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Sunday, December 09, 2018

The Greatness Of Our Fur Babies

A lot of people don’t know this but I got Toby in 2007 from who I thought to be a reputable breeder. Turns out they weren’t so reputable and although I don’t think it was a puppy mill per say, mom wasn’t on site and that’s always a red flag.

In any case, the day after I picked up Toby and refused to let him go again, he got sick. Really sick. I brought him to the vet right away and he was hospitalized for Parvo. Because of the dicey nature of the disease and it’s impressive kill rate on puppies I had to pay $400 up front ($50 more than I paid for him the day before) before they would even admit him.

About another $300 dollars later, some touch and go home visits, and Toby’s health settled down. With some extra lovings, careful feedings and sometimes giving him water to drink from a dropper, he pulled through. The vet told me not to expect him to live long or be very healthy. I said, yep, well he’ll fit right in with me then.

Eleven years later and Toby is as healthy as any dog we’ve had. He’s starting to get a little arthritis, his hearing is going and his face has faded from caramel to white, but he’s still the same goofy puppy I fell in love with over a decade ago.

He’s my buddy, and my most loyal friend. He’s seen me through four moves, two countries, and the birth of two babies. There isn’t a place in the world he likes more than cuddling up to me on the bed or the couch, wherever I am. Just thinking about his little paws running to meet me at the door when I come into the house makes me smile.

On Saturday I went in to the volunteer orientation session they had at the local animal shelter. I stayed after and walked a sedate, rotund Siberian-Husky-Corgi mix named Cade. He had beautiful blue eyes. Basically it was like a noble wolf gazing at me from the body of a fur-sausage. He led me out to the dog run; refused to play ball (lazy, much?) and then when he finished his business he went right to the gate to go back inside. I had to laugh – and I thought of all the older people out there who would be so happy to have a dog like this.

Anyway, apparently we’re not allowed to take them all home at once so don’t even try. But if you want a quiet older dog who’d rather share your bacon than your exercise routine, he’s at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and he’s waiting for you to pick him up and carry him to your car. Because baby doesn’t walk more than he absolutely needs to.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, December 02, 2018

How High Is Your Dung Hill? Or, Being Grateful for Being 10% Happier

The sun is softer in winter. It doesn’t have the heavy heat of mid-summer when the sun obliterates anything but the strongest green survivors. Or cacti. It’s all cool breezes and warm sun-kisses on the bare branches of my willow tree.

The leaves are really dropping around here right now – the wind will kick up and hundreds of them will leap up into the sky and whirl around playfully. It looks like it’s snowing leaves. Then the sun will break through and set them ablaze with golden light and I swear in those moments I believe in magic. I feel like God is right there, smiling at me through nature, like a God-Nature-Hug. A GNH moment.

Ever have those moments? When you connect to the beauty around you and the rest of your life fades away to gray and time slows and you know, you just know, this is what really matters. These small, beautiful moments like beads on the thread of my daily life.

Another one just today, I was jumping on the Trampoline (gently) with Ellie and Ben and Ellie was laughing the way kids do, with their whole being you know? 

Down her toes and to the tips of her ears and I see another GNH moment happening and I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and love for her, for Ben, for myself, for the whole world really. She jumps up and her hair flies up around her head and her laugh bubbles up from deep down and I can feel myself laughing too and the way her eyes sparkle in the sun and I’m all teary, jumping around on the trampoline, just being stupid-happy.

Anyway, I started a gratitude journal and those were some of my entries, yesterday and today. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel this way all the time?

Where you don’t get upset when you feed the dog in the morning and the top comes off the container and you spill the whole months worth of food on the floor (Wed AM).

Where your two year old doesn’t wake up crying because his molars are coming and they hurt. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

You know, a day where you’re making play-doh from scratch like a good stay-at-home-mom and your two year old dumps an entire bottle of Tumeric on the floor? And then jumps down into it and runs around the house tracking yellow powder everywhere? (Friday).

Or maybe when you’re trying that curbside grocery thing at HEB and you get there too early and you unbuckle your kids because they’re getting antsy and screaming ‘INSIDE! INSIDE!’ and then your two-year old bites you, hard, when you take off his sweater because he’s hot because…molars. Then he climbs onto the backseat of the van and jumps. And hits his head on the ceiling because you can’t jump off the backseat on the van and not hit your head, even if you’re two. (Friday)

Anyway. Where was I? Gratitude! I’m not overstating the amazingness being grateful has done for my soul. It just replenishes the mommy-tireds and reminds me how really, truly, awesome my life is and how many blessings I have just overflowing everywhere, all the time.

Seriously, try it. Try it and try NOT to become at least 10% happier, no matter what is going on in your life. Someone once said, ‘no matter how high is the dung hill you sleep on, the blue sky is endless, the yellow sun shines, and the leaf turns golden when it falls.’

To close, I am really very thankful I am not sleeping on a dung hill. A hill of dung is not for me. The end.