Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Dog's Life

Dear all,
Forgive the email but it’s easier than talking about it.

New House, New pup, New plants. 1999.
New House, New pup, New plants. 1999.

I put Chili down Wednesday, December 9th.  He’d been staying out at Mike and Jen’s  (about 100 miles from Anchorage) for the week prior  and doing fine, but went south very suddenly beginning yesterday.  I left work and met them halfway at the Vet’s office  in Palmer  this afternoon.  While this was not completely unexpected, it still marks that passage of a very rich time in both of our lives.  He was a treasured, loyal and enthusiastic companion and I will miss him dearly.   However, his timing was fortuitous; I leave for Hawaii tomorrow afternoon and won’t be back until New Year’s day.

Mike, Jen and I will bury him at their property later this winter in a spot where Jen wants to plant a flower garden.  Over the past few months as his time seemed to come closer, I thought that it would be nice to remember him with a bench out at Connors Bog Dog Park where we spent many hours.  He had lots of good times running around barking at trees while I  waited for him to calm down enough for me to get the leash on him.
During Deb's visit in 2005
During Deb's visit in 2005

Chilidog has been a steadfast and patient being in our relationship.  The attached photo shows the both of us in front  of my new house in the spring of 1999.  The perennial seeds are starting in the garden window behind us. Those are still prospering today.  His passing marks the end of a stage in my life.

Your  thoughts are appreciated.  I am happy that I had a chance to let him know I was there for him at the end.  Jen made him a moose stew for his last meal last night.   He was loved and appreciated by many.   What a good dog.   

Here are a few thoughts...

My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Chili.   I am glad that he got to tear around
 Seven Hills lake like a maniac... He was a sweet and patient friend to Cleo and a hearty
 presence to be around in general.  Chili will be missed and I too am glad that in his last days
 he was surrounded by friends and loved ones.

 long live the tree barking dog,
  love  Luanne

Hiking with Aine in 2006
Hiking with Aine in 2006 
I am sad to hear about Chili leaving us and I know that it will be hard for awhile. I know that he had a very happy and full puppy life and no dog could wish for a more loving, caring, and loyal companion than you have been. We will miss him but think of him romping around and barking at all the trees in the world without a care and with boundless amounts of energy at the great dog heaven in the sky. I'm sure that I will feel him sleeping on my couch for years to come.

Love, Holly

Ohhhhhhhh.....I am so sorry.  I am sad, and already miss Chili...and sad he couldn't come for Thanksgiving.  I am glad, however, for the company he provided you, and the memories he gave me.  SQUIRREL!!!!


Spring Skiing maybe 2007
Spring Skiing maybe 2007

Hi Ellen,  quick note…after you called me yesterday, I called KNBA to dedicate a song to you and Chili boy…and they (Shyanne) played it within 10-15 minutes of our conversation.  The song was “Old King” by Neil Young (Harvest Moon album), a song he wrote for his own dog that passed.  It was the only dog song I knew off the top of my head and actually the words are pretty good and fitting for memorializing a close and admiring and loving relationship with a dog.   Joe

Oh Ellen I am sad! I know that Chili meant so much to you as he did to all of us. I called Mark at work and he was very sad too. We appreciate you letting us know so quickly. We immediately went onto reminiscing about Chili and how he was there when we were building the McCarthy house. He was a part of the McCarthy world for us—and the beginning of our relationship. We often tell the story of Chili wearing himself out in McCarthy—it took him 3 days or so before he just crashed. Chili marks my first dog love and is what inspired me to get Lucy. To this day, when I am driving in the car and Lucy sits a certain way, I think of how it was that position that made me fall for Chili. That sort of sitting up but squashed body and droopy head look in the front seat. It is amazing how much Chili brought me in life. The love of Chili is still present— always!

Ellen I am so sorry. It seems the only guarantee that we have in life regarding our dogs is that they will break our hearts.

love & thoughts



Aw! I am so sorry for your loss. He was the best friend anyone could ask for. It had to be hard however to see him hurting these past few years, I'm sure he is chasing ptarmagin in doggie heaven as we speak. Take care and stay in touch, I'd love to hear about your hawaii trip. Aloha, Aine


I'm sure that all of us will miss ChiliDog! He was the first good thing every morning when I woke up (last year). Sometimes he will wake me up, just by staring at me or smelling my face:-) I remember that he was very patience and good at loving people, because once, I came back from a concert...a little drunk and hungry, and ate a piece of chicken that you left for him in the fridge...and he never complaint and always received me with a happy tail:-)

Thanks for letting me be a part of your and his life. I will treasure it forever in my heart and memories.

