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Zen Pup

October 2023

It took me quite a few weeks during this past summer to approach the State of Zen known as Annabella’s Month, or October. My beloved black cat has been reclining in her celestial cachette, waiting for the Zen Pup to enter my life.


I wasn’t totally on-board with getting a new puppy after the sudden and sorrowful loss of Chance in late May.  By mid-June, I solemnly took some steps that might, or might not, lead to the purchase of a new puppy, perhaps born in the spring of 2024 at Windkist Beagles in Ogden, Utah.  In July, I received some startling news about a litter of pups born there on 9 July.


I went with this godsend, and followed the flow of “you never know,” the smiling words that had been sent to me from Leah at Windkist Beagles.


“You never know” is one marvelous and uplifting way to journey to the state of zen.  “I always know” is the surest way to make sure you never get there.  That way, you can stay in your smug sour pit of ignorant bitterness and petty resentment toward others, toward anyone with a smile, or half a hope, or a wish for happiness.


This summer, I chose to travel toward happiness.  From the terra ferma of Larkhaven, I suddenly took flight with the element of surprise that the French call, l’imprévu, something unexpected, the unforeseen event.


That imprévu brought to me the sweet, playful, adorable pup named Jolene.  She came to me, on the wings of love, in early September.  I then came to understand that love isn’t love until you give it away.  There’s a vast reservoir of it to give to this beagle.


I also came to understand that this hound is un-categorizable.


She’s not real, and she’s not fictional, although she is a dream-come-true.  That description places her within the State of Zen.  She is, in fact, my Zen Pup.


Getting back up on the emotional horse that threw you is the first step toward that state of zen:  the openness to life, to love, to the unexpected and tremendous force of life that yearns toward glorious sunlight on a cloud-filled day.  Hope and faith and charity are the motivators and the rewards of that resilient belief that all will come right, no matter how much doom-and-gloom and smelly garbage get thrown — strewn for miles and miles — in your path.


It’s a responsibility of the highest order, this duty to ignore the negatones whose droning dismal song never changes.  The monotony drives me . . . toward the limitless open road that’s the adventure of zen.

To look into the loving eyes of my pup, of any pup, is to feel the joy of being alive.  That joy is the excitement of a tiny hound whose sheer delight in life is to be with you, to listen to the sound of your voice, to know that she belongs to you, and you belong to her.


Those sensations are zen puppified.


For several weeks during this past summer, I was at several crossroads, uncertain, even unwilling to decide about how to restart the engines, not merely creatively, but with the day-to-day gears of living.  I was experiencing a unique form of grief, one that informed me on a profound level that my pets of the past were asking me to include them in the love for a new beagle pup.


As I contemplated those beloved and blessed dogs, and two wondrous and angelic cats, I understood the sublime meaning of being the guardian of those creatures great and small.  I believe in celestial bonds with your pets who have gone away, from this physical realm; and I believe that every pet has a reason, a purpose in your life.


Whenever I observe a human incapable of being kind to a dog or a cat, or even a squirrel, I realize that I’m seeing someone destroying his own heart, oftentimes with a sense of sanctimony and superiority over a defenseless creature.  To pick on a helpless dog is the lowest of the low, and the bully doesn’t even know he’s shown his true cowardly colors, despicable shades that ought never be forgotten.


The Journey to Zen is not an easy undertaking.  There’s more effort involved than most people want to expend, ever.  Too often, they expect the Zen given to them.  As for me, I don’t trust whatever comes easy, or free, or supposedly with no strings attached.  Those strings are the ones that will tie you up in knots, and keep you bound to self-made miseries.


I prefer to walk the unpaved path, to find the forlorn empty bench and fill it with friendship.


Not being fully ready or prepared for whatever is coming your way is an emotion you need to scale during any voyage to the State of Zen.  The moment may never arrive when all is auspicious, and everything around you and within you is apt and propitious, organized and in readiness for The Moment.


Go with those split seconds, those swift, almost unseen points in time — and The Moment shall come to you.


Like an eagle soaring above the darkest clouds of doubt, you can take wing by taking the chance, your chance — to be better than you ever were before, to ascend beyond your sorrows, for the first time, or, this time, rising higher toward your state of zen.


Let your miraculous spirit fly to wherever it yearns to go.


It was the audacious and endlessly loving spirit of Chance that told me to seek out a Windkist Pup.  My Muse, however, played her part.


She got on that visionary horse long before I did.  She and Chance worked together, with me, in the middle of the night, in the half-moonlight, during the last two weeks of August 2022.  The coyotes were calling, and Chancey Boy most certainly, and routinely, heeded the call.  He thereby took on the fictional role of Buttermilk in THE SILENT HEART.


I’ve placed our rustic bench near the trail where I spent my most precious time with my hound during those spectral dark hours.  He felt so proud and overjoyed to be sharing His World with me!


Jolene has an entire new world, Her World, to share with me.  I’ll not miss a single minute of all of the enchantment coming my way from Zen Pup.


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