Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When Good Dogs Go Wolf (On Rosey & Reincarnation)

For years, political talk paid the bills, but it was “Beyond Reason” (our metaphysical radio show) that was my passion. Five days a week, 2 hours a day for more than a decade we took up topics covering everything from UFOs to ESP, to NDEs (Near Death Experiences) to Life after Life, but next to dream interpretations, my all time favorite topic was and continues to be: reincarnation.
            In a nutshell, reincarnationists hold that our souls don’t die when our bodies do, and that as a matter of spiritual evolution we keep coming back to learn life lessons until we attain enlightenment, after which, there’s no need to come back anymore. Some theorists hold that humans can only come back as humans. Others contend you can come back as an animal (like the sacred cows in India). Others yet, believe animals who’ve lived in close proximity with humans, can come back as one (a human, that is), but since most dogs I’ve known are smarter than us people, this one seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, but I digress. Point is, there are many sub-schools of thought when it comes to reincarnation, and I’m intrigued with all of them. Personally, I believe I’ve been around before, but whether my animals have, is something I’d never given much thought to…until now.
            Before Rosey, TJ and all the babies, my favorite breed of dog was the Siberian Husky. My dad and I raised them when I was a kid. After college, I couldn’t wait to get my own place so as to have one again. Throughout my 20s and most of my 30s, Darby, the Wonderdog was my constant and loyal companion. With the exception of Minsky and her brother Ike, who were rescue pups, huskies were all I’d ever known…the breed I was most familiar with.
In case you’re not familiar, huskies are stunningly beautiful creatures, known for their symmetrical masks, mystical blue eyes (or in some cases, split eyes…one brown, one blue) and high-energied loyalty. The wolf in them makes for a very vocal dog. (Howling at the moon is a very real thing with huskies.) The downside to the breed is, no small critters are safe, after all, huskies are basically wolves.
            It wasn’t until I got into goats that I learned I could love another large breed of dog every bit as much, but suffice it to say, huskies and pyrs are as different in nature and personality as two breeds can be.
            Huskies, again, being wolves at heart, are natural predators. They prowl like wolves, they howl like wolves, and Lord help if you lived next to neighbors who had chickens or bunnies…(tragedies we experienced more than once, as you can’t break a husky once it’s tasted blood). Clearly this would NOT be a good match for the duties assigned to Rosey and TJ.
Pyrs, on the other hand, wait for their prey. Given their size they are sometimes confused for lazy.  They sleep all day and patrol all night. Rather than stalk their prey, they await their prey by way of the fox, coyote, or even vultures that might pounce on a helpless baby goat.
Darby, for those who knew me when, went with me everywhere, including work where once he leapt 5 stories from my office parking garage (so energetic was he). Thankfully…MIRACULOUSLY…he survived it, though he did have to wear a cast on one paw for a couple of months. There are many Darby tales…Many great memories. It was one of the toughest goodbyes I’d ever endured come his time to go, but as we know, new babies come into our lives, never replacing the others, but reminding us that life goes on and we will love again.
No doubt, Rosey and I have been through a lot together, what with raising litters and rearin’ puppies. But here of late, I’m spotting something different about my girl. Before the pups she would sometimes shoot me a look, that I swear, was Darby-in-the-eyes. She’s no doubt an “old soul”. (I mean, who has a puppy that never had to be housebroken? Rosey has literally never messed up a rug…from the time she was a baby, nor did I ever train her to do this. She came pre-wired.) I know we all feel our babies are special, but in Rosey’s case, it’s not just “special” so much as “familiar” I’m feeling.
Don’t get me wrong. I love TJ with all my being and I adore the puppies each in their own right, but the bond I feel with Rosey is something I can only say “Feels like Darby.”
No sooner had I chalked this up to “I’ll ask St. Peter when I get there” does the whole Rosey/Darby reincarnation thing take on a brand new level of manifestation as (I kid you not) Rosey’s turning “wolf”!
Now I’ve raised enough litters to know a mama dog yes, is going to lose her coat after babies are weaned. Like any woman post baby, she’s got a body to get back in shape. But when Rosey got back to fightin’ weight, Rosey REALLY got back to fightin’ weight.  Her new, sleek, after-baby body is downright wolfy, what’s more, she’s ACTING like a wolf.
I’ve mentioned recently Rosey’s newfound love of game. Within the past week she’s “gifted” me with 2 squirrels, 1 buzzard, a turkey and something whose skull I could not quite make out, though I think it was a coyote. (It was a deteriorated skull of something, which means she had to have found it dead, though this did not deter her from bringing it home, just in time for my birthday! Oh joy.)
Unlike TJ, she’s not content to lie in wait for her game. She pounces at the click of the gate, chomping to get out each and every morning. (TJ on the other hand, is content to hang with the goats he’s wired to protect, along now with Rosey’s pups that she has no problem leaving in his care.) Because her pups were born mid arctic blast, the scope of her boundaries have now broadened. She spot checks her “under porch” birthing space; doubles around back to patrol the garage and back lot on her rounds…Her internal wiring is now set to cross check my yard, my neighbor’s and beyond, but here of late, these rounds are netting me more and more prizes, the likes of which I’ve not seen since my Darby days.

Of course, if the “soul” purpose of reincarnating is to work off your karma so as to reach perfection, Darby would not have needed to come back. He was wiser than most two-legged guys I’ve known and far more forgiving. This says to me if Darby did hitch a ride with the first living thing he saw coming my way, he did it purely for me, not for him. After all, he had earned every right to stay put until I got there, but it would be so like him to think this girl needed a daily "big dog hug" and a constant reminder of unconditional and protective love, the likes of which only a Darby dog could bring…(even if it meant showing up in a Rosey-girl body).

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