Kava arrived on Christmas Day, 2001 wearing a big, shiny red bow around his neck. The most handsome Catahoula hound you ever did see with his sleek black and white coat, a white tip on his tail, 4 white majestic paws and 2 different coloured eyes – blue and brown. As pleasantly surprised as we were, we were also completely unsure how we were going to manage this young, rambunctious one-year old joining the growing pack; we already had two dogs, both seniors – a 12 year old Golden Spaniel and a 15 year old Saluki. We had no intentions of owning or needing a third dog. But Kava was determined…
One month prior to Kava moving in I was asked to assess a couple of horses by a local dog groomer and trainer. When I picked her up at her shop with my truck she asked if her dog – then named Gator – could come along. “Sure” I said. I assumed that he would jump into the truck box like most farm dogs do, but no, the minute the cab doors were open he leaped into the back seat behind me with his big muddy paws and sat right down. So off we went to the nearby pasture where he jumped out upon arrival, and true to the Catahoula lineage, promptly started to herd the running horses.
All went well and it was time to go home so we all piled back into the truck – Gator in the lead to his already familiar spot in the back seat. I pulled into the yard, my friend and I got out and she opened the back door to call her dog. Much to both our surprise he didn’t come, he didn’t even move, he just stared ahead. She reached in to pull him out and quick as a 75-pound jack rabbit he jumped into the front seat behind the steering wheel and sucked himself up against the driver’s door. It was clear that he wasn’t going anywhere! At least not voluntarily. Long story short, Gator had to be physically removed from my truck that day. But never mind, he had already made a decision.
And so he arrived to our home soon after on that Christmas Day and he started his life on Riva’s Ranch as a proud guardian over the land and the horses. He came to be known as “Kava”. He was so called, not because Kava is a herb used for stress and anxiety (in which case everyone could use a dog named Kava), but because Kava is a short version of a Portuguese word “kavorka” which means to have charisma, and to attract others to you with your prowess and sense of success and abundance.
Kava not only had the charisma but he also had an incredible sensitivity, intuition and inherent wisdom on all matters that were important. He was a gentle soul, although if he perceived that another dog tried to threaten us, one of the horses or even the chickens, he would grab them by the back of the neck and pin them to the ground until they apologized. He never once in his lifetime hurt another living being except for the occasional mouse.
Kava became nothing less than a colleague as he shadowed my every career move in the healing and health industry. Over his lifetime he sat in on every single one of my thousands of healings and hundreds of classes with his incredible presence. He was therefore instrumental to the development of the Riva’s Remedies for Dogs and Cats product line in the fall of 2012. Kava may have begun his life as a herder but he ended it as a healer.
It was not until Kava passed over the rainbow bridge at the age of 15-years-old that I truly understood how much of a legacy he really was. He wasn’t just a dog – he was a guardian, a greeter, a friend, a healer, a steward of the Earth and a spirit guide. He opened the hearts of thousands of people who were touched by his healing energy during office appointments, distance healings, workshops, fire ceremonies and retreats. He was calm, kind, respectful and very, very special. On Saturday, May 16th, 2015 just after 3:00 pm Kava made a beautifully sacred transition and passed into another dimension of consciousness – a place of peace, love and reverence.
Kava’s Healing Spirit lives on to help thousands more dogs as he continues to grace our labels and approve of all of our products. Kava never left the ranch or Riva’s Remedies and never will; his beautiful spirit flows everywhere – every tree, blade of grass, leaf, blossom and gentle breeze. He’s the dog that knew- and still knows – it all.