Kisses and big hug for you, Sama

Last Winter Walk at Connors, 2010
Last Winter Walk at 
Connors, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crones don't Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Julcy Women

Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women- 13 Qualities to Cultivate

Caveat: Men and Children can be crones.  It’s all about the state of mind and the archetype- not the gender, age or any other label. Crone is a potential and a talent to cultivate.

The Thirteen Qualities:

  1. Crones don’t whine.   Let go of what should have, could have, or might have been.  Pay attention to your thoughts and recognize when you are complaining as change begins with insight.
  2. Crones are juicy.  What makes life juicy is being completely involved in life. This is Act III—why not move forward in the metaphors of moisture and electricity?  Plug into being able to make things happen and of having new and vibrant energy.
  3. Crones have green thumbs.  You may not be a gardener, but you can manifest your green thumb by nurturing well, weeding out the invasive and worthless weeds, being patient and waiting for seasons to turn and being vigilant for predators.  This is your turn to sow the seeds germinated in the new and waxing moons.
  4. Crones know what they trust in their bones.  The statement (by Isabelle Allende) “Expereince is what you learned just after you needed it”  is manifest of this notion. The Greeks had two words for knowledge: logos was the world of the scientific and rational, gnosis was the realm of nonverbal, feeling-tinged, and often improbable. The moments of soul experience, the sense of oneness spiritual epiphany or grace are the wisdom that infuses the bones.
  5. Crones meditate in their fashion. Opening up to the silences when invited, thoughts, images and feelings to be brought into a spacious part of mind. Take the time to nurture and understand the inner life your inner life.  It becomes more important as you get older.
  6. Crones are fierce about what matters to them. Fierceness comes from an ability to speak the truth, to feel empathy for wrongs and committed to empowering the helpless and vunerable. There is tremendous power when one is betrayed or witnesses the exploitation of others that should not be underestimated.  The power of crones manifests in small groups, when united they remain a powerful force for social change.
  7. Crones chose the path with heart.  Crones know they are at a fork in the road and that the decision to be made will cost whatever the consequence is.  The path of the heart reflects that we are spiritiual beings on a human path rather than human beings on a spiritual path.  Asking the question, “What did I come to do, to learn, to love or to heal?” are the questions that each person can answer.  There are outer paths and inner paths.   At each of the crossroads  we take, there is a statue of Hecate who looks back from where we came and forward to each of the options that lie before us at each juncture.  The crone knows what path has heart and takes it.
  8. Crones speak the truth with compassion.  Observation is the first step—knowing when to speak and what to say. Recognize that truth is sharp=edged and can both cause pain and excise malignancy and create a climate for healing. Crones know that the truth liberates—speaking the truth is to be able to say, “this is who I am.”
  9. Crones listen to their bodies. If listened to, bodies can teach us to pay attention to something important that we may miss or ignore.  By both fulfilling body’s and psyche’s desires , a sense of wellbeing will emerge when the two are intertwined about what matters most or what is desired, then emotions, images and memories combine with physical sensation: one is whole.
  10. Crones improvise.  Most crones define life as a work in progress. Regardless of what came before, changes in circumstances usually happen during crone years. Flexibility, resourcefulness, good health, friends, the ability to learn and keep in growing,  the ability to enjoy time with oneself are qualities and possibilities to make improvising a good life possible.  With music as a metaphor, the crone’s instrument is herself and the deep theme of her song follows her heart.  Each phase is a different movement in a major work with variations upon the theme.  Unitl the music ends, the crone will improvise. 
  11. Crones don’t grovel. Groveling infers power and hierarchy- and as one of the great champions of spirit—Eleanor Roosevelt—said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Perpetuate quality.
  12. Crones laugh together. Laughter gets the endorphins flowing- and its important to recognize that men and women have different sense of humor. Crone’s laugher is the expression of the triumph of spirit and soul over that which could have broken us or made us bitter. “Hilarity is a spontaneous expression of freedom and spirit.”
  13. Crones savor the good in the world.  Savoring is about giving an experience your full attention and taking it in. Gratitude comes from being conscious of alternative possibilities and the big picture.  It’s a wonderful spiritual practice- acknowledging the creator, our presence in life and for something beyond words- the communion of the universe.

And- a few closing comments…

Four guiding Principles:
1) Show up.
2) Pay Attention
3) Speak your Truth
4) Pray for the best Outcome by saying… “ I wonder what is going to happen next?”

And for those of us getting older…

“As spiritual beings on a human path, what we do at the soul level in the third phase will likely turn out to be the most important.  Wisdom, compassion, character, what we do with the life we were given, what we learned and we are have become all matter.  Knowing also, as the scientific world attests, that we are part of an inter-connected universe in which the smallest movement of the butterfly’s wing could actually impact a whole system.  I can imagine that each one of us generates ripples of influence through who we are, what we do, whether we love and if we pray, and that someday we will know. “