Well my little man Coco went on a Walkabout, an important aboriginal initiation into adulthood. He’s an adult now, all 12.5 pounds of him. He left my side while I was conducting a retreat in the steep, gorgeous mountains of Etowah, NC, and somehow didn’t find his way back for two days. In his 13 years of life I’ve never been worried about him for more than 5 minutes because he stays close. But this time he struck out and wandered for nights and days.

On Coco’s side of the story we will never know all that happened. But I do know he survived hunger, walking up a steep mountain for miles, uncertainty, fear, loneliness, bears, coyotes, cold, pain and god-knows what else until he landed on the porch of a young family who called to say they had found him. On my side of the experience were a worried group of women who organized like great-hearted hunters to find this dog. We combed the woods for hours, put out posters on roads and in town. I slept outdoors both nights on the spot from which he had vanished hoping he would find the scent back to me.

He’s back in my Max Patch home now. He’s in pain. He’s passed out. Kokopelli has initiated us both to a level neither of us can yet understand or appreciate. Be careful who you name your dog for. Coco-Pelli my dog, and Kokopelli the god have taken me down to the bone. I am going to curl up into a fetal position and sleep for 24 hours.

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5 Responses to “Walkabout”

  1. Darita-Rose Alden Says:

    Tayria, so glad!! You have both been in my prayers. Synchronicity always means something. Yesterday Reeva was telling me about a friend of hers (who was one of Damien’s groomsmen at his wedding) who is going to China to study tai chi w a master (I am so envious!). But after that, he feels strongly drawn to go to Australia and connect w the aborigines. Same time your Coco was doing a walkabout. Can dogs be initiates? Why not? Healing blessings on you both!

  2. Tayria Ward Says:

    Sweet Darita. My belief is yes, dogs can be initiates. My question is, can humans be initiates.

  3. Karen Nilsen Says:

    Tayria, I just read this. I’m so glad he’s back–it is such a gut-wrenching feeling when a pet vanishes like that and you don’t know what’s happened. I wish you both a long, restorative sleep after your ordeal.

  4. ljcollins Says:

    Blessings on you both.

  5. Tayria Ward Says:

    Karen, I had taken your book thinking I could do some cozy reading before sleep there. Instead I was in the woods crying, not quite as cozy! All is well that ends well though, I guess.
    Thanks for prayers you all.

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