Transformation and Transcendence

Lessons From My Dogs

Transformation and Transcendence

Day to day life rules the lives of most of us, but sometimes we’re given a glimpse of something beyond. We touch eternity with a feeling of peace; we touch eternity when we gaze into a dog’s quiet brown eyes or help someone in need; and we touch eternity when we feel joy just being.

One cool, overcast July dawn, I walked out into the front field with Chance and Sasha while Flash continued to sleep. The cloud patterns resembled Flemish landscape paintings. I was staring at the clouds’ trace across the blue and thinking art should imitate life not vice versa, when I noticed what looked like a tear in the patchwork of white. As I stood and let my eyes travel up through this hole, I felt myself following, seeing beyond earthly existence literally and metaphorically. And for the rest of the day I lived beyond the petty concerns of day to day. In that moment there were contained so many other moments, floating free from the shackles of thought, reaching out to me from childhood, from early adulthood and from foreign lands, touching me through the clouds. Was I touching what was on the other side? I was, and it was not death, but bliss! I felt light and unconcerned with those things that could usually upset me.

Maybe we are evolving at faster and faster rates. I don’t know what will happen at midnight on December 31st (or perhaps more accurately, October 28th) as 2011 comes to a close and 2012 rolls in. I too will probably roll…not in, but out of bed, drink tea, write and walk the dogs. But maybe, just maybe, more of us are making the switch to listen to our hearts not our heads and in this way we awaken. I’d like to think that with the help of three little dogs (and a whole bevy of other animals, plants, rocks, spirits, guides as well as my own inner voice gently nudging me) I’m making subtle yet substantial shifts.

Snakes, symbolic in ancient cultures of transmutation and rebirth (the shedding of skin), and bats, symbolic of rebirth and transformation, have been entering my life more than ever before. A visit to Sharon Day of Soteria removed doubts in my mind for no sooner had I walked through the door when Sharon took one look at me, nodded and said, “You’ve been seeing bats and snakes, haven’t you?”

“Yes! Millions of them! Well...quite a few, I mean.”

I’d been seeing black snakes daily and a sweet little garter snake had popped her head up through the wooden slates of the back porch as I read, remaining undeterred when the dogs walked her way. Some weeks earlier, Margie and I sat outside on the balcony of a local restaurant only to be entertained by about five thousand bats, circling and swooping for ten or fifteen minutes before diving back down into a vast abandoned chimney. Awesome, in the true sense of that word. Then one morning I’d awoken to a light swishing and fluttering against my walls. I knew it was neither lunar moth nor bird, but a bat.

“Rebirth,” Sharon had stated calmly. “A sign you’re undergoing transformation.”

Sharon’s words were further confirmed when I opened the cabinet beneath my kitchen sink and saw a slight movement. There coiled in an empty yogurt container was a handsome black snake. Now a week has passed and although he or she appears not to have moved much outside the container, my friend is still under the sink and we have developed a bond that I think extends both ways. When I play classical music, he becomes trancelike, especially during Bach’s Mass in B Minor. I speak with him daily and have even stroked his silken scales. He exudes great peace, and of course I know what he is doing. Yesterday his eyes turned milky gray as though he was dying and perhaps in a way he was. Die to be reborn…he is shedding his skin. So too am I, for like the undulating Kundalini energy that is beginning to take shape and transform within me, this beautiful snake’s quiet energy speaks of powerful transformation and rebirth.

The animals seem to be nudging us humans forward to where we should go. I have a theory that those we are with as 2012 rolls in are those we’ll be with for Eternity. And if this is the case, my life will be spent amongst animals and a few dear human souls. This year, along with bats and snakes, the dragon flies (symbolic of light) seem to abound, fields and skies full of whirring, darting tiny airplane-like beings. More wild animals than ever before have filled my life and of course a multitude of birds.

Once again sitting outside quietly, I jumped when I heard a loud clatter upon the roof. As I turned my gaze upwards, not five feet away were two yellowish brown eyes peering down into mine own. A large heron perched just over my head. He looked at me and I at him and then with a few more ungainly and earthly clamors he flew gracefully up and away, at home equally on land, in water and in air.

And the dogs? They’re transcending right along with me. The greatest lesson they teach me is to remain quiet and peaceful and to accept these wondrous changes for the miracles they are.

Kay Pfaltz is a writer and animal activist. Visit her website at to order copies of Lauren’s Story: An American Dog in Paris, the true story of a sick and abandoned beagle whose zest for life triumphs throughout adversary. Kay donates 100% of profits to animal organizations as listed on her website.