Since we’re on the subject, I might as well continue talking about dogs. I’ve learned a lot from my dogs and other people’s dogs. They are great animals. They are so clear with their feelings and their needs. For the last couple of days, we’ve had some pretty heavy thunderstorms, something that frightens both dogs very much. They become ‘velcro dogs’ sticking close to me or Mouse. Wherever I am, there they are panting out their fear. Nothing I can do can make their fear abate. Totally at one with their fear. Very hard to endure!
Several years ago, I used to walk the dogs every day in every kind of weather. We’d walk along Fall Creek close to my house. Sometimes we’d walk through some wild fields. Both Congo and Bob would explore and smell everything; the air, animal poop, plants, dirt and the water. Of course, they’d jump right in the water. From little puddles to the creek, there they were. If a puddle had ice on the top, Bob would crack the ice and lie–really wallow–in the puddle. It would have to get below 20 degrees before he would stop.
Of course these puddles were often mud puddles. Afterwards a very happy Bob would come up to me *wag*wag* dripping in mud from the nose on down. I’d then take him to a deep part of the creek and have him swim in that. I cannot get either dog to submit to the hose, or to go into the shower, the tub or a shallow wading pool. I think it’s because the water is clean.
One cold, rainy day on the cusp of winter, I walked the dogs along the creek. We enjoyed every minute of it. Then I showered, dressed and went into work. I had an early morning meeting–with someone named Bob as a matter of fact–and he asked me, mournfully how I was. I said I was good. He looked at me and said, “You mean for a cold, gray, drippy day?!” And I explained that I walked my dogs that morning and realized that it was a great day to be a dog. As a matter of fact every day is a great day to be a dog. He looked at me like I was rather odd.
I think perhaps I am, though a better word, of course, is rowdy. What the dogs are doing is tapping into that happy ecstacy of living every moment like its the only moment. Mud, water, rain, walking, running, smelling and discovering are all part of the ecstacy of the moment. Nothing else impinges on the sounds of running water, the start beauty of the creek in near-winter.
One time about twenty years ago when my mother was around the age I am now, she told me she had two real regrets. One is that she never learned to swim; and the other is that she never learned to dance. Both of those things are about letting go into rhythm and water. She could have changed that, but she didn’t. I’ve done both, I’m happy to say. The only regret I have is that I spent most of my younger life worrying about how fat I was. Looking at pictures of me then, I see that I didn’t look as bad as I thought. Mouse looked at the pictures and said, “You were hot, I’d do you.” He feels that way about me now, so I am taking the rowdy step. I am releasing that regret and worry. And if I remember that every day is a great day to be rowdy, I can stay with that!
the picture is of my brother Peter’s dog Bart who passed away several years ago. He was a great dog. He was part retriever–he’d go get the ball or stick but he wouldn’t bring it back to you!