The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the category “dogs”

Bob the Dog

I’ve written a lot about my dogs over the years, here in this blog and in my books. Now they’ve both passed into the Summerlands and it feels funny to write things without them.

This is a tribute to Bob the Dog, pictured here at age 13, peacefully dreaming. He lived another year. Bob was a very enthusiastic and loving dog, embodying what I often called “Joie de Bobbie,” since he loved life.
I also called him the High Hopes Dog and often hummed the high hopes song. One time, the man who co-owned the dogs with me took them out running. On their way home, they met one of my neighbors who was carrying the deer he had gotten. The neighbor put the deer down and started chatting. Then he started laughing. Both men turned around and saw Bob trying to tug the deer carcass away! Always hopeful, nothing was too large for Bob to overcome.

Bob was also very into the energy of the pagan circle. Several times, he made his way into the circle. Once when the sacred masculine energy was invoked, Bob came into circle, plopped himself in the middle and started liking his private parts. That cracked us up and was so fitting to the ritual. Once he came into the center as the priestess was leading the circle in a meditation on the birth of the Sun King. “You are my Sun King” is another one of his theme songs.

Even at his most feeble and tired, Bob greeted us with a wagging tale and a bright eye. Mike and I were both with him when he passed. It was the day after our wedding and we were talking and he was in the center of our circle when we realized that he was passing. I stroked him as he struggled with his last breaths. Finally his poor old heart gave out and he exhaled. I could feel his spirit romp to the next life, with wagging tale and supple body. He’s still here in my heart. I miss him very much and he graced my life with many stories and a lot of joy.

His death was smelly and messy and Mike and I were there to take care of it. Since he died at home, we decided to take his remains for cremation the next day. As we were driving, I rolled down the window telling Mike the smell was overpowering. Then we both laughed. Bob had a way of keeping us intensely present and engaged in all of his actions, basic and sublime.

He runs with the Goddess, Lady Artemis who protected him and loved him all his life. I am grateful to Her for all the critter blessings.
Bob the Dog 1995-2009 was a wonderful companion, pal, and guy.
Fare-thee-well till we meet again.

Ya Did It Right the First Time!

I like to think that I’m not a perfectionist but I do like to be thorough and meet certain standards set by me. That does mean that I like to research and do things thoroughly in the matters of spiritual learning. Sometimes living la vida Wicca, or living in the moment, presents you with different circumstances.

At our tradition’s annual retreat, we had the wonderful teacher, Christopher Penczak shared his knowledge with us. In the course of his teaching and not particularly central to the theme, he commented that Hekate held the keys to the gateway to journeying between the worlds. Her crossroads are pathways to many dimensions and realities. During one of the meditations, Hekate came to me and gave me a key, saying that I would know what it was for when the time came.
It was striking and kind of tangential to the weekend and I set an intention to do some journeywork on this subject and to talk with Hekate. Somehow, I didn’t get around to it, though the intention remained. I thought I had plenty of time.
At the time, we were living with two very elderly and very dear dogs in declining health as well as planning our wedding for the end of September. I’ve written a lot about Congo and Bob and they are important and special; they’ve always lived their lives dedicated into the care of Lady Artemis. During the Labor Day weekend, Congo had an alarming episode and her decline became sharp. By Tuesday, she had stopped eating and drinking. We took her to the vet and he outlined her options. For a 15 year old dog, terrified of vets, these options weren’t happy ones. Mike and I talked over these options and decided to bid her fare-thee-well.
As we talked it over with her, I talked to her about the care by Lady Artemis (whom I thank most gratefully for these long lived dogs), Hekate whispered in my ear, “I will take your little black dog for as she is special to you, she is special to me.” And so in the hands of a compassionate vet and vet tech, Mike and I held her and petted her as Congo slowly faded from this plane of existence.
As I was driving home, I realized that I knew what the key was for. Under the beautiful blue skies of central NY, I opened the gateway and watched her wag her tail and run gracefully into the arms of Hekate. Congo, glorious and beautifully fit, runs with Hekate. Blessed be my girly-girl and fare-thee-well till we meet again.
And yes, the lesson is that we get the tools and we use them. There is no reset button, no do-over, and no chance to learn it deeper or better because ‘ya did it right the first [and only] time.

