Friday, June 3, 2011

Kwan Yin's Garden or How Tink Found Her Howl

Tink is a quiet dog. She seldom makes a noise, but her presence is strong. Her repertoire includes a quick, sharp bark that means feed me NOW; a yelp when poked at the vet; and the scary, horrible, growly, snarly sounds of Tink fighting. Tink was the worst fighter here about a hundred years ago. She even had a little scuffle a week or so ago, but she was lying down and hypnotized Maggie to come over and engage in face biting.

Outside, in the house dog yard, I have a small fish pond, built by the former owner, which I keep covered with two cyclone fence gates to prevent Bella and Daisy from fishing. This pond abuts Kwan Yin's garden. Kwan Yin is the Goddess of Compassion, and one of my favorites. She does not ask much, but responds when her name is called. A good lesson for all of us in dealing out kindness. She sits in my little garden beside the pond. Her gifts are many, one being her healing waters or sacred dew. Kwan Yin's garden had suffered from dog digging, weather, dog digging, weeds, and dog digging. I was working on cleaning things up, planting some lavender, finding the pretty colored stones and rocks which line the little creek bed to the pond, and decided to remove the gates so I could better straighten things up and reset the rocks which form the border. I did not finish the job that day, so I left the gates off the pond that night. Later, after putting all the dogs to bed, except for the few that get to stay out at all times, I slowly went to put myself to rest, saddened by the thought of the impending passing of Willy. Immediately, after lying down with a few cats, I heard a noise below my bedroom, which overlooks the deck, facing north towards the river. I did not recognize the sound, and then it came again. This time I knew it as a howl, but which dog? I have 25 dogs here and I know each of their voices as one would know their child's cry. Who was that? My first thought was that wildlife was nearby, causing one of the dogs to make an unusual sound. The second thought was that a neighbor's dog was in the yard. How was that possible? One is not always rational at 2AM. I hurried downstairs, peered out the sliders and saw Daisy, the little, white Seppala ghost dog peering over the deck. What? Was Daisy making that sound? Again, my mind was not working well. Daisy is debarked and her howl is a ghostly whisper. Rummaging around in the dryer, I found something to put on, and ventured outside at a run. As I came out on the deck, and looked over into the pond, I recognized that dark body and head. TinkerBelle! She must have been out patrolling, not seen the dark water and plunged in the pool. She did not have the strength to pull herself out, but was not in any immediate danger nor did she seem overly stressed. TinkerBelle was my mysterious howler. No wonder I did not recognize the howl. It had never been sounded before. Amazing, astounding, unbelievable! Tink had found her voice. Tink had her feet up on the edge of the garden and was standing on the rocks in the pond. I pulled her out, brought the now energized, old lady into the house and dried her off. She was spinning like days of old, whirling and jumping about. She had gone on an Adventure and found her voice. Get me out, that howl spoke. Sue, come get me out of here! It took Tink falling into a goldfish pond to find her howl, and it only took 13 years. Kwan Yin was watching over my gentle, little dog, and provided a healing bath and a voice. It might take a while, but do not give up hope, for one day you too, may find your Howl.

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