The Nose Knows

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The NOSY cat, Charlie. According to one source, they can pick up scents 14 times better than we can.

Running with the dogs a few days ago was quite the little adventure. Noses to the ground, my two running buddies led me straight through bramble, brush and your usual collection of stickery, spiny Texas vegetation. We were following deer trails…and cow trails..and maybe even the scent of a few hogs.

I started thinking about how keen dogs’ noses are….they can smell 100 times better than we can. I think we’d probably go crazy if we could smell everything they smell.

 

I wonder if running through the pasture is like reading a book or watching a movie for a dog.

Running in town the other day with a friend, we talked about the various fragrances (and stenches) along the road. Some things are yucky – road kill, exhaust fumes. But early in the morning you can pick up the the aroma of bacon sizzling and pancakes on the griddle.  On Saturdays, people do laundry and the clean, crisp smell of laundry detergent floats in the air. And there is NOTHING like fresh mowed grass. Ahhhh! Or bee brush before the rain….or honeysuckle…or a fireplace.

What can you smell this moment? I smell my shampoo and the oil in the diffuser.  I cleaned house today with an eco-friendly cleaner and I can still pick up the faint geranium perfume.

What smells do you love? Rain? Rosemary? Dog? Curry?

Smells are memories too. Does the smell of a chocolate cupcake bring back the memory of a birthday party 40 years ago?  Does the hint of a certain cologne remind you of the guy you dated back in the 80’s?

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Lisa had an “eraser” nose.

Try to notice smells for a few days. Pause and inhale and pay attention. Maybe it’s the mindfulness of sniffing that contributes to the peace dogs and cats seem to sometimes possess.

 

BREATHE…

 

 

 

 

 

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Who’s Watching the Big Dog?

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I worry about their safety, so I keep them on leashes when we go out in the pastures.

I was never a good babysitter. I remember once watching my neighbor’s youngest son and daughter. I sat back as they raced around my house spraying each other with air fresheners.  We probably should have all died of asphyxia.

I do a little better with dogs….well, a “LITTLE.” I let them run around like wild ones sometimes because I think they need to do that. And it’s hilarious to watch. But I am a pretty good fur-baby-mom. I make sure they have shots, I buy expensive healthy foods, limit treats (even though at times, a long lasting busy bone would be the ideal thing to make Cupcake stop bouncing off Sparky’s head). I try to keep them safe from harm and I won’t even go out of town overnight because I worry.

But who’s babysitting the babysitter?

I appear to take really good care of myself. I run and lift weights and eat healthy sometimes. But if you really know me, you can see through that facade. I can eat a dozen cupcakes followed up by a bag of Doritos…which often leads back to chocolate because you have to change the salty taste in your mouth to sweet (or vice versa.)  And if there is anything decadent in the house, I feel the compulsion to eat ALL OF IT!  I have this rationale that I should rid the house of it so I can start eating healthy tomorrow.  Why can’t I take loving care of myself like I do my pets? By the same token, why can’t I let myself run wild like I did the kids that day?

The past few days I’ve rewarded myself for being alive by feeding myself large quantities of fat and sugar.  Or maybe I just thought that feeding my negative emotions would keep their mouths busy chewing so they’d shut up for a while. I’ve completely overdone it.  And I can feel it…my stomach feels queasy, I’m tired and lethargic, and I noticed I was breathing harder on my runs.

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Sometimes you just have to tell them to back down!

But I don’t just abuse myself. I allow other people to treat me with disrespect. There’s a saying “talk to him/her like a dog.” Well, I don’t talk to my dogs the way others have spoken to me recently, with my permission.

During this time of self-abuse, I have been loved by wonderful friends.  I honestly don’t deserve the love of these women, but I guess ‘grace’ extends into all areas of life.  And these sisters teach me much.

Thanks to my friends,  I believe...

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I could adorn myself with flowers and ride in the back of the pickup, smiling into the wind.

…things are going to change. I’m going to learn take care of myself…healthy diet, healthy living, boundaries, and the permission to run wild. I started this blog to learn life lessons, I just didn’t expect to be pushed into a journey that feels this large.

But I’ll take it one step at a time and just breathe and focus on love…loving myself, loving others, forgiving myself, forgiving others…and moving on.

Dog Days of Winter

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Like cactus, some of us are just not meant to be in the ice and snow.

I Googled or rather “Binged” Dog Days and learned that once upon a time the Dog Days of Summer were considered evil:  “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” according to John Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813

For some of us, winter’s shorter days and long, dark, cold nights are also dangerous. We seem to get lost in the darkness, desperately looking for the sun. We count down until the days start getting longer.

