The Bright Light of Kronos
Running through the damp streets of Encinitas early in the morning, the trees dripping their raindrops from the fog, there appeared in my minds eye a white dog, small, incredibly independent, and most of all filled with an energy which radiated around him like a sun.
It had been two years since my gallant Kruger had gone on his “journey” and I had not thought about another Shepherd, because no one could take the Krugie place. His gentleness was always his hallmark, and his eyes filled with such giving love was my solace through the death of my Sister Nancy. Never the less, running on this morning up and down the hills of
, my climbs were unaware in my
mind for this new small light of the White Pup blotted out the hardness of the
task of running. Village
“Kronos” the name popped into my consciousness, the vision of a white German Shepherd Dog was to be my new companion. How this came to be is a story of both joy and great sadness which even today will bring tears.
We found him in
On top of a hill with the Sea in the background, it seemed like he had the gift
of light held tightly in his small body. Finding his little self among the rest
of his siblings, I picked him up and trudged back up the hill to finalize his papers
of purchase. His home coming was an adventure for unlike the little Krugie who
snuggled in my lap on the way home, Kronos was kissing, hopping, and wedging
his way among my lap and over to Robert.
“Keep him still” Bob said and although I tried, his warm little body was a quivering bundle of energy that easily slipped through my arms and made the entire car his world for exploring.
We now had two Shepherds, the beautiful black Karla and the very small white Kronos who made Karla’s life quite miserable for the first few days. She finally put her paw down, and the small white self, sat back on his haunches and just looked at her like he now had a new mother, one who was not white, but a black care taker would not be fussed and bothered.
Our Days in Encinitas came to an end when Robert retired for the third time and we moved to
Sun City in . The move was fraught with
the usual moving stresses and most of the stress emanated from the two car
transportation caravan, with Robert in his red Mustang convertible with Karla
looking out the back window, and me in the Palm
with the explosive energy of the Kronos.
By now, the small white bundle had become a full sized Shepherd but had not filled out his final bulk. He now weighed in at about 95 pounds. The energy never let up, if I could have bottled it, we would now be millionaires. This unending energy was infused into our entire house hold. It kept us young in the keeping up of his daily walks, and playtimes. He was in short, our battery of youth, our daily games of learning the steps of life, and our shining white sunlight of eternal energy.
Do Shepherds Dance…? I had always thought they were so well contained within their own regal selves that they did not. I had never seen any of our Shepherds dance, although Krugie did jump around his little tree in circles until it died. But now, now this new white light of Shepherdness did dance. He never stopped and invited us to go with him into his green fields of happiness of the Young.
We did not take to the deathly hot environment of the Desert. The heat melted everything and it was not to be the dream retirement that we had sought. I had just recovered from a broken back and through it all Robert and the Shepherds took care and gave me succor. The healing process long as it was made bearable by the constant energy of the Kronos filling my days with light and kisses.
|Tea with Robert and Kronos|
on a rainy afternoon,,,
Eureka we did
journey. Was this beautiful small town to be our final home of retirement? Not
knowing is the thing of the quest, and the journey is an adventure to be
embraced and made ours. The Shepherds rode in the back of the Sienna and we
made good time traveling, the coolness of the coast of California
seemed like heaven contrasted with the crucible of the desert. Never looked back,
never will go there again, I have lived too long by the Sea, and the Sea is my
rhythmic life force. Eureka was to be the new Ocean of our lives and the new
Art Town I had always wanted to be a part of.
We did find our Green Fields, for the Kronos to dance in. Far and wide he ranged, running, hiding, dancing, looking round the bushes for his Karla who walked sedately in her growing old self, wondering why this young whelp was so lighting fast in his quest of the dance. We, Robert and I were in our golden years, but the golden was made brighter by the radiance of the Kronos.
The part I miss most about living in
is the Rain. When we first moved there until the day we left, I loved to stand
outside in the rain, looking up at the sky, waving my arms like a seagull
flying through the grey rainy sky. Wonderful wetness I was starved for, lapping
it up like a puppy, I felt as though I was a child again, and my inner self was
being watered and fed and made well. The creaky back was lubricated with the moisture
of the rain, my eyes were blinking in the drops of water which made me see the
rainbows, my heart was pumping in the joy of the newness of rain, and I was at
last in the place of Sea, Rain, and the Art World.
|The Black and White|
Shepherdness. As our Vet used to say, Shepherd are Shepherds, all other dogs are just dogs.