Dogs Rule

Last Wednesday, I wrote about dogs, after the Westminster dog show. So in the spirit of “assorted whimsy,” we’re for dogs over here in this corner of the Tarot world, too.

I recall a conversation on a listserv long ago about what questions our pets would ask if they could ask us to read Tarot for them. I think for my two dogs, Congo and Bob, it would be “when are we going to eat,” “will you let me outside,” and “can I go for a ride in the car.” Followed by “can I have a biscuit with that.
Nevertheless, as the dog in the Fool card reminds us, they are our companions, the ones that get us out in the world to walk, play and run. I’ve written a lot about dogs because one of the things they have taught me is to love the moment because “every day is a great day to be a dog.
This picture is from a Majors only deck called “i Cani.” It’s been called an imperfect Tarot. It’s tiny, a curiosity and nt without humor. After what is perfection but the ability to be fully present in our process of Be-coming. Or, as I just said, to experience that every day is a great day to be.


We’re For Dogs

I know that’s a tag line for a pet food company delivered in the meltingly fluid voice of David Duchovny. I couldn’t agree more, though. We’re for other things, too, but we are definitely there for dogs.

My black lab mix Congo had a rough few weeks and I really thought this 14+ year old dog of my heart was on her last journey. She wasn’t on her last legs because she couldn’t stand. She was confused and unable to function. We took her to the vet who said it was likely to be an infection pressing on the nerves in her brain. It took a week for her to come back. Now she’s back. She’s elderly so there are still things going on. But my lovey dovey girl is back. Thank heavens we don’t make that transition yet. Thank you Gods and spirits for answering our prayers and petitions.

I do believe that our dogs are part of our soul groups. One of the reasons I drifted away from Christianity was because I was told (and it was preached) that animals did not have souls and we would not be reunited with them in Heaven (or Hell, for that matter. Lucky them). How can a Creator reject such diversity of species, a wonder of creative spirit. Paganism embraces these beings as soul-full and sacred. Our pets return with us again and again, just as we return.

I’ve spent the last two days watching the Westminster Dog Show along with a special on the history of Westminster which aired on CNBC. I love the dog show. I remember a couple of years ago, I watched the whole six hours. The announcers were carefully scripted about terminology and very informative about all the breeds. The judge of the best in show (I believe it was the woman who is in this year’s picture) chose a female hound. At the very end, she was interviewed and the last word on the show was, “There was just something special about that bitch.” On behalf of rowdy bitches both human and canine, I concur.
This year’s show was fabulous. The breeds are all wonderful and the dogs are just so fabulous. For a lot of them, you can really see their personalities. This year was, again, very special. I really liked the Puli, which looks like a big jumping, trotting mop. I rooted for the Sussex Spaniel.
Stump was forced to retire in 2004 when he got sick and nearly died. He survived and has been thriving as a beloved pet. he came out of retirement at ten years old for one last show. There were shots of him setting up on his hind legs, wagging his tale, and looking like a wise one, the fool.
Throughout the show, they reminded us both on the show and in advertisements that there are many wonderful dogs, both purebred and mutt to be adopted. Adopt through qualified breeders, through shelters and through rescue. Donate money if you can because Dogs rule. They’ve got it goin’ on.
Wag Wag Wag

Everyday is a Great Day to be a Dog!

