Spirit Guide
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
By Walter Hodges
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Some folks have asked us how Luna is doing.  Thank you for that. This will be the last post I'll do on Luna for a while.  I got other stuff to chat about soon.  We got some other stuff going down as well.


Luna is well.  He’s still very cautious and he shy's away from any sudden movement, but he’s now sleeping inside the house almost every night.  He curls up underneath the table in the entranceway and stays there all night.  He just collapses, because after almost two years living alone near a construction site with workers throwing rocks at him and then on these neighborhood streets, he finally gets to sleep with both eyes closed - can you imagine?  At 5:00 AM he greets us out of deep sleep and sits up with his eyes still mostly closed.  He hasn’t moved a foot all night.  During the day, he'll spend time in the house and on the patio with Deb me and Atticus, but he still loves the street.  He still lays likes to lay in the dirt next to a cactus in the park, and then visits with and walks with his other neighborhood human friends and runs and plays with his dog pals.  You can’t blame the guy.  He has a lot of friends in the neighborhood.  There are a lot of people rooting for him here and around the world.  Thank you for that as well.  It’s true there are risks on the street and the stakes are really high.  It’s true.  There’s risk out there for all of us.  But this guy is no average rescue material street dog.  He is uber- cautious, razor-sharp street-smart, happy and well respected by everyone he meets.  If the truth were told, who among us doesn't admire his freedom and his style?  I mean, really, when was the last time we had a piece of that for ourselves?  Damn right.  He now has his shots and he’s been neutered by a wonderful vet named Dr. Merrill.  I think we’ve given him a chance, and he’s gradually taking it.  He’ll be with us tonight.  All night long.  With your kind permission, we’ll send him your regards. Atticus?  Because of his general attitude, Atticus and Luna are now good friends.  Atticus is cruising along, holding steady as he goes.  That's the way Atticus rolls. He rolls steady as he goes.  But now because of Luna, I have a story about Mexico's Day Of The Dead, a Spirit Guide dog named Dante, and boy named Miguel.


I’m a sucker for metaphors that probably don’t mean a thing to reasonably normal people, but if you look at them in just the right light, the view sometimes changes, and I swear, maybe you can work them into something that might just help change your life. I'll take a good metaphor any time I can get my hands on one.


So, the Day Of The Dead just happened a few weeks ago.  It's a huge deal in Mexico.  We didn’t do much with it, because during this first few months in Mexico, we’re dealing with too much to begin with.  Next year I'll get more into this celebration, but with the help of our friend Margo (more on her later) we sort of got involved and sort of saw some of it.  The fashion show side of the celebration is nice and I suppose it's spectacular enough, but it's driven too much by commercial fashion and personal flash for me.  The heart of the cultural celebration is something else again.  Margo insisted I first see the animated movie Coco, so I could understand a bit of what I was going to see on the streets and in the graveyards of San Miguel.  She said it explained everything about the celebration.  It did more than that.


Mexican’s see death as an entirely different issue than most Americans.  To them, death is simply a transitional phase, but no less real or relevant than life itself.  Maybe even more so.  Once a year, on Dia de los Muertos they celebrate and invite their ancestors back to temporal life.  In the movie, our animated hero is a young boy named Miguel who travels to the land of the dead and has a huge adventure with his ancestors, but it quickly becomes apparent he needs a Spirit Guide to complete the journey through the land of the dead and home again to his family. The Spirit Guide appears as Dante, a black traditional Aztec hairless jungle dog of the breed Xoloitzcuintli or Xolo for short, which I think is pronounced sholo (my guess here).  Dante leads Miguel through the land of the dead.


At that moment, Deb and I were in the middle of general chaos around the new house and moving to Mexico and all the attendant agonizing reappraisals of country, and home, and self, and future, and direction and “what the hell are we doing with our lives?”, and “why me?”, and why us?”, and “why now?”, and  “why not?”, when all of a sudden a coal-black dog named Luna shows up in our lives, right out of nowhere and right off the cobblestone streets of Mexico.  You know the story.  Then I sit down to watch the movie Coco, thinking I’m gonna see a fun little ditty on dead people.   I don’t know what it is with me, but things just can’t never be simple.  There has to be some reason or conspiracy theory for it all to be happening at this moment.  So we got Dante the Spirit Dog in Coco and  Luna the Moon Dog in San Miguel.  We got those two working for us.  I mean, really, how the hell did this happen? 


I took one look at Dante sitting with Miguel on that animated cloud, floating in the dreams of a child, and I just flipped out at the mirrored resemblance between these two dogs.  Maybe I was just desperate to find a reason for what was happening in Mexico - any lame metaphorical reason I could find to believe what was going on.  Springsteen says “Struck me kind of funny, funny yeah to me….How at the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe.”  At first, it was that pointed fluid shape of Dante’s black body and head, and then the almost liquid golden eyes set against that black background, and then that expression of hope, but then it had to be the ears - right side flopped down, left side straight up.  Not the least bit symmetrical.  Off-center, unbalanced and flawed.  A little beat up they were, but their eyes, their eyes said there was hope.  I know,,,, I actually do……the comparison here is all so very childish, most likely pointless and silly, but God I do adore silly.  These days, if we look around, how can you not just get down on your knees and pray for a little silly in your day?   A black Spirit Guide dog void of speech, but keen as to purpose and direction.  Who’d a thought?  In the movie, with Dante’s help, Miguel and his ancestors made it safely home from the land of the dead to the land of family.  Me, I’m looking into the blazing golden eyes of a coal-black dog, and me, I'm seeing a real reason to believe.  Damn, how bout that?  Gotta love that stuff.

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