A Soul Dog Beginning

Kerouac and I were soulmates from the start.

A Soul Dog Beginning
My first piece for my SoulDog Journey Project inspired by Kerouac as a puppy.

I knew Kerouac was my Soul Dog from the first moment I heard her howling from behind the counter at the airport cargo office. She had flown across the country to Washington State, and had a lot of words to say about being locked in a crate while a room full of people fawned over her instead of giving her her freedom. As I walked across the parking lot to the front door of the office and heard her song, I knew she was mine.

I didn’t have the language to express that she was my “Soul Dog” at that point in my life, but looking back, I can say without a doubt that my soul knew that we were meant to be together.

From the beginning, Kerouac was all sass. She let everyone know that she was here to be wild. I don’t mean that in an “oh shit, that dog is out of control” kind of wild. I mean that even when Kerouac was learning how to work with people, or how to interact with other dogs, she maintained her independence and wild self.

I was in my early twenties when Kerouac first entered my life, and over the years, I struggled to remain connected to my own wildness. But Kerouac always brought me back to myself just by being herself. It wasn’t until later in our journey that I really began to understand what she was teaching me - how to live and be our wild selves in a world that wants to tame us.

I’m still learning how to do this, but the more I reflect on my life with Kerouac, the closer I feel to my own wild self.

I painted this first piece from a photo I took of Kerouac on our second day together. She was so tiny, but her personality was huge. Her eyes were so blue and her mask made her look like a little demon. She was trouble, but she was joy and love and everything my heart had been needing. Making this watercolor portrait brought me back to those early days, and in a way, it felt like I was bringing Kerouac back to life while painting every detail.

This second piece is how I imagine her now. What if she’s out there in the universe looking up at the stars? Somewhere in the galaxy or beyond, exploring another dimension. Maybe she’s looking out to the stars, wondering if I’m looking up, too.

In the early days of our journey, I didn't think about what my life would be like after she was gone. I didn't realize how much those photos we took in our first few days together would mean to me now, but wow. They mean everything.

This is my first entry for my SoulDog Journey Project retrospective of my life with Kerouac. If you'd like to start your own SoulDog Journey Project to capture your journey with the dog you love (whether they are here with you now, or have passed on to their next adventure), here's where you can learn more: SoulDog Journey Project Course.

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About the artist

Marika Moffitt is an artist and storyteller focused on expressing the spirit of dogs through photography. As the owner of SoulDog Creative in Washington state, Marika helps clients throughout the Pacific Northwest to honor their journeys with their Soul Dogs with one-of-a-kind artwork. Full of life and movement, Marika’s photographs touch deep within the heart of what it means to live the journey with the dogs we love.

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