November 3, 2015 - 4:19 p.m.
"What a beautiful aura!," Kati exclaimed. We'd just entered the dog fair at city park and were both immediately drawn to the Siberian Husky, poised and elegant, lying quietly in a small cage at the SPCA booth. We'd only come to give our small grandson a new experience and had no other thought.
I didn't know anything about Siberian Huskies but this one was extraordinary. It wasn't just her golden cinnamon-chocolate coat, cream colored face and markings, clear blue eyes or calm demeanor. It was the emanation about her. For Kati and me, it was love at first sight. Still, because of past experience, I had some hesitation to overcome. Adopting was the furthest from my mind.
Our last adoption of a rescued dog, less than a year before, had been traumatic. When we saw the little poodle-terrier, shivering from kennel sickness, we brought him home and showered him with love. But when Francis became stronger, his personality change seemed as dramatic as from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. He needed a more vigorous lifestyle, with lots of running and a firm hand. Fortunately we were able to see him placed with a young, athletic woman. They made a better fit together.
The woman at the booth had fostered the Husky since she was rescued from a kennel life with someone not able to give her adequate care. She told us Huskies are known for their strength, intelligence and loyalty – and for being escape artists, runners, and diggers. Having her in our lives would require that we make major adaptations. Would we be able to manage with her? I wondered.
In her kennel life she was called "City Girl." The foster parent named her Tally Ho. We walked the Husky around the city park, feeling her. And then circled the park with her a second time. It felt crazy in my head to consider adopting her, but crazy-good in my heart. I knew life was offering us a choice that wouldn't come around again, and filled out the adoption request form while muttering that we'd think about it.
We would have to prepare for Tally's arrival, and were graciously given time. After initial research, I leveled a slope and built on it a gazebo kennel, installed a running line between two trees, and ordered accessories such as harness, brush, and the best husky food. Then the day came and she was brought to us by the SPCA director and foster parent, who also inspected to assure Tally's safety and well-being.
In the weeks since first meeting the husky, Kati and I had been asking our intuitive sense for her name. The name Aura came to me, and later, Quanta to Kati. She is now Aura Quanta and we call her Aura.
The first few days were, as expected, a time of adaptation for everyone. Two kittens showed up from a neighbor's abandoned house and we fed them. The cats arched, hissed and swiped the air with their claws. Aura was easily provoked to give chase and her leash and cable line often tangled around us. The small grand-children were at first timid and afraid of Aura's exuberant and unmanaged energy. Remarkably, it smoothed out and soon there were more moments of purring cats and a curious, playful and tolerant Aura. The grand-children learned to hug her with gentleness and warmth.
In 1966, one year after my older brother died when his car went off a mountain road, my dad softened and allowed me to have a dog. I picked her from a farm litter and named her Kiche. She was a black lab-german shepherd-husky mix. Kiche hiked river trails with me in the Idaho wilderness for a summer (Return to the River of No Return) and we traveled cross-country on road trips, flying in small planes, camping, canoeing and hiking. After nine years together, one year after my younger brother died when hit by a drunk driver, Kiche disappeared mysteriously. With Aura now in my life, I felt the healing of an old wound.
Kati and I continued to research Huskies to better understand the needs and tendencies of her breed. Chukchi tribal members bred the Siberian husky 3,000 years ago and much has been written about this powerful animal. While walking Aura, I have sometimes met people from a local native tribe and felt their innate connection with her. The symbolic associations of the Siberian Husky include Inner Strength, Journeys, Intuition, Observation, Cooperation, Service, Environmental Stewardship, Inner Knowledge, Leadership through Hardship, Finding Joy in Harsh Environments, Unconditional Love and Acceptance and Embracing Challenge. Aura could not be more perfect for us. My heart wish is that we can provide her with space to run free and with others of her kind. That is part of my larger vision for creating a community for blossoming into individuated consciousness - an off-grid dome and garden 'village.'
Here on our son's 2.5 acres, we have been clearing and leveling a circle in the midst of an oak grove for a yurt-dome as a cell of the model. Until it is ready, Kati and I have each been sleeping in small tents and Aura in the tent with me. Aura and I go into the tent shortly after dark and rise before dawn. Last night I awakened at 9:23 and called Aura to go with me for a pee break. She did not respond. I touched her and she was limp and still. When I lifted a paw, it dropped like a wet rag. It was as though her spirit was gone. My heart sank. Yet I accepted it as I have felt the pain and loss of a loved one's death before. I hugged her and she seemed lifeless. But as I started to exit the tent, the beam of my flashlight moved over her eyes and they opened. She was very slow to come back to a wake state. She followed me out of the tent, and later I kept my hand on her and sent the intention of healing energy. The next morning, Aura was the friendly, playful, curious self we have come to know.