   They are in no way replicas of one another, but they are very much “the same” and the comfort that comes from that is profound in my opinion.

I can compare it to having a few close friends in a place and then moving away and finding new friends who have certain quirks and traits that very akin to friends from the other place.  Personality types are drawn to each other and it is a way that we find our “tribes.”

These days, my tribe is mainly my little fur family along with my Uncle and Gma.  Every day the humans in my tribe get to see the value and vastness of animal personality and the way it adapts with us.  When I am in the yard, and my animals follow me around, I feel like Snow White or something similar.  They come when I call, they sing with me, they see me digging in the dirt and they want to help.  If that isn’t Spiritual, or Magic- then I don’t know what is.

One of the most profound things to settle down in me through all this transition is facing one simple and “gross” thing-  We have to deal with our shit.  Not just personally, we have to deal with the shit of others- and the question is, how do we do that?  No one wants to deal with shit, but it is a part of life, and if for some reason you don’t have to deal with shit on some level, there is a big problem because it is essential to eliminate waste.  If we neglect that fact, things can get extra rancid.

I am cleaning up shit, every. Single. Day.  More than once a day, for someone other than myself.  And for a while, it would trigger a wave of deep anger and resentment.

“Why me?  Why do I have to do this? I already have to clean up for myself.”

Well- I chose this path.  Sometimes we choose paths because they appear to have the least resistance, but as we wander that path we realize it may reach a sort of “dead end” which really just means that we have to clear some things out of the way in order to proceed.   You have to do the work, or wander around looking for another path… either way it is work and resource.

Journey came to me damaged, which means I need to use all of my knowledge and resources to assist in her healing.  By doing so, I am reminded of my own depth of knowledge and it becomes easier to enact that knowing through action because I am driven to assist those who have a hard time assisting themselves- so brilliantly and obvious is this reflection of purpose in co-existence.

How blessed am I?  Infinitely so in my humble opinion.  A certain sense of joy is becoming alive inside of me that I haven’t felt in what seems like a millennium.

 

 

 

My Best Friend: 2 Days and 22 Hours

It is almost one month since I put Claddagh down.

That phrase is so gross to me; “Put them down.”

My dog was already a submissive… she was “put down” in many ways in her early life.  I am still disgusted at it all.

But, you know what?  I will only talk about it here.  I bombarded FB for the first two weeks with my pain… and now in modern decorum I will pretend it doesn’t rip me apart on the inside.  Oh, geez, am I following the steps of my forefathers, who chose to sweep inconvenient truths under the proverbial rug?

People don’t know how to mourn, these days.  Our fast paced society urges us to “get over it and move on” as quickly as possible.  We treat ourselves like processed food with defined expiration dates that serve as suggestions.  You might be cool eating an out of date yogurt at your own house, but if a host of some other house offers the same thing, you cringe.

“Keep it in house.”

See, I don’t feel like I am allowed to mourn my dog companion for more than a couple of weeks.  It isn’t allowed to break me, because their life expectancy is so much shorter than ours, and I should have known better.

I don’t feel like I can allow Claddagh to be the portal in which my previous pain, loss and suffering is filtered through.  I just don’t feel like I have permission to fully feel, even though people say “take your time” and “feel it fully.”

I don’t feel permission because I am always trying to integrate and get along, and no one likes a Debby Downer, or a Miserable Mandie.  I don’t feel permission because the extent of the pain is mine, alone to bare.

After day three, I told myself, “You HAVE to stop crying.  You HAVE to buck up.  No one cares as much as you do about it, and no one wants to hear about it.”

If you make it a mantra, I guess it makes it easier to adhere to, just through repetition.

If left to my own devices, I look out the door and say “All I really want is my dog.”  And I imagine what that looks like, only to further upset the state of my heart.

Honestly, I don’t care if I upset you if I end up crying in reminiscence of my dog; but because I am empathetic, and I know you don’t want to hear it, I will self censor.  I am not looking for your pity or sympathy…. I know you don’t know exactly what to say and it may be uncomfortable for you, that every topic you excavate leads back to me and my dog.

I am sure it is annoying, or at least uncomfortable.

I’m sorry, but I’m not.

