The way home
I don’t know why I got so excited when I saw a mad max lookin’ pick up truck cruising up the road today. It looked like one of those Ford Bronco’s, but bigger, way bigger, and with the back part chainsawed off. The tires were huge too - but not too huge - not monster truck huge. And I swear the license plate was twist tied on with rusty wire. The back bed of the truck was full of scavenged items: bed frames, table parts, chairs, coils. It was a gnarly looking vehicle.
Now there is nothing really good, per se, about being in Mad Max world. It’s dystopia. At the same time there is something fascinating about large imperfect hunks of scrap metal leaning to one side roaring up a road. I don’t know if it’s just bringing back childhood wonder or if it was just so surreal and out of place - it didn’t logically look like it should be moving at all - that I admired it.
I continued riding up the road scooting in between stopped cars and around slow cars. It’s nice being on bicycle sometimes. I love it pretty much all the time although I admit I was thinking about riding in the cold weather and snow. Something I have been planning to do and has been on my list. Last year I was going to give up my car entirely - but I got too lazy. This year though - I better get plenty of cold weather gear! I’m excited!
When I got home I could hear Sammy lazily plop off the couch pulling one of the cushions to the floor as his hind legs slithered off as he stretched and kneaded the rug with his front paws until they finally dropped and he trotted over. I patted his head and tethered him in his harness and off we went. It was cool outside. Unusually so for summer in the Chicago burbs. Global warming, so I hear.
We walked easily to the park and I was impressed by how he was actually following commands pretty well, not getting too crazy about squirrels and rabbits. I felt it was as if he knew he wasn’t going anywhere anyway. Even if usually he would stubbornly pull the leash anyway. Once so much so that I was holding his harness and his front feet were air walking over the sidewalk - ears perked.
We got to the field and he found his freedom - and some rabbits. I wonder what he would do if he caught up with a rabbit. He doesn’t seem to have a violent bone in his body. Would he kill the thing? Or was it just the chase that interested him? He definitely enjoyed the chase. I didn’t feel bad about tethering him back up since he had gotten his run in. In and out and around the bushes and trees at full speed. The chase was fully on. His eyes had laser focus. Ah, the life of a dog!
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/the-way-home/
Time to get up.
I lift my sore, stiff self out of bed and throw on my sarong so I can let the dog out hitting the coffee maker on the way to the door. He’s got this big ol’ noggin and fat feet and big ol’ smile - he just makes me happy in a warm, safe and cuddly kind of way. Sounds weird and is hard to explain so I’ll just stop with the sappy stuff now. Anyway, I let him out and the neighbor is out, he looks but when I call him he comes by me no issue. Usually it’s when he is on a leash he is more aggressive or threatening sounding with his guttural barks.
My friend Jim came to get me yesterday with his dog Akahana around lunchtime - we drove around, went to Whole Foods for lunch and shopping and finally came to pick up Sammy, my puppy. (Sammy, by the way, is a 60 pound, 3 years old pit bull mix.)
I told him Blackwell was closed last time I drove by, but we can try it. They must have widened the trail and taken out some brush. It looked good. It was Sammy’s first time there and I was a little nervous. I communicated with the only person who happened to be there as we approached since she had a German Shepard. Two big dogs who don’t know each other. A risk, I thought.
Now I had seen Sammy around Akahana, a 6 week old puppy, a group of dogs at the shelter, my friend’s pit bull and some randoms at Herrick Lake who were off leash during our run. He had always been well behaved. When we walk around the neighborhood and he is on leash, he seems like he is going to chomp you to bits sometimes. Again, there’s a metaphor or something here, but I’m still looking for it.
She said her dog was fine and hello and all that so we walked in. Sammy and Aka acknowledged the German Shepard briefly from a distance and then pretty much ignored him. After some sniffing around, the German Shepard approached - they all smelled each other and went about their business. It was totally anti-climactic.
We walked along the new trail and encountered other walkers. The dogs all peacefully did their thing. I tested Sammy a little asking him to come by me when I knew he was busy sniffing around. He paused and slowly made his way to me with such a begrudging look on his face like, ‘really, lady, I just got here. you gonna put me back on a leash, c’mon, ugh’. I gave him a great shake and hug and told him he was good and sent him back out to sniff and play and explore. He galloped off.
When we circled back around there was another pit mix who was slender with hefty haunches just like Sammy except a little smaller. His name was Toby. Toby immediately took to Sammy and they raced across the limestone end to end.
Love this dog. Cheers to a long, happy life full of dog parks and chasing toys and butt scratches and guttural funny noises as we roll around upside down scratching our backs on the carpet.
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." —Josh Billings
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." —Roger Caras
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.” —Agatha Christie
“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” ―M.K. Clinton
“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” —Charles de Gaulle
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” —Johnny Depp
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?" —Jonathan Safran Foer
“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it's hard to feel sad.” ―Kristan Higgins
“There are times when even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog — waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.” —Lee Iacocca
"Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog." —Franklin P. Jones
“A dog can’t think that much about what he’s doing, he just does what feels right.” ―Barbara Kingsolver
"When the Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'" —Rudyard Kipling
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” —Dean Koontz
"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." —Abraham Lincoln
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx
“Dogs don't rationalize. They don't hold anything against a person. They don't see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan
“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” —Marilyn Monroe
"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them." —Phil Pastoret
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” —Gilda Radner
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." —Will Rogers
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." —Andy Rooney
"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." —Rita Rudner
"Happiness is a warm puppy." —Charles M. Schulz
“If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman's (and a girl’s... says I...) pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog.” —George Bernard Shaw
"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." —John Steinbeck
"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." —Robert Louis Stevenson
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/dog-park/