I get it. Dogs are not always welcome in all areas of the human world.
I get that.
And I am fine with that.
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.
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.
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.
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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,
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Every day the sun sets, sinking lower into the sky until it disappears, leaving darkness behind.
Sometimes I wonder if the sun is exhausted from its constant shine and can’t wait to drop into the horizon and call it a day.
Until the sun rises again,
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You know how sometimes you see an image and then have an urge to play with words; to write them out and feel the sound, the pace, the pause? The rhythm and rhyme?
Today was that day for me. I saw this photo that was taken last summer and the memories of Colorado surfaced.
Below are my efforts to recapture the moment with wordplay.
‘lost in the superimposed budding leaves
on the Colorado trees,
mirrored without purpose
on the windowed and reflective surface;
tress stock still
a breeze eases the heat of the sun,
shadowed by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains;
wait, wonder, imagine
with adventurous abandon.’
Until next time,
Alas, it was one of those messy middle-of-the road kind of days. One of those days when it was necessary to remember that life can be beautiful even though it was not perfect, and neither should perfection be the standard to which we tried to obtain.
Some days were meant to be messy. Because life and love were messy. And sometimes painful. And sometimes magical.
Sometimes you shake it off and continue down the road and on with your day. And some times you sit with the pain until it eases into manageability.
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One paw. And perfect balance.
I’ll let you in on a little philosophy of mine that keeps the flow of my days awash with zen.
I make sure the sun is behind me, the road is ahead of me and my eyes never waiver.
That way I am more likely to find the balance between everything I want to do with everything I can do.
One must not merely sit on a chair.
One must embrace the experience and then claim the family furniture as their own.