Samsara Dog

I have a new love. He may be old, a little scruffy, and a lot stinky but he’s so sweet nonetheless. He’s a sad/happy little thing and likes to sleep almost as much as he likes to sniff around the neighborhood. He was a shaking mess of bones when I found him at the pound yesterday, and I knew I couldn’t let him stay there.  But he’s home now and all he wants is a lap to get a a good scratch in.

He came with the name of Tanner, but I quickly I decided to rename him. At first I thought that I would call him Ewok because of his funny ears and bushy Schnauzer eyebrows… but I settled on Samsara or Sam for short.

Samsara is a concept that I’ve always felt familiar with. Although it’s been lurking for awhile, it only got a name last fall, when I learned the Ashtanga yoga mantra in Sanskrit. I loved the way it sounded… (sahm-sah-rah) and after practice, I went home to find a translation. (Okay, I really just wanted to make sure I wasn’t chanting to the goddess of mulch or trying to channel a goblin).

I’ll let you do the research on the meaning of Samsara, but for the lazy or uninterested, I will put it very simply. You keep making the same mistakes, over lifetimes, there’s something you need to realize, but fail to fully grasp. It’s this painful process of progression and regression that comes with being fully animate. And the goal, eventually is to transcend all of this, and reach nirvana if you will.

Anyways, this is just one of the things I sit around and ponder while I’m coloring. And one day at work I sat my crayons down when a particular book ran across my desk, Samsara Dog written by Helen Manos and illustrated by Julie Vivas. It’s an incredibly sad and beautiful telling of a dog’s life. (warning do not read if you are ending the third week of your menstrual cycle, or if you plan on visiting an animal rescue anytime soon).

If you want to know more about the book, here’s a review. Somehow the reviewer manages to throw in a Werner Herzog reference, so yeah.

8 thoughts on “Samsara Dog

  1. Oh what a little sweetie. You are such a good soul taking him home. Precious. Can I come over for a fire and some chatting after I return from Europe? I am in a craze of reading and packing and preparing..Barcelona is happening!


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