Kronos was evolving. Our home in
shared a driveway with another family and he did not take kindly to this
arrangement. I have often wondered how a dog makes the unmarked boundaries of
his yard. Even from inside the house, they know when there are “others” in
their jurisdiction. Women and girls did not seem to bother the Kronos, but
males had a terrible reaction from him. He seemed to think that he was the
Alpha and in many ways he was as Robert never had the control to keep him as a
Beta. The whiteness was perhaps the untamed wolf in him, the “keeper” of the
pack. Worshiping me as his special human was his only job in our cave.
The situation was exacerbated one day when the young boy from across the street came in our house. Krugie lunged, and just brushed Kyle's throat giving all of us a scare that was the beginning of the end. In my mind there was reluctance to accept that this was one of the signs of a dog you could not keep where people other than the owners were present. Two days later, Kronos escaped from the yard when Robert opened the gate. The family we shared the driveway with had a small dog which the kept chained up. It was a very long chain and did not keep Panché from our yard. The infuriated bundle of a 45 lb. Panché and the silent hulk of the White lighting collided into a surging, jumbled incredibly shrieking tormented fighting mass looking like nothing could stop the conclusive ending of the death of Panché. Somehow the woman who owned Panché broke them apart, and I grabbing Kronos, and retaining him with his choke chain, I got him back into the yard. Never did he give me pause for touching him with his fighting blood hot in his eye, but gave me complete control to end the outcome and bring the fight to s stop.
|The Longest Day...|
filled with love and knowing
I knew. He knew. We both looked into each others eyes and knew. Calling up the Vet I made the appointment. The breaking of my heart was just beginning. For the rest of the day the Krony and I sat in the back yard looking at the shadows of the tree leaves dancing on the patio. His great white head resting on his paws, he from time to time looked at me with the golden eyes saying he was sorry, that he knew what was to come and that he accepted the trial for the end of his being. We sat there for many hours, the light slowly fading from this terrible day, and his awareness of the way forward for us both.
The next morning, we left for the final time in the Sienna, He in the back of the car, and Robert and I in front. The way seemed a blur of timelessness. The arrival to the place surreal. I was not functioning very well, for the tears are the clouding of my mind’s lost place.
He walked beside us and was knowing and aware of the newness of the place. He sniffed the air so close to the Sea we both love. Walking inside I was lost to the surroundings and cannot describe even today anything about the place. He, kind and loving as always gave me his last gift, one of obedience when the Vet lifted him up onto the table.
Is there a life spark? Yes, Yes, there is. For as his eyes closed, his golden eyes with the look of love had an intensity I have never known said to me.." I love". The Spark of Life like a lighting bolt flew from his eyes into my heart and left a wound there. His spark, his death, my love collided; it reverberates within my chest and will not still. His dance has become my heart beat…
|He waits for Me...|
I see that spark today as though it happened but a second ago…
My tears flow and I stop writing now…
The Soft Light of Knowing…
As the musical notes of Chopin’s Etudes play in my ear, I am finally able to write about the history of my journey into the Beagle story. It all starts with an attempted rape and maybe worse when we lived in
It was my early morning habit to run about 2 miles in the hope that it would make my bones stronger and keep my aging body from the ills of old age. Though I was only 41 at the time, it seemed that, that fate loomed on the horizon and I was determined to keep at bay this thing called old.
The morning was clear and the surf was booming, I could hear it from our home on the
Island called Lido.
Climbing on my bike I rode to the beach and hoped to run into the state called
bliss. The Ocean has always been my other self, and the beauty and power of it
keeps me nourished in my soul.
Ran I Did. Climbing back on my bike, I was suddenly thrown from behind by a hooded stranger to the sand with great force. Landing on my back I could see his eyes, never to forget even to this day, the green blue hue which was at complete odds with his Hispanic heritage. Those eyes were filled with intent and angry energy fueled by something I did not recognize. His intent was clear with his words of crazy visions of what he was going to do with me…
“I am going to take you into the alley and there I will do with you anything I wish and finally kill you”.
With a knife at my throat and pinned by his arm across my chest, the only thing I could do was to talk. And talk I did…in a very calm and soft voice I asked him not to hurt my ear as it was just recently pierced, and as that request was far from his intentions he complied. I kept talking, with the hope someone would come along the boardwalk as it usually had runners at this time of day.
