For Khira, an Incredible Being and Teacher

By Beth O'Hara- March 2011

I write this after we put my dog, Khira, to sleep today. In her canine life, Khira taught me that there is no death that is an ending. And in her new forms, she is teaching me that there is only Life. They say there really is no difference between God and Dog and Khira made me realize what that meant. This is a story of our life together that still goes on.
Khira was the best dog I can imagine. We lived together so long that I could tell the difference between a whine that she wanted to go outside, go on a walk, a thunderstorm was coming or she just wanted a taste of whatever I was cooking. She sensed when I wasn't feeling well and on those days, she would rest and quietly spend all day indoors being present in the moment with me.

Khira was an incredibly intelligent dog who  knew her right from her left when shaking paws, heeled perfectly, would walk on a treadmill on rainy days, and could even do Downward Dog pose on command.
She was always very obedient, yet on days when I was unfocused, lost in my thoughts, and not present to her, she would challenge me.  On those days, she would pull on the leash, whine, and bark until I could finally "wake up". And as soon as I got with the program again, she immediately settled down, relaxed, and was happy to be obedient again. I recently realized that when I was irritated with her, it wasn't because she wouldn't obey. It was because I wasn't being fully there as an "alpha". I wasn't being the master of myself and in those times I couldn't be her master.
Khira had bladder cancer and the tumor was inoperable. Today I knew it was time - something just told me even though she was still energetic, bouncy, and seemed ok. And sure enough, just hours later the tumor had blocked her urethra. We have a wonderful vet, and he soon came to our house to help ease her transition.
It broke my heart to let her go. She has been my constant companion for 12 years, through happiness and grief, marriage and divorce and marriage again, laughter and tears, explorations in nature basking in the sunshine, and rainy days snuggling up under a blanket. She licked me when I was sad, helped me get out of bed when I was groggy, and smiled (and even winked at me) when I was happy.
Khira taught me so much in the past 12 years. She taught me patience, kindness, and how my energy affects others. She taught me how to be an authority, how silly my control issues are, and to not worry so much about a clean floor. She taught me how to play and have fun. Most of all, she taught me so much about how we are never separate.
My other Teacher, Deb, told me today to push Khira's energy from her tail up her spine when she died. I knew conceptually that it would help release that mysterious energy that differentiates what we call life from the inanimate yet I wasn't sure at all what might happen.
Right when Khira's heart stopped, I ran the heel of my hand from her tail along her spine to the top of her head.  As I did this, I could feel a different quality in the air around me. Internally, I felt hot, heavy-hearted, head throbbing, body gripped. At the same time, I felt a different quality of energy begin to swirl around me that was cool, not temperature cool, but energetically cool. This energy was expansive, calm, quiet and serene. It felt free. It gave me a deep inner peace to sense her energy releasing from the form of pain and restlessness into a new and spacious form.
Even as I type this, I can still feel her energy in our living room. The space where she died feels sacred. I always felt a loyal canine love from Khira. This energy is different though. This energy feels like Love - universal Love with a capital L. And I know that this energy won't stay contained. It has already entered my body, my heart, and my mind through my breath and through my skin. It will move into the kitchen and enter our food. It will make its way outside and become a part of the birds, the grass, the trees in our yard. It will touch everyone who comes into our home and they will take it with them, sharing it with everyone they come into contact with. In this way her death is not an ending, but many new beginnings. And a blessing.
The greatest thing that Khira taught me was in the last moments of her life as a dog and the first moments of many new lives for her being. She taught me that death is not an ending as we fear in our minds. Death is simply a brief moment of moments.  A snapshot in time of energy passing from one form, from one adventure to the next.
She taught me that there is no real ending, only a continual journey of joys, tears, heart-bursting, heart-breaking, learning, acting, shifting, impacting, being impacted.  And that there are other adventures/deaths/rebirths too - adventures of tissue decaying, becoming compost, fertilizing another being and becoming an orchid, a giraffe, a mushroom. There are adventures of molecules of oxygen being exhaled from one being and inhaled by another, of rising and joining with a cloud to combine with hydrogen and become water, of falling as rain. This water then has another death and rebirth even as it becomes a brick, a contact lens, the computer screen you are reading from.
She taught me that energy never goes away.  It can't be destroyed - it merely dissipates from one form into another form, from one experience to another in a miraculous, fantastic, ever shifting journey. In this way, everything touches everything. The molecules in the water we drink once passed through a dinosaur, was part of a waterfall, cooled gold, touched plutonium, flooded towns, flowed out of tear ducts, was sipped by a Sequoia, all before we felt that thirst-quenching drop on the tongue. You see, there is no separation between anything that exists - that is only an illusion we make up with our minds. Nothing really dies in the way we think. We are continually dying and re-birthing every second,  with each meal, each walk in the sunshine, each laugh shared with a friend, each time we make eye contact with a stranger, each time each being on the planet takes a breath. Each and every second, all matter continues to change forms.

Life is so precious. Let's honor it by making the most of every moment - loving, living, laughing, crying, experiencing to our fullest.

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