Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Dogs’ Category

Cone

“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller

Abby is six months now and getting sweeter by the day. She went to the vet today to get spay. A bit tired and worn, she came out with the cone so she wouldn’t open up the wound. It takes a while to get used to it. A few stumbles and underestimating the width of the cone, she hit a few walls. And then she figured it out.

The cone makes you look up and be aware of your surroundings to maneuver. No way to have your head down like we do staring at our phone to respond immediately to the next work email emergency or ridiculous request that’s needed “ASAP.”

Nope, when you have the cone on, you keep your head up, rapt with attention and mighty aware of all that is in right now, here in front of us.

Next invention! Cones for humans.

“I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

Happy 5 Months

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e. e. cummings

Abby is 5 months old today.

Puppies and babies change so much each day that we count the months rather than the years. We could all enjoy our days more if we counted each one rather than looking too far ahead or behind.

When I had to pick between two puppies three months ago, I chose Abby when she looked deeply into my eyes. She still does and melts my heart each time. From 8 to 32 pounds and almost all of her adult teeth are in, which is great for my arms. Those puppy teeth are razor sharp.

Happy 5 Month Birthday Abby and for making each day a new adventure, filled with fun and joy. Can’t ask for much more than that.

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

Chasing Leaves

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

As the spring tries to break the final grip of winter, a cold wind rustles the leaves free from the thawing ground. The perfect scenario to chase the floating leaves down the path. And Abby takes up the challenge to pursue each one with vigor and focus.

How simple. Mere happiness in the moment, in pure being. Plenty of leaves to chase.

Release

“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” – Alan Cohen

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” – Alan Cohen

I have to convince Abby to let go of the ball so I can throw it again. She holds it so tight as if it’s the only ball that ever existed. She is slowly figuring out that if she lets it go, play can resume.

We hold tight to many “balls” like the past, unforgiveness, regret, resentment, all at the expense of the many gifts found in the present moment, today, right now. We assume scarcity rather than accept abundance.

Your “command” for this day and going forward in your training for living a good life – “release.” Let go of the unnecessary and hold tight to the “balls” of joy, delight, laughter and most important, gratitude.

Illogical and Unreasonable

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

Each of us walks our own path, yet we are not alone. Sometimes the road is smooth.  Sometimes it is fraught with potholes. Most of the time, it is a bit of both. The choice that is always ours to make is our response. Often the obvious and justifiable response is frustration and complaining. The illogical and unreasonable response is joy and gratitude.

Here’s to being more illogical and unreasonable. We can all use a lot more joy and gratitude. Abby has figured it out to be sure. Joy beats frustration, paws down.

“Relax! Life is beautiful!” – David L. Wolper

“Relax! Life is beautiful!” – David L. Wolper

Ordinary Every Day IS the Gift

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” – Sharon Draper

As I scrolled through years of photos on my phone, I landed on a photo from April 25, 2016. An ordinary day, a Monday, a most ordinary day.  A moment captured of Molly enjoying one of her favorite toys in the backyard.

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'” – William Arthur Ward

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’” – William Arthur Ward

At the time, as with most of ordinary days, I had no idea how important this ordinary day was or so many that came before or those to follow. So often, we pass through days like these, unaware of all of the gifts found in simple moments as we pursue and wait for the next interesting thing.

Three days later, Dad passed away and that not-so-ordinary day of April 28th was the start of a series of not-so-ordinary days of loss. Unexpectedly again, Molly passed away on June 27 and Lily on October 4.

Ordinary days become extraordinary when we look back in deep appreciation, after they occur. But we are summoned to gratitude and awe right now in this moment, in the ordinary every day moments. That’s the gift that we need not pursue or search for. It is right in front of us, right now.

Pause and look around each day with rapt attention to what is in the present. Take a picture with your phone, but more importantly in your heart. These days will not come again and we don’t know when those not-so-ordinary days will enter to change our lives forever.

Capture and experience with delight the silly, subtle and sweet moments of every day. That is the gift.

Flexibility

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu

When we’re young, we’re agile, flexible. We bend and don’t break. Experience, time, age changes us. We become rigid, rule-following, hard as rock in our ways, leading with “no,” “can’t,” “it’s too late.” Yet we have a choice to lead with “yes,” to choose differently.

So as you enter this day, start with “yes” and follow it with several more “yeses.” Be flexible and loosen up a bit. We become more agile with practice. We become more of what we want to be with practice, actually.

Laugh more, be silly, let go of all the “shoulds,” “musts” and “have-tos.” Be like water, or like puppy Abby. Softer, flexible, irresistible.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams

Friendship, No Kinship

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” –  Lucius Annaeus Seneca

I was going to title this post friendship to talk about the bonds of friendship that we form through life, if we are wise and lucky enough. But some friends become family, they know what we are thinking and feeling, often times before we know. They understand that it’s more than enough to be present  through all that life sends our way, no words needed.

So after three very long and intense weeks at work, I looked forward to meeting Chris and Lynn for a beer at my favorite place (Urban Growler) today. They had “something” for me. A painting that they had commissioned an artist to paint of Molly and Lily from a picture on this blog. I lost both Molly and Lily a few months after my Dad in 2016. A gift beyond words, from friendship to kinship.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – Thomas Aquinas

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – Thomas Aquinas

My Dad, Molly and Lily were my best friends. This painting, this gift, honors those special relationships that go well beyond words, well beyond death. If you are blessed enough to have friends who are kin, who are generous like Chris and Lynn, be grateful.

Beginnings

“Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.” – William Throsby Bridges

While this is the season of new beginnings, we are surrounded by new beginnings all year long, well beyond January. Make your resolution this year to be awake, attentive and open to all that’s new each and every day. If we can achieve this, we won’t need New Year’s Eve to start again.

This year has been a year of many endings with seeds of new beginnings scattered throughout. Snuggle and hold tight to your blessings and release all of the rest.

“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.” – Muriel Rukeyser

“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.” – Muriel Rukeyser

Home Again

abby1w

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz

After a 12 hour round trip to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Abby is home and Abby is my new home. Home is so much more than a place. Places, people (and pups), conversations, memories, moments, our true north all make up home. Often hard to put into words but clear as crystal when we arrive. Comfort, ease, acceptance, laughter, tears, connection, understanding without explanation – when we have these, we are home.

abby4

“Happiness is a warm puppy” is not merely because they are cute. That’s undisputed. It goes deeper than fun and frolic, and there’s plenty. A puppy models for us ever so brilliant humans the critical importance of play, delight, immersion in the very moment, not looking back or ahead. Puppies chase a ball with intent, purpose and focus without distraction. They move on when done to engage fully in the next moment, emptied of the past and future to be filled completely with the present.

abby3

This weekend is a homecoming for Abby and for me. We think we take care of them, but in reality, they are taking care of us. Home again, indeed. Welcome home.

abby2

%d bloggers like this: