NHT's Writing Desk

...you tell me

a cat owner most my life, i was in my mid-40s when i finally became a canine parent …
Before then i’d tell people, if i ever did get a dog, it would be a Lhasa Apso. 
i fell in love with the breed at the first of its kind that i'd ever met –
his name was “Chaucer”  - he belonged to an English teacher - 
he was gorgeous and awesome and we just clicked

Lhasa Apso in Tibetan means, “lion sentinel dog” –  long-haired, the 'mop dog,'
the lion part showing itself in a kind of ‘mane’ that grows if unkempt –
they can ‘meditate’ for hours, requiring nothing, and so were kept by Buddhist monasteries
as guard dogs, or sentinels -
they may be small (10” at shoulder), 
but just let something strange or sudden happens in their territory
and they put out an aura and sound a ferocious bark of a much larger dog … 
that effectively echoed through monastery halls  to ward off intruders.

i warn folks with humour about my present Lhasa - fearless, and not stranger-friendly,
she has a huge  "body image problem – she thinks she’s a doberman” 
which is both funny and true because she would fight to the death to protect…

but i digress …
so in my 40s i found myself appeasing my children who wanted a dog, a female, they decided.
we brought home a brother and a sister - my fault - when we'd sat on the floor to play 
with the litter, a white and grey pup - the runt, i was told - 
quietly climbed up into my lap and settled down –
after a while he rested his chin  upon my flat-chested bosom and,
with eyes that made direct contact, clearly said, “you know i’m yours…”

and that’s how we brought home two puppies – i mean, surely, we couldn’t leave the runt,
and since we’d put out into the Universe a request for a female,
it seemed only honourable to take his sister home as well …      

Bri and Gabi, brother and sister lhasa apsos
Lili lhasa apso white hiding in white rug

brother Bri, sister Gabi - Gabriel and Gabriella                                                ....what dog?

This puppy was the most laid back being i have ever met … 
unless you messed with his man-child (see above, and in which case, be forewarned) –
he preferred fresh vegetables to meat – slept on a water bed (they both did), 
and that he would choose halved grapes over chicken chunks 
inspired jokes about Buddhists and vegetarianism ...
this dog's death was the first i’d ever experienced up close and personal --
he's taught me so much through the process and beyond

She was very protective with him – as well as being his antithesis, 
where he was withdrawn and watchful, she was always drawing him out more –
you could almost hear her saying, “c’mon, it’ll be fun!”
she was his sternest teacher but his most loving companion –
at the end of every walk she'd take his leash in her teeth 
and carry it the last bit of the way into the house,
as if she needed to make sure he wouldn’t get lost.

well, her exuberance cost her her life – a huge truck – a horrible accident 
the family was in shock –  as i went from family member to family member, trying to console,
i realized i was only going through the motions, that really i was totally disconnected,
in that shaman spot i don't recognize until in hindsight ...

Bri was laid back as usual even though we were pretty sure he understood
as he'd seen it happen ...
then suddenly, it happened, from nowhere i heard Gabi say, “this was a true accident, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this – i am coming back to you - watch for me”
more disbelieving than believing, i related the message to the family,
and then it was all but forgotten as we got on with healing …

a few months passed, someone went online and when a Craigslist puppy image popped up,
a whole new journey began ...
later the breeder would tell us, he'd “just posted that ad 15 minutes before” we responded

this pup in the picture, the last of the litter, was 4.5 mo – 
she’d fallen seriously ill at birth and over the process of treatment had lost all her hair – 
a bald Lhasa Apso is a hard sell, but now her hair was growing back  -
and something nudged us to make an app’t to see this freakish looking little Lhasa Apso …
of course it was a given that Bri would come with us - his was final say …

as we approached the porch of the breeder's home, we heard puppy yelps and a voice from inside speaking to us --
“Just a moment, please -  you’d think i’m killing her when all i'm doing is clipping her nails – 
i need to warn you, she doesn’t like strangers – i didn’t tell you that over the phone for fear you wouldn’t come."

we look from one to the other, all thinking the same thing - oh great!

the disembodied voice continued, "okay, you can come in now.”

Barking amped as we entered the room...
loosely leashed but only vaguely curious by the ruckus, 
Bri walked in under his own steam and sat by my feet -
the noise source: a fierce white creature growing spurts of hair here and there
with eyebrows and the tips of her ears the only long patches of hair on her body -
she looked something between a grounded bird of prey and an over-grown albino squirrel –

unpredictability energized, she fiercely fought and won freedom from her owner - 

to tear us to pieces or what? i got ready to swipe Bri up into my arms. 

but the little white fury didn't charge Bri, or any of us.
Instead, furiously wagging her tail, she just went to each one of us, sniffing long and hard -
she reached Bri last,  whereupon she simply and stunningly took his leash in her teeth
and headed toward the door!!

Bri's reaction was well, Bri ... he followed her lead indifferently
as if to ask, "Where've you been?"

Now i am a bona fide reincarnationist, experiencing past life memories early on -
and even still i am always flabbergasted at undeniable evidence:  
she was indeed, and as promised, her predecessor incarnate …

We named her Lillian Gabriella - Lili for short, she's white ...
we often joke she returned so fast that she forgot to pick a colour …
As she is papered now in this life, we know she was born only 2 weeks after the accident …

We believe her illness beginning this  life allowed necessary mourning of her predecessor --
curiously she seems to have brought memory of her predecessor's crossing -
bringing her home, i held her on my lap -
and i noticed immediately that she would visibly cringe at the noise
of a large truck approaching and passing by ...
she trembles at thunder and fireworks as well -  
google: white dog shaker syndrome ... it's the best explanation there is, 
excepting reincarnation ...  

Additionally, her predecessor's fatal injury seems to have manfested
as extreme sensitivity in this one's hind legs - 
in the right circumstances, like brushing her hair and hitting a tangle,
she will bite not to break skin but to seriously warn ... 
and when she's tired or playing too hard, a hind leg might unexpectedly buckle ...  

as for how her craigslist puppy picture inexplicably showed up on our monitor,
i have nothing to say 

But i will say this - 
it is exactly as the Hopi instruct, “we are the ones we’re waiting for.”
or equally poignant:  we are our children’s children’s children …

Think on these things the next time you hear someone speak
about "leaving Mother Earth to our children."

... Reincarnation puts a whole new spin on everything, doesn't it?


                                                                                   beagle puppy with leash                                                       

links to NHT's documented writings on reincarnation:
     Reincarnation 101
     Reincarnation FAQs