Tag Archives: dogs

Motivation Mondays: The Three-Legged Dog

27 Feb

Putting things in perspective becomes extremely difficult when you’re at rock bottom. You forget to ask the right questions because raw emotions tear into your being. You’ve finished three pints of Ben & Jerry’s and still find that there’s need for more.

I’ve been in these situations more times than I thought possible, as the Universe keeps “building” my character, but it took me until my mid-thirties to be able to find perspective at a faster pace. Before that, the anger, frustration, and hopelessness of the situation would stick with me for a while before I could flip the switch,  learn the lesson, or ask the right question. I have failed on all kinds of levels, multi-faceted levels, in every aspect of my life from writing, parenthood, love, and friendships, to self-discovery. I haven’t met someone who hasn’t failed yet, although I can think of a few who say they haven’t failed at all and just hide it well.

But I don’t point it out to them. No need. Some people just want to keep their lessons to themselves. All good. I don’t necessarily wear a sign and promote things myself, but I don’t really hide from failures, disappointments, betrayals, disasters, or gut-wrenching losses.

And it’s not that I don’t care, or I don’t get embarrassed, I just realized that when something like that happens, I can find my way through the messy truth. The emotions are still there and they’re still painful, whenever I fall on my own, or have been pushed down the most jagged cliff on Earth by someone I know or don’t know, but I stand up a lot faster. Broken bones and all.

I tend not to forget this turnaround lesson, this approach to finding my way back, because I’ve had so much practice, but I was recently reminded about perspective last week.

You see here …

 

This dog was racing through the open field. Jumping around. I swore he was smiling. Totally. Now normally you would think so what, right? Not a big deal.

But Maxie is a three-legged dog. Three-legged. I had only seen that once before and it blew my mind at how carefree and spirited he was sprinting through the grass just enjoying time. Now most dogs don’t really have problems, but this one. Yeah I’d say he has something to complain about, but he wasn’t, at least not when I saw him. He was sprinting like Hussein Bolt.

He was carpe all over that diem. His perspective was different. So I had to introduce myself and the owners were gracious enough to let me snap his picture. Maxie had that good mojo and meeting him was one of the highlights of my week. I got some of that feel-good feeling, that sunshine-in-my-pocket kind of feeling. It was good to get a reminder, even if I didn’t need one.

Buen Camino.

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

18 May

 

 

Noahs&Pinta (2)

The  Guilty Face … I miss it.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

28 Aug

 

Focus

Focus

 

Even when she was acting like Super Dog and getting jumped on, she remained focused. Say cheese …

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

2 Jul
Companionable

Companionable

 

Pinta …

Listener to my secrets.

TV watching pal.

Squirrel chasing champion.

Neighborhood explorer buddy.

Huggable friend.

Warmer of hearts.

Maker of smiles.

Improver of life.

Pinta … definitely companionable … definitely missed.

 

1998-2012

 

 

My Marley And Me Moment

26 Nov

I couldn’t take her to the movies, but she enjoyed watching LOST, 24, and the National Geographic Channel. However she wasn’t a fan of Law & Order … any of them. I think it was the DOINK-DOINK sound. I couldn’t take her out for dinner, but we often had picnics in the park and she was a great lounger. She didn’t really say much during conversation, but she was an awesome listener. Her arms weren’t long enough to hug me during troubled times, but she’d sit next to me on the couch, sniff my pants, wag her tail, and nuzzle her head under my hand. She was a good therapist.

 

Pinta hanging out ... smiling after playing fetch.

Pinta hanging out … smiling after playing fetch.

 

Being a Dalmatian, she got a bad rap for belonging to a breed that is considered to be hyper, and extremely needy with temperament flaws.

Dude.

So not true. She was an exception to the rule. She was my exception. “She was a unique constellation of attributes,” who loved chasing squirrels, back massages, playing fetch with her FAT CAT Inc. dog toys, going for walks, pretending she was a horse for my son, being a pillow for my daughter, and hanging out in the kitchen as I cooked dinner. Wishing, and hoping, and praying that something savory and tasty would hit the linoleum floor.

Seventy-three years old. She passed away at seventy-three. That’s a lot of lint brushes. To think I don’t have to buy another one makes me kind of  sad. I used to get irritated that every time I hugged her or pet her, I’d be covered in black and white dog hair. I must have spent thousands of dollars on lint brushes. But now … no more lint brushes needed. No more Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dog Food. No more Greenies. No more Snausages. No more chasing Penn Tennis Balls. And No more plastic trash bags filled with stinky poop.

 

 

A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?

— – John Grogan, Marley & Me

To answer Grogan’s question … not many. Other than my children and my Dad … not many. But Pinta made the list. She thought I was amazing, even in Costco sweatpants. And she loved me unconditionally. It didn’t matter if I was a short, struggling writer who was prone to bouts of crankiness when woken up from a profound sleep at six in the morning. She loved me anyway. She was a great dog. She was loyal. She was a member of my family. She was Guat. She will be extremely missed.

Cause of death? Complications due to a herniated disc that put pressure on the spinal cord which resulted in pain in her hips, lameness, and loss of function in her hind legs. Apparently the degeneration happened because of age. We could have put her through more tests, examinations and surgery, but considering her age … the most humane course of action was saying good-bye.

I held it together as long as possible, but watching her go was very emotional.  Next to losing my dad and uncle it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever experienced.

After leaving the vet, my son said he wanted to visit my dad in the cemetery. He said he had something very important to tell him. Considering what had just happened, I thought it would be the best place to let everything out.

He sat next to my dad’s tree and said:

“Papa … I have something very important to tell you. Very important. P doesn’t feel good. [He calls her P] She went to the doctor to get more medicine. Her legs don’t work. She’s a little old. She needs medicine. But she’s going to go to heaven with her medicine. You need to take care of her. She likes Snausages.”

Dude. I so needed another minute after that little speech.

After a while we drove back home and as I entered the house the first thing I noticed was her empty dog bed.

It was a tough day.

“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.”

— John Grogan, Marley & Me