Luckily for me, two men were approaching, and though I could not see them, my attacker did. Hurriedly he got up and started running away. He screamed as he went, “I know who you are, and I know where you live and if you tell the police, I will come and kill you”.
I did tell the Police of course, and the Lady Sergeant said, “Get a big Dog when you run in the morning and take him with you”.
This attacker knifed two other women in the area, and brutally disfigured one and almost killed the other. They never found him…
We did get a big dog. Miss Waldo was our first German Shepherd Dog and we were never to have the security problem again.
It is said that GSDs are fur people and all the rest are just dogs. I do know that Shepherds have a greater intelligence than most dogs and I think also some humans. Their eyes have a quality of knowing, which shines, and glows about them, and becomes a form of communication where human words are not needed. I remember Miss Waldo sitting on the passenger side of my van when we were touring the scenic
in Northern California. She looking at the beautiful
pastures with cows and I driving the curves of this most engaging roadway as it
twists and bends along the Sea.
|"A Sideways Glance"|
Glancing sideways at Miss Waldo, it hit me with a force that is still visceral, that she was my mental companion of a journey into a new adventure. That is another story. Is it real, this knowing of another living being not human but aware of the presence of another? I can say without a doubt that it is. We did not speak aloud, but each turned to our view of the journey with like minds in an appreciation for the impulse of a mind touch.
Miss Waldo lived with us for 13 years, she was the first, but not the last of the German Shepherds who came into our lives with the great heart of love, protectiveness, and above all the soft light of Knowing. The succeeding Shepherds, Karina, Kruger, Karla and lastly, Kronos were our friends who still even today are with us in a way that human family members are not. I guess it is because their entire existence is predicated upon the genetic code of “the protector” instinct. I don’t need pictures to feel this gift from our Shepherd family, they are embedded deep into my mind’s eye and heart with a feeling of gratitude for their sharing love and knowing.
So this brings me to the last of the Shepherds. Kronos, the bright, brilliant and bravest of all who’s memory will always bring the tears of guilt, hurt, and love, and made me realize that this thing called the “spark of life” is a real and visible thing and gives off an energy which will never die.
So now the tears do come…and the writing stops, but will continue for the story has to be told…
|Anibus the Egyptian God of the Dead|
A Bag of Dire Consequences
Let me describe Mr. Beaureguqrd. He is about Four inches tall, about 6 inches long, and weighs about 3 pounds. He has four white feet, a little blaze down the front of his face with shoe button eyes that actually gleam! His coat is mostly brown with his back mostly black. His little tail has a white tip at the very end. I later discovered that this marking is very convenient. Let me tell you about how he moves. YOU CAN’T SEE HIM! He is invisible. Not just quick, not just fast, not just an Olympian of gold medal contention, but like Superman, he is faster than a speeding bullet.
Like Pandora that was shut in a Box, I had unceremoniously stuffed Beau into a small carry on bag that was to be his home on our airplane ride back to Eureka. Like Pandora, when I put my hand into the bag, all hell broke lose.
Teeth, little piranha teeth let me know the unhappiness level of this little being. During this physical assault his head popped out, and twenty two legs scramble out with furious intent.
One thousand HOWL level. One thousand screech level. How could this very small little hound dog have such talents? Piranha teeth, 22 legs, and a set of tonsils that Pavarotti would be jealous of.
“Polly, Polly, He is getting out!”
Poor Paula, driving a car on the freeway, with the bag of a puppy masculine Pandora on loose. Inhaling a large breath, and thinking that I must be smarter than he, I sneak my hand behind him, and try to put him back into the bag.
Swivel Head!!! Did you know that Beagles can swivel head? His little head started to gyrate clockwise and now he is making an airplane engine sound. He is going to lift off just like a helicopter!
“Polly, Polly, he is turning into a fighting machine.” He is a miniature marine in disguise! This is my dancing boy, my little companion that will go on long peaceful walks to
? Little Marine
boots with spikes that’s what they are, not soft puppy paws…. Old Town
Once more I delude myself thinking that I have the more intelligent grey matter. I throw my leather coat over him believing that he will not be able to navigate in the dark. He becomes a submarine. Crawling on his little belly, he finds the light of day, and once more becomes Pavarotti.
Thinking was not the answer. Behave like a mother dog. Smack the little beast. Instinct provides the answer, and it does work. Mother beagles do it all the time, a little tough love is sometimes required. After all we are on the freeway, and the thinking process is not solving the problem. It works! Back in the bag he goes, but not with out his famous rendition of the Marine battle hymn sung in Beagleize with Italian baritone overtones.
