In which we tire of embracing the hatred and instead embrace puppies

trunk full of puppies

The world needs more puppies and fewer politicians. Politicians like to tell you they know better and the world should just do as they say. They fill the air with greenhouse gases and endanger every species.

Puppies, on the other hand, have no purpose other than to soothe the soul. They emit playful barks and wag their tails and are happy just to be alive and well and loving the fact that today is today and it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen before and holy moley is that my ball? Can I have it? Can I chase it? Yes, I’m going to get that ball unless a squirrel, because then I’ll chase the squirrel yes. Yes.

Puppies are all about yes. Politicians are all about no. Puppies are all about life. Politicians are all about do as I say or we’re all going to die. Puppies are all about freedom. Politicians are all about fear. and anger. and do as I say or else.

So, you go on about awful. Politicians have always been awful and trying to be more awful than any who came before, disguised as a rescuing hero which none of them will save your life.

Prattle on, prattle on, there’s a good sheep. As for me: Puppies!

Two girls

two girls

Two girls.

Two girls who look like dogs.

Sitting on the other side of the glass door

Staring

With expressions that may be yearning

Or, perhaps, may simply be stares.

They come in when I open the door,

One heading straight for the water dish

And the other to the easy chair next to mine,

To curl up, place her chin on the arm

And slowly ease back into sleep.

Do their chests fill with love, as mine does,

When we share a room together,

Or are they just waiting for me to feed them?

We feed each other what we need.

That works for me.

meditation while petting an old dog

meditation while petting an old dog

“Will I ever find a one like you again?” he whispered to the old dog who had come for her morning fur-stroking.

The fair felt soft but a little dry under his fingers, and the animal moaned appreciatively.

Not likely, he concluded. In all his decades of petting dogs and cats, he’d never encountered a beast so eager to share her warmth and feel the gentle touch of what we laughingly called her masters. Everyone knew who really was in charge of this relationship.

The miracle of this instant

Willow.jpg

One hundred years from now – perhaps even five years or (heaven forbid) one year from now, this beautiful furry beast will be gone.

But she is alive and well now, and beautiful now, and so I stroke her fur and hug her and know that this unique and special life is passing through, now, in this instant.

And she can only be fully known and appreciated now.

Right. Now.

So I stop everything and hug her.

9 things that dogs teach us

dogs

Dogs teach us so much about life – the importance of a kind word, the touch of a hand, a hug.

The need to play, to chase a ball for nothing more than the joy of running, to feel the air blow into your face.

To nap frequently.

To take life as it comes and never, ever be ready to do anything but love.

Well, love and gobble down a good meal …

Birthday girl

67A5177D-AB51-4810-93E8-02C66FBB0526

Willow is 8 today. She came to our house on May 16, 2009, but the breeder’s paperwork said she was born March 28.

By the time we visited the farm, all of her littermates had been adopted. We could take the little puppy who was alone in her cage, or we could choose from a litter that was two weeks younger.

We already had a name in mind. I picked her up, asked “Are you Willow?” and she snuggled against my chest in affirmation. No need to see the others. I checked out the younger pups, but Willow was still The Willow.

d08f3-willowfirstday1I have bonded with other dogs in my life (Hello up there, Poppins. Hello, Tucker), but no one ever had a hold on me like Willow The Best Dog There Is™ – she who jumps up on the bed when the alarm goes off and leans in for a spoon. She who won’t relinquish the orange ball. She who we were sure was part greyhound because her long golden-retriever coat was late in arriving and she ran like the wind.

I started calling her Willow The Best Dog There Is somewhere along the line, and added the ™ just for fun. I know other people love their dogs as much as I do. Sometimes – and those who do understand this – there’s just something deeper between human and canine.

Happy birthday, Willow.

Catch and release

Bradburyesque

Willow wants to chase the ball, but she wants to protect the ball. She won’t give it up.

But you can’t chase the ball if you hold onto it with all your strength.

Let the ball go, let it fly – then thrill to the chase.