I suppose if you don’t know what to do in the awkwardness, just smile.  Know that I experienced a facet of love in life that I would have otherwise avoided, and that in and of itself, is bound to make me a better person in the long run.

I know she wasn’t as interesting to you, as she was meaningful and profound to me, and that is okay… but try not to sweep her memory away in your urgency to bring me back to whatever you feel is your self perceived center.  I will take my time, and I require no rush on your end, for it will not bring any benefit.

She was “my girl”, ya know?  I don’t even know if I am allowed to use the same distinct whistle if I find a new dog friend… I feel bad for chiding my cats with her same belly rub rhyme.   Things are flowing into each other with my other animal friends,  where it once was distinct and individual.

And I liked that, ya know?  When her whistle was our whistle and not like any of the other whistles that were common for the other animals we mutually knew.

I kinda wish I got a Chilton manual on how to deal with this,or a “When your Dog Dies for Dummies” book,  even though I know, internally all I need to know.

Life cycles are beautiful, until you see the shame in loss.  My dog should have lived forever… I mean, that is how I feel. I never thought about getting another one, even though at times I thought about re-homing her due to my own personality flaws.

I’m looking at rescue dogs, trying to find a face I recognize.  Not Claddaghs’ face, per say… just a face that feels familiar in the rustic part of my being that is perfectly adapted to animal companionship.  I know it will happen when it is meant to… if it is meant to.

No worries here.  I just miss her so damn much and rightly so.

 

My Best Friend: Just When I Was Getting Comfortable

I felt sick as a dog on the night of September 11th.  I was waking up hourly to empty my liquid bowels.  Standing up made me nauseous and I was afraid I was going to shit down my own legs.  I figured maybe it was one of the eggs I put into my dinner omelet.

The cats weren’t helping.  They wanted to lay on my stomach, causing me more discomfort.  I just wanted to sleep it off.

The 11th rolled into the 12, and I tried to go about my normal routine, but I wasn’t feeling normal at all.  My uncle came over to help out my grandma and I tried to sleep the day away, but was reawakened every hour or two by demanding felines.

I slipped in and out of dream space.

The woman accuses me of being an escort because I have a stack of cash.  I tell her I just sold my truck.  She also accuses me of having fake “air inflated” breasts.  I tell her that “that isn’t at all true.  I got fat and lost some weight and now I have stretch marks.”

Other strange thoughts invade my mind as I toss and turn.

I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.  I just want to sleep for 24 hours straight.  I just want to be taken care of because I don’t have the energy right now to care at all. 

I wake up early on September 13th.  I go to my Facebook feed.  There she is in my memories.  My fur buddy’s 10th Doggaversary.  Today would have been our 11th.

See just when I was settling into the idea that I no longer have to fill her water and food bowls, I am reminded of how far we went, and how close we came to 11.  I think about how, we would celebrate together since my birthday is so close to the day we found each other.

I realize, it wasn’t the eggs that made me sick; it was knowing that I would have to wake up on the 13th and deal with a new slew of emotions.  And that settling into emotions is much like the settling of sand which can be moved by a breeze, or a wash of water, dried out by the sun and stepped on, only to be encrusted into the indentations of some passerby’s shoes and transported to places unseen.

I’d like to not have to do anything for a while, so that I can just sleep if I want to sleep and dream these weird dreams, hoping we eventually reunite in that dreamspace for a little bit.  And, see I know I can’t tarry there long, but I would still like the opportunity, nonetheless.

 

My Best Friend: Lessons In Commitment and Loyalty

I’m not much different than most other females who grew up around the same time I did.  We all watched the same Disney movies and obsessed over Wesley in Princess Bride.  We actively consumed the fairy tales of Princess’ being swept off their feet.  Add in some religion, and there was always some illusory man who was suppose to show up and sweep us off our feet.

By the age of twenty-five, if it hasn’t happened yet, the internal worry mixes with the biological clock and things start to get a little weird.

I didn’t start building strong female relationships until about that age.  I started to embrace the feminine in myself and with that came a new feminine energy.  At times I would think that I was the most “girly” out of the group, even though I considered myself far less “girly” than my cohorts.

I’m certain when I went for a dog, I didn’t care what gender it was, but for the first time in my life I was starting to really make female friends and I am sure that played a role in how everything unfolded.