Polly is very quite. I have broken my daughter’s ears, and she will never be the same. The bag of dire consequences has had a strange effect on both of us. She being the ultimate professional administrator pushed to the limit but enduring and me feeling like the road taken this morning was a horrible mistake.
We did arrive at Polly’s work place and the ladies came out to see this puppy of wonder. They lined up like aunties and grannies, and each one wanted to hold him and make it all better.
Now comes the unbelievable part. When I opened the travel bag, little Beaureguard looks at me with his small black button eyes with an expression older than Anubis. Big difference though, Anubis is the Egyptian God of the Dead, and Mr. Beauregurad was obviously the God of the newly born Hound Puppies. He also smiled. Puppies can smile…it makes for good forgiveness policy. He verily leaped into each woman’s arms and gave out with feverish delicate puppy kisses. Not those nosily wet gross licking kisses which most dogs give out, no his kisses were soft, loving, and beguiling.
|The Beagle Smile|
“What did you do to him to make him cry so desperately he seems like the perfect little gift of the Puppy Gods”?
Both Polly and I tried to present our side of the cries that the ladies had heard on the phone, but there was disbelief all around. After Beaureguard had made his conquests of his female harem, we were told that we just didn’t know how to treat a new puppy, and that they had books to give us for dog problems when traveling. “Just give him a few drops of Night Song, and he will be good as gold”. This was the advice of the woman who was considered a great source of natural products for dogs and we were told we could find this at a Natural Food Store.
Climbing back into the car we were quiet disillusioned about the whole idea of this new little being ever becoming a domesticated puppy and the idea of a small dancing beagle was fast becoming a dream filled with despair. What was going to happen on the way back to
? How could I possibly keep him quiet on the
airplane, and would the little Beau ever love me? Eureka
I had been researching different breeds of dogs on the Internet, and found that most small dogs were very challenging. As our Veterinarian told us “Shepherds are born to serve, all others are just dogs”. Should we look at Corgis, Terriers, or Hounds. What would be the right breed to take those long vigorous walks and would also be a wonderful companion?
Actually, we do have a connection to Beagles. When we were first married and Bob was waylaid with poison oak so serious that he was in bed, I got him a small Snoopy Dog for comfort. And of course when I had my sculpture show at the Laguna Festival of Arts, Charles Schulz visited my booth and wrote in my book that Snoopy would approve…I still have that famous signature…
So where do I find a Beagle? On the Internet of course. There are no breeders in
, and I wanted to find just the right parents to have
my precious one be of genetic superiority. Humboldt County
There were two that had possibilities. One was in
, and one in San Diego . Oregon
seemed a little hard to check out without going up there, but Oregon had distinct possibilities. San Diego
“Bob, there is a beagle breeder in
. Do you think that Paula would check it out for us?
The Lady who owns the place said that it wasn’t far from where Paula works.” San Diego
“Well, you could ask her and if she agrees, then you could fly down and bring the puppy back on the plane with you.”
I started to see this little shape dancing in my mind’s eye. Do Beagles dance you might ask, I have always thought so, because every Christmas we see Snoopy dance, and isn’t Charles Schultz the expert? Of course he, is he must be, look how long the Snoopy stories have been in our popular culture. It must be true.
Well, to have an ending to “The Search”, Paula did go to see the breeder. Having been told by Ruthie that “the one” would climb right up into her lap, she was to wait for that to happen. Beaureguard made his entrance! Into her lap he climbed, and instantly Paula knew that he was “the One”.
|Paula and Little Beaureguard at Five Weeks Old|
He was only five weeks old, but he was Beaureguard, and certainly he knew what he was about. So it was decided. I was to fly down in three weeks to pick him up and bring him home to Omega House. Find the carrier, get the pee pee pads, be sure to have all of the necessary items to transport this very small VIP so that the other passengers won’t be offended. Hassle the airline ticket agencies, make sure the connections are such that we will have ample time for all contingencies, and make damn sure that measures will be taken that he won’t stink up the plane.
