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This Is What I Hope

exploring the new woodlands

One day in early November, when winter teased with its first snowfall, my human and I spent the afternoon exploring new woodlands.

I remember the warmth of the sun, even as I stepped on patches of snow.  I remember sniffing the ground where the deer had passed through the night before and listening to the geese fly over, leaving before winter took hold.

I remember wondering if my verticle was high enough to reach to the top of the fallen log.

I remember just going for it and leaped. I landed high off the ground, bark beneath my paws.

But mostly, I remember the excitement of exploring.  everything was clearer, sharper because it was new. I stopped and took a moment to really see the new forest.  For how many times had I looked but not really seen past the immediate, the superficial; to the possibilities that lie beyond.

And this is what I hope for you in 2020.

Adventure.

New experiences.

New, deeper perspective.

The courage to take risks.

A life lived.

From our house to yours, happy holidays.

Jack

Imagine If Kindness Was The New Cool

Kindness is a shoulder to lean on

Kindness can be as simple as providing a shoulder to rest a weary head.

I bring this up because, in case it slipped your notice, November 13th is World Kindness Day.

Did you know showing kindness was an important predictor of your happiness?

Now imagine if kindness was the new cool.  Just think how happy the world would be.

And what if today was the most celebrated day of the year?

Happy World Kindness Day!

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Jack

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Photo courtesy of The Doggie Den

 

Less Country More Indy

two dogs with bandanas

Back in those days, we were inseparable, me and Bucko.  We hung out at The Doggie Den with all the other dogs, but we were besties.

Bucko, he said I rocked the bandana.

But I don’t know.

For the most part, I wore my attitude and don’t bother with accessories.

However, when I did, I considered myself somewhat fashion-forward and I thought I’d look good in something more on-trend. Maybe something with an Urban Outfitters’  or Zara vibe; cuz I saw myself as less Country and more Indy.

What do y’all think? Should I have told Bucko that his fashion sense was a bit pedestrian and could be more à la mode?  Or should I have said thank you for the compliment and embraced the bandana craze?

Drop me a line and share your fashion advice.

Who-what-wear,

Jack

Photo courtesy of The Doggie Den

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When Busy Minutes and Seconds Are The Only Measures Of Worth

Busy human lives

The vehicle came to a slow stop at the intersection. I watched pedestrians cross the road, hurrying to arrive at the destination, giving off the distinct vibe that they had to fill every second of the day to feel productive; that there must be a physically tangible result for the time spent on any endeavor.   Busy minutes and seconds were allocated as a measure of worth. As a result,  time given to quiet contemplation and reflection seemed to garner little value.

Through the window,  I saw humans scurrying about.  I thought about life, about my life in particular;  walking in the park, chasing birds and squirrels, frequently hearing ‘atta boy’ and ‘good doggy,’  playing with my fur friends, taking long naps, getting cuddles, and hugs.

I thought about the simplicity of my life and I wondered if it was this simplicity that brought contentment.

And then I wondered about those busy human lives.

Peace,

Jack

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Alone In The Driver’s Seat

White dog is alone in the driver's seat

I get it. Dogs are not always welcome in all areas of the human world.

I get that.

And I am fine with that.

Really.

Even if you see me alone, waiting, wondering.

Because that is the life of a dog.

For I have come to realize that ‘wanna go for a ride?’ is often code for ‘let’s stop quick so the human can run in without you,’ and I have learned to use this time for people watching or introspection.

Today the hustle and bustle of people don’t interest me much. Rather, I feel a bit like daydreaming.

I stare off into the distance and imagine life as one long day at the park, chasing the sun. With my human.

Because that is also the life of a dog.

Shine on,

Jack

 

Today I Watch The Trees Shrug Off Their Coats

white dog staring out window watching leaves fall

All around me leaves fall.

As I watch, I imagine the trees shrugging off the coats they had so diligently grown in the spring and worn all summer.

I knew the woods surrounding my home would soon be filled with the skeletal version of their once bountiful selves.  With all the leaves on the ground, the upcoming winter wind would easily sweep through the empty branches.  And the snow would fall to the base of the trees.  All winter their bare branches would reach up to the grey skies, on outright plea for spring.

The cold winds would come soon enough. And I would deal with winter when winter came.

For now, I allow the swirl of the falling leaves to lull me into a pleasant afternoon fantasy.

Today I will enjoy today.

Tally ho,

Jack

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A Perfect Fit ~ A Perfect Ride

I snuggled my but against the seat, my paws out in front of me.  I was surprised.  I didn’t expect this much comfort when I hopped into the vehicle. I must admit, this was the most comfortable backseat ride set-up  I had come across in a long time.

Sometimes I wondered if these pull-down armrests in backs seats of cars were secretly designed for small animals.

I  imagined the engineers, pet lovers, smirking as they choose measurements that were a perfect fit for their pets.  Plus, the cup holders made a perfect spot to stash treats. The perfect spot.

Have you ever pretended that certain aspects of life were that way because of you? I liked to think the engineers designed these details with a small white little dog like me in mind.

In reality, that may not be the case, but the thought made my day.

And the perfect fit made a perfect ride.

Ciao,

Jack

The Calm And Comfort of Home

I mulled over the concept of home as I stood near the tree line that separated my yard from the neighbor.  I knew every inch of grass and every tree trunk. I loved it all.

I have lived a lot of places in my five years; everywhere from South Carolina to Oregon with a few stops in the Dakotas along the way. Oh, the excitement of discovering the new sights, sounds, and smells. From the aroma of seafood grilling in Charleston to the scent of breweries in scattered though out Eugene.  I loved it all.

However, what I have found was that while I reveled in the excitement and adventure of new experiences, where everything was intoxicating and new, filled with limitless possibilities, I also liked the calm and comfort of home. The enjoyment of one didn’t have to preclude the enjoyment of the other.  Nevertheless, home was a settling in. A familiar, though sometimes unexciting, pace of life.

Home was like the backyard. You’ve already peed on all the trees, but you were still excited to do it again the next time you went outside.

I’d always thought the best way to live was to enjoy places and spaces when you were away and when you returned open your arms wide and embrace the comfort of familiarity; for there was a longing of a home in all of us. A longing to belong.

Carpe Diem,

Jack

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Mastering This Thing Called Life

white dog is measuring himslef by fitting under a coffee table

Do you know what I never really noticed?

That I am growing up.

Intellectually, of course, I know this happens to everyone.

Not long ago, I noticed lines on a structural beam in the basement where the once young humans’ growth spurts were marked. They had matured and moved on to the next stage of life. So here I am doing the doggie equivalent of measuring my growth.

The thing is, I just never really thought of myself as mature or even in the state of maturation.

Maturation.  That is such a grown-up word. I am not sure I am ready to go there just yet. Because I was terribly good at being a puppy and I didn’t want to be anything else.

And yet somehow one day seems to blend into the next.

And where do these days go; this time I can never get back? What have I been doing? I have filled every minute with naps and walks and fur-friend time and human bonding time. Unbeknownst to me, chunks of time have elapsed.

And I have grown.  Not just physically either. I have gained wisdom that was lacking in my early years.

Not all at once and certainly not evenly.  Some of life’s concepts were easier to grasp than others.  Some skills I understood immediately, and some took several repetitive cycles to comprehend and the only way I learned was through a series of mistakes.   Even now, I have mastered some and I struggle with others.  And some are entirely undeveloped.  I guess that means I am a bit lopsided, but I find the energy and time it takes to achieve mastery makes it nearly impossible to be the best at everything.

I think this is because life itself is complex, therefore mastering this thing called life is complex.

Remember that, if nothing else.

Until next time,

Jack

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