Posts Tagged ‘rest

24
Jun
20

Canine Comfort

Rosie and Patrick in the kitchenHere we are on day 1,465,283 of The Great Quarantine of 2020…

… at least that’s what it feels like.

Like most of the rest of you, Joan and I have stumbled upon a variety of strategies to help us cope with the endless days of isolation. Not surprisingly, many of them center around technology; Zoom, Netflix, FaceTime, FaceBook, FacePlant (JK!!), Kindle, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

We have also been known to go a little old-school now and then and throw in a book, a jigsaw puzzle and, if we are really desperate, an Actual Conversation.

But as the blogosphere is my witness, we have both discovered that nothing quite helps smooth out the raw edges of enforced seclusion like a DOG.

In our case, make that TWO dogs… Rosie and Patrick, our soft-coated Wheaten Terrier therapists.

For starters, they are remarkably tuned in to our moods. If either one of us starts to wilt a little and mope, one of them (usually Patrick) is right there at our side, leaning heavily against us and imparting serenity.

Rosie is especially attuned to my need to periodically get off the computer and PLAY. Suddenly she is there at my side; plush, stuffed, squeaky unicorn in her mouth, looking intently into my eyes as if to say, “Bet you can’t get it!”

Most of the time she is right. I can’t.

And since this breed is known to have the energy level of a mini-thermonuclear reactor, multiple walks each day are not optional. They are mandatory! Rain, sleet, snow, or scorcher. And wonder of wonders, it turns out that those walks are really good for us, too!

Rose and Patrick at the doorAs long as we are making a list of their positive qualities, let’s not overlook their ability to endlessly entertain. Sometimes it feels like we could discontinue our cable TV service entirely and just sit outside watching Rosie and Patrick cavort. They roll and wrestle in the grass. They poke their heads through the fence to talk to neighbor dog Porter. They chase anything I decide to throw in their direction. They stand up and chatter back to the squirrels taunting them from the safety of the Weeping Willow tree.

I would probably pay for entertainment this consistently good – if it wasn’t provided nightly, absolutely free of charge.

Furthermore, if we pay really close attention, we discover that Rosie and Patrick are wise teachers as well. Right now, for example, they are conducting a master class on the health benefits of regular afternoon naps.

VERY important stuff.

There is also a lesson to be learned from the way they enthusiastically greet everyone who comes to our house. With their (admittedly excessive) leaping and barking and licking of each visitor, they are saying, in effect, “People are SO AWESOME! We LOVE people!”

If we followed Rosie and Patrick’s lead, we would begin every relationship believing the very best of that person, regardless of who they were or what they have done. (We should probably leave out the butt-sniffing part though.)

Even though Joan and I are definitively more DOG people than CAT people, I am sure there is a cat-equivalent list of all the ways cats can ease the rough patches of enforced isolation.

I just can’t think of any right now…

 

Abundant blessings;

26
Sep
19

Pedaling the Life Bike

BikingThe chain came off my bike the other day.

I was out riding with my friend and tried to shift to another, lower gear when “KA-CHUNK, KA-CHUNK, GRRR,” it all went kerplooey.

It was not a big deal to fix. We hopped off, threaded the dangling chain back over the correct sprockets and before you know it, we were off and riding again.

Besides giving me a moment to pause and catch my breath, I discovered another gift issuing forth from that momentary malfunction; it gave me a wonderful and useful METAPHOR!

Since fully and officially retiring on July 1, I realize that I have been struggling to find another gear for my life. My bicycle has 10 different gears. Different environments and situations call for different gear settings. The experienced cyclist toggles back and forth between them as needed.

In contrast, my “life bike” – up until now – seems to have only two gears: either “Flat Out, Pedal-to-the-Metal” or “Full Stop.” Nothing in between.

Now, with retirement (and this new shoulder injury), I am faced with the real need to find a new and different gear ratio.

Joan will testify that I do not do “nice and easy” very well. In fact, she told me that several times on our walk this morning with the dogs.

But seriously, what would be wrong with expanding my repertoire a little and learning a slower, more relaxed pace? First gear for the steep inclines, third or fourth when it levels out a little, and then maybe a deliberate, reflective, peacefully-taking-in-the-surroundings kind of pace for other times?

Hmmmm. Might be worth giving it a try.




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