During this time I was becoming very aware of the emotional pain many women carry with them.  It was a suffering that would come from competing with other women more as an unspoken way of being than a logical reaction.   I was going out of my way to express appreciation for women, even ones who I interacted with just in passing.  It could be as simple as saying “You look fantastic in that shade of blue.”  or ” I really love your hair, it looks so soft!”

I could see that women on the daily were not only trying to meet the world with some beauty, but they were trying to convince themselves that they were worthy of love and attention and the most basic way we are taught to seek that out, is by outward expressions of self care.

I knew I wasn’t out there trying to steal anyone’s boyfriend.  I was trying to find some loyal female friends while seeking love, and if you want to get a lady’s attention, give her a sincere complement.

When Claddagh came into my life, it wasn’t complements that won her over.  In fact it wasn’t complements that kept her around.  But while I was trying to figure out how to bring more love into my life via friends, she was sitting right beside me as I hashed things out.

In February of 2009 I received an art commission to paint a mural on the inside of a pump house at a tree farm.  For a week, Claddagh and I camped out while I painted the mural.  In the evenings I would sit by the fire with a headlamp writing about the various musings I may have had over the day.

Here are my scribbles about “What the fuck the roller coaster of love is”;

  • Doesn’t know what love is but aches for it, due to fairy tales and day time drama.
  • Meet someone who likes you and you couldn’t care less for as an individual.  Sometimes it matters not, for the first timer. It’s the wanting of love so badly that most novices force it based on lame criteria.
  • Settle into that “like-ness.”  For some this happens faster than others.
  • Grow personally or experience partners growth.   Get annoyed with everything you previously adored as “quirky.”
  • Jump knee deep into the dramatic experience of separating ways and the fucked up boomerang that always brings you back.
  • Wrestle with emotions vs. a need to get laid, enduring attitudes turn into pet peeves and the struggle to stay seemingly sane through the process.
  • Question life; it’s meanings and what could possibly be next.
  • Waste a few months feeling bad for yourself and procrastinating making a big decision.
  • Finally settle on something, perhaps the easiest thing….
  • And just when you think you are on the money…..
  • The Universe says “I’m sorry, actually you are going to do this ____.”  Which was your least favorite option from the options you initially had to choose from.
  • Just when you resign to your new circumstance, this new, interesting and attractive person comes in and because you haven’t lost all your hormones yet, your body says “HELLO!”
  • Knowing that you just experienced “love” and you have a lot to deal with, your mind says, “OH NO!”
  • Undoubtedly you spend time with this new stranger and your hormones won’t quit screaming “OH YES! PLEASE, PLEASE!”
  • Since you realize we are all animals who are most responsible to responding to our physical instincts,
  • Consciousness takes a back seat in decision making
  • Cave in and let hands graze nameless places- get high on pheromones.
  • Act like sad orphans literally dying to experience affection.  Once is never enough.
  • Realize that all of a sudden this indulgence and connection produces a a desire to satisfy something primal.
  •  Intimacy becomes a third party to rugged and animalistic behavior.
  • Start feeling things for a stranger while temporarily avoiding the recent void of failure, hoping to be re-filled.

Claddagh sat there as a silent bystander as I purged what could be seen as the worst flow chart for “love” to ever exist.  But what do I learn from this when I go back through it with that knowing?

My views on love have been quite askew.  Claddagh showed me another way to love, and it wasn’t based off of some unrealistic script that we are fed through entertainment.  This is why it hurts so badly.  We didn’t follow predictive programming in the unfolding of our friendship.  Even up into the minute I had to choose to let her go, I had no idea what I was doing and I was simply hoping for the best for both of us.   There was an undeniable trust that we were doing the best we could.

I learned that I need to further listen to my instincts.  Love doesn’t really exist in one-sided affairs and one sided affairs have seemed safe.  It’s easier to reject than to be rejected.   But what does it look like when both parties love?  It is harder to walk away, and I have been good at walking away… but I couldn’t walk away from Claddagh.  She made me look at the worst parts of myself, and she could have disappeared at any point in time to find a new home, and she didn’t.  She pushed through my wreckage.

Thanks to her, I can sift through it, and see more of what she was showing but I was only recording in passing. Thanks to her I can see love outside of that wreckage.

 

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.