I was walking Annie in a place that, as I reflect on it now, suggested a composite of several neighborhoods that I’ve lived in or that I once frequented.

I spotted a stray white toy poodle – a much younger, well-groomed version of Annie, another “poodelini,” as my ex-gf (she was already my ex by then) used to like to say.  The setting, as well as the youth of the dog I guess, made me recall a day years before the ex-gf and Annie, when I was out walking in my old East Hollywood/Los Feliz neighborhood, and encountered a wandering half-naked toddler, and I coaxed him into accompanying me while I went looking for his parents.

I picked the little poodle dog up while also holding on to Annie – who had herself been a foundling, a stray, 13 years ago, first spotted crossing a busy street along with what must have been a littermate (rescued by another motorist).  I checked this new stray’s collar.  Had a tag and information, as well as a charm of the sort you’d see on a keychain, with the words “God and Country” printed clearly across its face and further identifying the dog as belonging to a military veteran, a fact confirmed by passers-by who had by then joined us.

I noticed that Annie was gone, had somehow slipped out of my hands.  Holding on to the young poodelini, I couldn’t see Annie anywhere, couldn’t figure out what happened to my old, blind doggie.

24 comments on “Strays

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  1. No need for a rule book. Its just bad form to explain a piece intended to be taken as what it is. Maybe you’re supposed to ask “and…?” or asking “and…?” is an expected response. I know the piece raises the question, and doesn’t answer it. So that’s one thing – Annie’s disappearance – that the piece is about – and everything associated with that. Now I could say more, but I don’t think it’s necessary until the actual content has been interrogated on its own terms.

    Thanks for your sympathy regarding the poor little dog, bob, but I’ve mentioned before that she’s officially in overtime. She would probably die fairly quickly of congestive heart failure if not for the drugs helping her to clear her lungs of fluid, but it’s a losing proposition. The fact that Annie is not in fact being walked, but that the piece is about my giving her a walk, was meant to be a clue. It’s fair to mention it because it’s something prominently in my mind as I consider and react to the story myself.

  2. I don’t know what happened, but there was a CK comment a second ago. It read, “I was beginning to lose faith in you guys.” It will probably be back once I post this and then this will look like a strange altarnate universe Scott thing. I actually did know it was a dream. I just couldn’t go there because of an ADD glitch between that recognition and the ability to know that I knew. Seriously. That’s how it goes in there.

    • Well, I thought that the comment was violating the rule, so I tried to withdraw it, but admitting there was a “clue” probably already did that.

      Wasn’t sure what you meant when you said you think you’re “the most lost of all.”

      • Part of me was the most lost of all. The other part was not. Not unified as a “Supervisory I.” Levels of consciousness and all that. The part that was writing was the most lost here. There just happened to be another Awareness going on at the same time that new it was a dream, and later, even the lost part recognized what Awareness was recognizing all along. It was a dream.

  3. well I missed the comment and I’m also lost as to why it was withdrawn given that the piece was producing a bit of anguish….. and it had that effect upon me as well for a while.

    and if you think that walking a blind pooch was a bit comical, allow me to assure you that having to hold up a dog no longer capable of taking a dump without falling down into it….in public …was a little bit comical as well.

    • Got that way with Bud near the end, though not too often or too obviously. But the thing about leading her by a distance has been going on for years – Buddy always 24 feet ahead until he found something to examine or pee on or examine then pee on, Annie usually 16 feet or so behind – presenting an image occasioning much mirth among neighbors and passers-by. I sometimes called it “tactical spacing.”

      Not sure what you mean by anguish. Are you saying you were concerned that Annie was really “lost”?

      I think the dream was obviously about that particular expected anguish, but also the anguish of expectation, but also a more interesting knowledge joined to a more fundamental pathos, including all sorts of uncertainty about “replacement” and about personal change, and about the status of feelings about one’s own pet and oneself, as compared to the lack of concern displayed by others – the people who let their dogs or kids loose in traffic, for instance, So these are all things that an individual processes without ever entirely processing. We know we’ll survive whatever sadness – until the day that we stop doing so, and someone finds a new, younger poodle to take our place. All very sad but still interesting enough – which is how life seemed to me when I woke up, and saw my little dog at the foot of the bed, still there, in some ways less so, in other ways more so, every day.

      I started to discuss this with Scott the other day – the roles of pets in our lives, what they supply for us that isn’t immediately conveyed by by terms like “companionship.”

      And I thought that if I said “this was an interesting dream I had the other day” it would deny me the ability/the piece the capacity to share that peculiar vertigo that I still haven’t fully explored. It’s one of those dreams I could write a book about, I think, though probably it would be a bit too autobiographical (like most dreams) to be interesting except to those narcissists at a certain phase in recovery.

        • I once had a dream in which all these little baby animals were running wild on the street. It was very upsetting until I looked into a garage and saw this Racoon mother sitting there like Buddha. Without words, she was saying to me, “Relax, let everything be wild. Everything is wild and let it be wild, including your thoughts.” Two weeks later, Laura and I went on vacation up in Idyllwild. We rented a house, and the house turned out to be filled with wood carved racoons, pictures of racoons, and stuffed racoons. They were everywhere.

  4. And, oh, this does relate to what we were writing about in respect to what is and what is not revealed. I’m more for clarity at this point. You might under appreciate the ability you have to be clear when you want to. Even when I want to, I’m not always clear. But I try. As I’ve mentioned before, it interests me how you will help me be clear, like with the Double Clown Yantra, and then remove the clarity. I think it’s best creatively for you to help me be clear when I can’t, and for me to try and get you not to be so mysterious. You start out clear with what you create and then obscure it. I start out obscure and try to be clear. Somewhere in the middle might solve both our problems.

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