Burning for Simba


Simba loved being my pillow. He saw it as his duty to guard me while I slept.



Part of my journey to Burning Man this year is memorializing my child and partner for 16 years, Simba. On March 23, 1998 an amazingly cute cuddly snuggle-puss came into this world and almost immediately attached himself to me. He picked me. I was not even interested in owning a dog. But he was certain I was his. I was posing for a sculpture, the artist owned both Simba’s parents. His mom gave birth to her 4 puppies under the model stand the night before a session. So I literally met Simba when he was but hours old.







The 1st day at home. 8 weeks old.

One day, when he was less then a week old, I came to work and the puppies were nursing. They were so adorable all I could do was squeal in that tone women go to when things are overly adorable. “Oh My God, They are so cute.” I squealed.  Simba pulled his mouth from his mother’s tit, turned to face me with a milk goatee, then waddled over to me, sat down at my feet, looked up at me and in his little monkey voice said “Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh.”  That was it. He claimed me. I was his. And 7 weeks later I took him home. It was Mother’s Day.

He was with me through many boyfriends, 3 living situations, several roommates, a marriage, a divorce, my Dad dying…16 years of life together.  He was my temple guardian.




This is the last picture I took of Simba. October 2013 right after Decom. He was helping me organize the signs.


While I was in Thailand a monk told me that in ancient times it was believed that chows are monk reincarnated to be palace guard dogs. But only the monks of the purest of heart get to reincarnate as the palace guard dogs. For those dogs are treated better then any human in all the realm. They are given the task of guarding the emperor’s children. His most precious treasure. And only then, after their guard duty is over do they ascend to nirvana. On December 29, 2013 Simba left this mortal plane, and I believe ascended to nirvana.

I will be placing Simba’s ashes along with pictures and his holiday stocking at the Temple of Grace this year to further his ascension and to guard and guide others along with way.

Below is the epitaph I wrote about Simba the day that he died.





Simba (my temple guardian) March 23, 1998 – December 29, 2013

Written the afternoon after Simba died.

The end of a chapter in my life has come. My beloved Simba. My companion. my child. My fuzzy warm cuddle buddy left this mortal plane this morning. For 15 3/4 years, he filled my heart with joy. I will miss his happy tail and the way he pushed his head into my chest as I dug into his mane. I absolutely fell madly in love with that face. He was my cuddle bunches of love. My furbag of hugs. And loved getting hugs as much as giving them. I will miss his cute monkey talk and occasional insistent barking when he really wanted something. I have great solace in knowing that I was here for his final night. I decided to stay home alone with him last night. Just him and me on the floor with lots of cuddles, love, and uninterrupted mommy time. It was perfect. Everything was fine with him. He took a turn for the worse around 4am and died at 9:45am. Im very lucky to have had the time that I did with such a remarkable soul. The saying “Be happy that it happened and not sad that its over” fits very well here. Farewell dear friend. We shared a love like no other.   ~Athena Demos