My new puppy stinks. And I love this stinky smell of him. Truly. I love dog smell. I’ve loved the smell of all my dogs. Every stinky one of them.
I swear my Weimaraner, Gabby had the sweetest puppy breath for her entire 14 years of life. The rest of my family will insist this is not the case. But I know what I know. And her breath was sweet. The sweetest. It was. Really.
So, this puppy, he stinks. And I like it. The whole stinky mess of him. My husband likes the puppy smell part, the other stinky parts of this pup, not so much.
So, we give him baths. Because to my husband the not-so-great stink outweighs the puppy parts. So, baths it is. Which my puppy really likes. Poodles are water dogs in case you did not know.
That foo foo poodle cut that die hard poodle owners love and most everyone else thinks is ridiculous, that came about to help them float so they could jump into the water to retrieve the ducks shot down from the sky.
In late 16th- and early 17th-century Central Europe, particularly in the region that’s now Germany, Poodles were bred for use as water retrievers. The word poodle is derived from the German pudel, short for pudelhund, which means “water dog.” Pudeln in German means “splash,” and is also the root of the English word “puddle.” * (How cool is all this info!)
So, Poodles, in that era, had these unusual (foo foo) clips out of occupational necessity: an unshorn Poodle’s thick coat could weigh it down in the water. With the bottom half of its body shaved, the animal was more buoyant and could swim more freely. The long mane and hair around the chest were left intact to keep the Poodle’s vital organs warm in the cold water, and owners also kept the hair around the joints to protect them from cold and injury and to help prevent rheumatism. Shaving the hair around the face left the Poodle’s mouth and eyes free so it could fulfill its retrieving responsibilities and tying the hair on a Poodle’s head into a “top knot” also kept hair out of its eyes. Owners eventually tied these knots with brightly colored ribbons to help them identify their dogs from afar. *
Who knew, right?
Ok, enough history, but now you know so when you see a fancy poodle walking down the street, no shaming, they have a job to do even if there is no lake for miles around.
So back to my dog.
Way before my Moose dog we had Ruckus, our first poodle. He was a Standard Poodle. He was a massive, 100lbs of Standard stinkiness. Especially around his mouth because of all that hair and the food and the water and the dirt and God knows what else he put in his mouth (actually I know what else he put in his mouth because he used to eat socks and underwear and baby diapers and diaper cream… so...) and so his mouth was stinky. More stinky than all the short haired pups that followed.
And now we have Moose, a Poodle again, with that hairy Poodle face so that when he drinks water his face is wet, and when he eats his food, his face has food, and when he digs in the dirt and gnaws on his bone and…well you get the picture.
My stinky puppy, I don’t mind this. I kinda like it. Ok… I like it a lot.
*Slate News and Politics 02.2004, The Genesis of the Poodle Hairdo
“Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice for forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s more than a prayer, it's a process of making things right in our relationships—with our ancestors, the deities, the earth, those people that we love, and ourselves. It is the act and intention of holding a space for reflection, repentance, forgiveness, and gratitude.” *
I came across Ho’oponopono a few years ago. I was probably googling despair. Remedies for despair. Overcoming despair. I don’t believe I was in despair at the time but was certainly in something. And I found Ho’oponopono. It didn’t really resonate with me that this was this thing that was going to settling into my vibration and become a mantra of sorts.
And then, a week or so ago, I found myself saying I am sorry. Out loud to my car. I talk a lot out loud to my car. It’s my safe place. And I was speaking out loud, a rhythmic I am sorry I am sorry I am sorry I’m sorry I love you I’m so sorry.
I thought I was saying these words aloud to those in my life I had hurt in some way, to those people where I did not show up as my best for them, to those I love that I felt I had let down. And then I had this aha moment as I realized I was saying these words to myself, too. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. ME.
And in this aha moment I remembered the Ho’oponopono. Though I could not remember the name.
When I got home, I googled, I am sorry I love you Hawaii. And the Ho’oponopono came up for me. Again.
“In native Hawaiian language, pono means balance, in the sense of life. The word Ho’oponopono roughly translates to cause things to move back in balance or to make things right.” *
This time it is the right time for this mantra of apology, forgiveness, gratitude, and love. For my little me’s who I didn’t even know I needed to protect. For my older me’s who did the best they could with the tools that they had. For the me that is me now and still believes the old me’s stories. And for those people I love outside of me, that I know I have wronged.
“The Ho’oponopono is based on the theory that we are all truly one energy. And so, this practice of repeating the Ho’oponopono is a practice of unity—of honoring the unbreakable bond that connects us to each other, even though we seem so separate. This means that we are truly saying these phrases to our own soul while we are saying these phrases to others, to each other, to the world. This is one of the highest forms of self-love.” *
“We are reclaiming our energy through love and forgiveness. When we connect in this realm, we are actually connecting with a piece of the universal soul. When errors are corrected externally, errors are corrected internally. When we cleanse our consciousness, we contribute to the cleansing of the collective consciousness. When we forgive others, we, too, are forgiven because—as within, so without—loving ourselves and loving each other is the same thing. And when we focus on healing the past, we help heal our life right here, right now because—as above, so below—when we right any wrongs in our thinking, we adjust and amend problems in the physical realm.” *
I have been chanting the Ho’oponopono daily. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. And here’s this interesting thing—the rhythm of the way I settle into the chant of these phrases circles the I am sorry to the end and the Please forgive me sounds like it is the first in line. And then I catch myself and start again with the I am sorry as the beginning, till it becomes the end of the meditation again. This chant, that starts with repentance and ends with love in its original form, starts and ends with repentance for me. Repentance is the bookends. I am curious to see, when self-love grows, if the I love you will take its rightful place as the culmination of the meditation. So that the I love you for others becomes just as, if not more deeply, an I love you for me.
*The Power of Ho’oponopono, Medium.com, May 22, 2022; *Understanding Ho’oponopono, GraceandLightness.com, January 1, 2022; *Why we need to say, I’m Sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you, ElephantJournal.com, April 22, 2017; *Ho’oponopono Prayer for Forgiveness, Healing and Making Things Right, HealingBrave.com, July 23, 2019
This is Moose.
He is our new puppy. He is from Indiana, so he is a Midwestern puppy. This wee little puppy, he will grow to be between 30 and 35 pounds. He is what is called a Moyen Poodle. A Moyen Poodle is a poodle that is between the weight of a Miniature Poodle and a Standard Poodle. Some people say they are large Miniatures, others call them small Standards. We call him Moose.
At first, I was thinking that I would get a little little dog. Like a dog that I could put in my purse and carry everywhere I go and fly back-and-forth anywhere I go.
Well actually, at first, I was pretty clear that I was not getting a dog at all. When Nava died (Nava died :-( ) I was pretty clear that I was done with having a dog. I just couldn’t do it again.
But this is Moose. So obviously that was not the case at all.
I found Moose because I was looking for a little dog. That I could put in my purse and take everywhere. But Nava wanted to come back as a medium size dog. She wanted to come back as a medium size dog who is very healthy and gets along with all other dogs and humans and learns a lot and goes on vacation with me and my husband. Nava wanted to come back as a medium size dog and be my dog.
So, this is Moose. He was born on February 24th, two days after Nava died.
His name is Moose because when I saw his little face for the first time, just over two weeks ago when I was on my computer looking for him—even though I did not know he was who I was looking for until I found him—the name just dropped in. When I saw his little face and felt so deeply that this is my dog the universe dropped in his name.
This is Moose. He is my dog.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.