We meet. Beaureguard looks at me, I look at him, and he runs under the sofa. Getting down to his level and trying reach for him, it seems like we are not off to a good start. Every thing speeds up. Beau is running around like a little demon, Paula is trying to catch him and I am trying to sign the Visa credit card slip so we can be on our way. The good lady, Donna Bounds is trying to tell me about his food, shots, vet visits, and dishing a humongous bag of puppy food. Where am I going to put all that food on the trip back? My baggage space is extremely limited, and well, think of that tomorrow…
Starting to think like Scarlet…
We leave, and having brought a small bag that will be the “carry on” for Beau on the plane, I stuff him in it. Wow…this doesn’t work. Did you know that a very small beagle can scream like a new baby, but 10 times louder? Well it is possible.
“Oh dear!” Paula what should we do? If I take him out, he will try to climb all over the car.
“It’s all right Mommy she says, we will just have to let him be”.
“Are you sure” I ask. Right about now it sounds like he is being killed by a mountain lion or squashed like a bug or something that is of deathly nature. What about my dreams of a little dancing beagle …this little creature seems more like a space alien from some monster movie.
“I‘d better call the girls at work and tell them that we can’t bring Beaureguard to visit. They will be so disappointed as they have had a daily briefing on all the planning and have seen his pictures”.
Ringing…… screech, howl, double howl, triple screech, Paula is driving, dialing her cell, and trying to talk above the din of an audition for the Met…
“Hello, Hello” what are you doing to that little puppy? Ronda wants to know if we are killing him…
“no Paula says, he seems a little upset, mommy put him in a small travel container, and Beaureguard is not having a good time of it”.
Thinking I might be able to calm him down if I put my hand inside the carry on, and pet him, I unzip the top of the bag. This was a big mistake…
THE BEAGLE DANCES
A Chronicle of My days
Ruth Jameson 2014 ©
Ruth Jameson 2014 ©
To Omega House we came in the Fall of 2004, to the
This place of rural beauty, the giant sequoias, the pounding surf line that makes
Southern California look like a swimming pool, the realness of the small town life serves
to remind me of my roots as a girl. Growing up in a family that wandered from
place to place because that’s what a ministers life is, my early recollections
are of towns where everyone knew everyone else.
My life’s dance has been one of artistic quest. The play of the clay, the wonder of color, the feel of control in the game of creation. Happiness is an armature, a new canvas, the wonder of the what if…
With a modicum of success in my sculpture and painting, I, now in my seventieth decade seem to have slowed my personal dreams. The accomplishments are what they are, and never will the energy that drove me in the turbulent days of competition and exhibitions come with the terrible urgency of obsession.
Or so I thought…
Last summer, I lost my joy. He came in the shape of a white German Shepherd. Kronos was his name, and he gave our Omega house boundless energy, and total love. Kronos weighed in at 145 pounds, and for our family he was a prince. Towards others however he had no love or friendliness. After three unfortunate incidents we had to put him down. Two many children in the neighborhood were at risk in how they were allowed to come into contact with our property. The loss was profound and immediate. The floors no longer vibrated with his Shepherd Dances, and his beautiful eyes haunted me in every room.
What followed was horrible beyond words. The depression was once again in control of every thought and action. This was based upon the terrible guilt I felt in the failure as a caretaker for my loyal friend. Physical illness came, and became part of my daily life. The paradigm constructed of depression and pain made up my now world, and the dance of art, and life golden seemed very remote.
Omega House…this is where we are. My husband of 49 years, and a very old female German Shepherd female named Karla. Omega House… what seemed like a new beginning now seemed very much like a sentence that was handed out because of past failings, and unfulfilled dreams. How does the Dance begin anew, and how does one begin to feel like the Dance should even be finished?
It began with the newspaper, and the pet want ads. How could I even be able to take care of a little new one, or have the right to think about bringing into this old life the high energy, love, and dances that a puppy would bring.
And yet the longing of the new energy that would be generated by such a being is something to consider. Day after day, I would scan the paper dreaming…but how could I manage another Shepherd. A dog so large was now beyond my ability to control, and the potential danger of such a size was very scary. So I looked and dreamed. We have always been a family with Shepherds, and the thought of another kind of fur person just did not compute.
Thus began my voyage of the Beagle. Charles Darwin on his journey had a theory to prove, and his now famous journey has been a metaphor for me that evolution of self is as wondrous as the evolution of our world. Journeys start with a dream, an idea, and the wonder of the quest. What would my new dream be? Would the world of art be a part of my self again after so long a hiatus?
This is a very human thing, the dream, the dance of life, the reaching out for continuity of the process. Something new, something never before experienced, a new Purpose for healing.