Since we’re on the subject, I might as well continue talking about dogs. I’ve learned a lot from my dogs and other people’s dogs. They are great animals. They are so clear with their feelings and their needs. For the last couple of days, we’ve had some pretty heavy thunderstorms, something that frightens both dogs very much. They become ‘velcro dogs’ sticking close to me or Mouse. Wherever I am, there they are panting out their fear. Nothing I can do can make their fear abate. Totally at one with their fear. Very hard to endure!
Several years ago, I used to walk the dogs every day in every kind of weather. We’d walk along Fall Creek close to my house. Sometimes we’d walk through some wild fields. Both Congo and Bob would explore and smell everything; the air, animal poop, plants, dirt and the water. Of course, they’d jump right in the water. From little puddles to the creek, there they were. If a puddle had ice on the top, Bob would crack the ice and lie–really wallow–in the puddle. It would have to get below 20 degrees before he would stop.
Of course these puddles were often mud puddles. Afterwards a very happy Bob would come up to me *wag*wag* dripping in mud from the nose on down. I’d then take him to a deep part of the creek and have him swim in that. I cannot get either dog to submit to the hose, or to go into the shower, the tub or a shallow wading pool. I think it’s because the water is clean.
One cold, rainy day on the cusp of winter, I walked the dogs along the creek. We enjoyed every minute of it. Then I showered, dressed and went into work. I had an early morning meeting–with someone named Bob as a matter of fact–and he asked me, mournfully how I was. I said I was good. He looked at me and said, “You mean for a cold, gray, drippy day?!” And I explained that I walked my dogs that morning and realized that it was a great day to be a dog. As a matter of fact every day is a great day to be a dog. He looked at me like I was rather odd.
I think perhaps I am, though a better word, of course, is rowdy. What the dogs are doing is tapping into that happy ecstacy of living every moment like its the only moment. Mud, water, rain, walking, running, smelling and discovering are all part of the ecstacy of the moment. Nothing else impinges on the sounds of running water, the start beauty of the creek in near-winter.
One time about twenty years ago when my mother was around the age I am now, she told me she had two real regrets. One is that she never learned to swim; and the other is that she never learned to dance. Both of those things are about letting go into rhythm and water. She could have changed that, but she didn’t. I’ve done both, I’m happy to say. The only regret I have is that I spent most of my younger life worrying about how fat I was. Looking at pictures of me then, I see that I didn’t look as bad as I thought. Mouse looked at the pictures and said, “You were hot, I’d do you.” He feels that way about me now, so I am taking the rowdy step. I am releasing that regret and worry. And if I remember that every day is a great day to be rowdy, I can stay with that!

May you find today a great day to be rowdy, a great day to be you!!!!

the picture is of my brother Peter’s dog Bart who passed away several years ago. He was a great dog. He was part retriever–he’d go get the ball or stick but he wouldn’t bring it back to you!

The Bob Collection, or a good Bob is hard to find

Okay if you know me, you know that I find this picture hilarious. It’s from a library vendor hawking its digitzing wares. It’s just funny. For a very long time, I worked with Bob, the librarian. A friend of mine worked with someone who self-identified as “Bob, the blind guy.”
And of course there’s Bob the dog. I’ve written a lot about my dogs because they are wonderful, loving creatures and they’ve taught me a lot. My new book, The Wild God, was recently sent to press and will be out soon, devotes some time to Bob. Bob is efficient and rather tubby. We reduced his food and put him on a diet. He reduced his activity to maintain his physical presence. Several years ago, I used to double check to make sure he wasn’t dead, he was so still that he seemed to hardly breath. A few months ago, Mouse did the same thing, calling, “Bob, wake up. Are you still alive.”
He is efficient. He lies on his back in complete relaxation. If I walk by, he’ll wag only his tail to show he’s glad to see me. It is slightly obscene. He lies on his back, completely open and all of his privates open to the entire world and all that moves is his tail. Or maybe so natural that our so-called civilized morality can’t really comprehend it without labeling it as something naughty.
So I do collect Bobs. The first time we went to our current vet, I introduced Bob to him as “Meet Bob the dog.” To which the vet replied, “Hello Bob, I’m Bob-the-Vet.” One of my friends is married to Bob-the-Statistician, or Bob-the-Husband. I’ve met Bob-the-Postman and even Bobbi-the-art-historian [don’t tell her I said that!]. We are gender equitable in our Bob collecting.
There’s a local Druid clan and one time I met a Bob there. Bob the Druid. I was in heaven!!
Another time I attended one of Michael Harner’s Way of the Shaman workshops. I’ve done shamanic journeywork for many years and my first teacher generously taught us all she knew. I wanted to take the course in case I ever got the opportunity and money to take some of the more advanced courses. Anyway, I met a guy there named, you guessed it, Bob. I was being very friendly and chattery and said “That’s fabulous. Bob the Shaman!” and briefly explained my Bob collection. He was not amused. Really not amused. Good thing it was a large workshop. The second day might have been uncomfortable if it had been smaller. He could pretend I didn’t exist very nicely. Nevertheless. Bob the Shaman. I do tell Bob the dog that he is a good Bob; good Bobs are hard to find.

My rowdy sense of humor remains intact.

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