I was 4 paragraphs into writing this note.
My fingers reacted quicker than this mind,
and deleted the recorded thoughts.
(Guess I needed to start anew.)
So here we go again.

Reggie, me and Kaia.
Reggie was the first canine. A Miniature Schnauzer
Buddha companion. The wife’s dog became mine.
He was 7 when they flew me to Harborview 
and friends had him cremated.
I was laid up by the head-on collision for a few months
and thank God for friends that helped me through it.

There wasn’t much grieving time for Reggie.

Couldn’t go back to work in a wheel chair.
When I did go back, it was overwhelming.
The crash shook up my brain innards.
That was back in 2000.

I have had a numbers of brain rattlings
before and since. 2000 was a chart topper.
A crack in the noggin let marbles roll out,
fragile shells of suppression laid bare.

I never want kids. 
All kids hate their parents.
(That’s what I thought in those early and later years.)

Adult brain control happens consciously,
but mainly not. We adults are so used to being 
human: eating sleeping killing fucking thinking.
You may think, ‘He left out loving and I don’t kill.’
Think again! We have killed the other 
from day one.
Life is Love is Breath is Now and now
is all I am you are.
Some say Love is Living Spirit 
is nameless or not and the illusion 
of an other is an ongoing deception.
The illusion manifests as me and you
in words, thoughts and pictures.

Adults (to the new arrivals.)
‘We are going to train you to fit in with us.’
‘Those of you that don’t fit in, are cast out.’
‘We will define you as too smart or too dumb.’
‘If we can’t control you, we will worship you.’
‘Just fit in, don’ make waves, and be happy.’

I like kids.
I like dogs.
I like old folks too. 
They, old folks talk a lot 
about the early years. 
I get it. 
What did I do one day ago? 
Don’t ask me. I won’t know.

So, the old noggin cracks open,
spills contents every where.
Childhood and family strewn about.
Identity, and not knowing it, is laid bare.
Vietnam pops up in living color. 
R and I are divorced.
Fear, covered by wit and a smile 
reveals itself in April, 2000.

Reggie departed. Then 5 years past
mostly with me, a few friends outside
and more inside, occupying my life.
My friend C told me Kiwi,
her Border Collie had mated 
with a passing Chocolate Lab, 
resulting in 5 pups.
3 got stuck in the birth canal. 
Kaia and her brother got out alive.
I got Kaia. Kaia got me.

There is a puppy photo of us
together on my front FB page. 
Our love was clear from way back then.
Had not known a love like hers before.
Kaia was there for me, unconditionally.
I was there for her with conditions,
yet I filled my days and years serving her
needs, desires, and I imagined, her wishes.
Her meals consisted of raw meats, fruits
and vegetables, chosen, chopped 
and hand mixed by me,
then frozen in quart size freezer bags.
She’d get a Cornish hen one day and stew beef
with organic chicken necks, carrots and blue berries
the next. Kaia loved her food and I loved serving it.
She served me in more ways than I even know. 
Of that I am sure. 
When I was stuck, she’d bring a squeaky toy.
When I was disappearing, she’d invite a hug.
Our communication became wordless, 
yet we spoke often.

Kaia loved most people, and some dogs.
If you were walking with a dog, she’d stay away.
For years, after doing the trails
we’d rest at a park picnic table.
When a car pulled into the parking lot, 
and people(especially with children) got out, 
I’d say to her, ‘Kaia, there’s a car. Go get ’em.’
She’d look up, see the people, grab her squeaky ball
and move to greet the visitors. 
I’d stand and shout, ‘Her name is Kaia. She is friendly
and just wants to say hello’.
If there were kids, I’d add, ‘She loves kids’.
Most meetings were a love fest.
Her new friends couldn’t stop petting her.
Kaia dropped her ball in front of the kids.
No matter how far they chucked it, 
(10 inches or 10 feet), she’d fetch
and return it to them.
When enough was enough,
Kaia returned to the table,
the happy folks moved on’
and all was good.

Kaia was/is a continuous loving presence,
Year after year she’d sniff on the same trail,
seemingly at the same plants and earth,
devoted today, as much as in years past.
Each sniff was a brand new experience.
I watched her sniff sniff sniffing,
as if nothing else mattered
in each separate moment.

I hadn’t felt the emptiness
until just a few days ago.

‘The time we shared, 13 years, 7 months and 21 days,
ending at 1:03 PM this past June 3rd, was a blessed gift 
to us both. I thank you beloved friend.
Your timeless presence has created lasting presents.
I feel you right now, even as your ashes are in a bag
in the cedar box on the bookcase shelf.’

11:29 AM (just passed)
on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019.

I could have simply thanked you 
with the 14 words of the last line,
but obviously chose not to. Wordy me.

‘Thank you’ to all friends and lovers
for reminding me I am not Alone.