But last night, I had such an amazing experience. A friend of mine hosted a free yoga class along with a healing meditation and soup supper.  As I sat on my yoga mat, being INSIDE my body, I became aware of how uncomfortable looking within and being still is for me. I’m an extrovert and a little bit hyper. Looking inside makes me antsy.  So maybe that’s why the whole business of winter gets me down…I am stuck inside, literally and emotionally.

But last night we held a tiny candle and focused on the flame, allowing that light to fill us. And we reached up toward the Divine and drew showers of flowers onto ourselves, filling ourselves with the beauty of spring and summer.  Just because the sun only makes short showings, doesn’t mean she’s gone completely.  The light inside of me is always there. BUT I only see it when I take the time to look inside. I guess that’s why winter is essential to my wholeness.

“I believe in the sun when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when He’s silent.” – Found scratched on a wall in a concentration camp.

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Ice on mesquite

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The coldest days bring their own unique beauty.

 

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Make the best of it…bundle up and play with your friends. Sparky, Lisa and Beulah enjoying the snow.

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Moses, however, was not impressed.

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My precious Lisa. I miss her.

 

 

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Winter might be a bad time for speed work though.

 

Packlife is the good life

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Cupcake always tries to get Sparky or one of the cats to share in her treats.

Today is my birthday. This is not a great date to have a birthday. Most of the time, people forget it.  And it seem every year something disappointing or hurtful happens. But I’m going to focus on the positive.

Yesterday I had my feelings hurt by two people I love. I walked through Hastings almost in tears. Then when I went to get my Chai Tea Latte, the line was so long I just walked away. One disappointment after another.

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My friend and I – enjoying a meal and doing what we do best: LAUGHING.

BUT something good did happen. I had lunch with a dear old friend. We’ve been friends since 5th grade…if you know my age, you know that’s been quite a few years.  We even roomed together in college – for the short period of time I was there. Seeing her was the highlight of my day.  I need to keep in touch with her more often. Friends are a treasure into which I should invest more of myself and my time.

Unfortunately, when I get busy, one of the first things to suffer is my social life. I find myself almost irritated by social obligations, racking my brain for excuses to avoid the get-together.  And inevitably I actually make myself physically ill. So I end up with the excuse I wanted.

How sad that connection is the first thing to go in stressful times! How ironic it is that the connection is the very thing that takes away that stress!

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Charlie and Screech: Even the aloof cat needs a friend.

In one of my previous blogs, I shared about the oneness I felt one afternoon while running in the rain. Separateness is unnatural – oneness is what my soul desires. I need connection; I need friends.

Once again I can watch the fur babies and learn these life lessons. They love one another – they weren’t born as family but there’s definitely love.  And yes, we all need time alone but sometimes sharing a rawhide and a few laughs makes it all better.

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Not long before Lisa passed away, these two cuddled on the living room floor.

 

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Species isn’t important to friendship.

 

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Sharing a sunbeam.

 

Wearing my errors with style and grace

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Bella has a cozy spot where she feels safe and secure.  It’s inside one of the best cat inventions yet: the pop-open kitty cube. When the house gets crazy, and the dogs act like wild ones, she goes to this hiding spot.  Sometimes, all curled up, she seems almost smug in her little corner of the world.

I find myself smug like that sometimes. Secure in my little world, sure of myself and my knowledge. But if somebody messes with my cube, I get angry.

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So often Sparky tries to play with Bella while she’s happily purring in her cube. And equally often he ends up with a claw on the nose and . . . occasionally he gets his head stuck. But it never seems to bother him….he just runs around the house, quite proud of himself and his newest accessory. Very stylish in the dog world, I hear.

The other day I found myself in an argument. I was 150% sure that I was right.  I didn’t doubt myself for a moment. When somebody attempted to correct me, I turned vicious, throwing some profanity into my defense.

I was no longer sweet little Bella curled up in my cube.  I discovered I was wrong and my head was stuck in the cube. There was my denying it…my head was completely STUCK! I swallowed hard and then decided to sit in silence, brewing and fuming in my “wrongness” and trying to find a reason…an excuse or maybe a loophole.

Periscoping my red face out of my cube, I glanced around the room. Yep, they were watching…oh woe is me. What do I do now?  I look like a fool. I look ridiculous!

*GULP* I swallowed that big bitter lump of pride and…I wore the cube with grace…I said THOSE words…

I WAS WRONG! 

And it wasn’t that bad…actually it felt kinda good. Almost like a relief. I don’t have to be infallible. I can be human. I was wrong and the ceiling didn’t cave in around me ears.  The room of people didn’t laugh at me.

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I was wrong! I was wrong!

WOW! I look good in a cube.  I’m kinda cute in my humanness/dogness.

So like Sparky, I just pranced around the room with my cube around my neck, wagging my tail the rest of the day.

 

 

Closer to God in the Rain

Sparky playing in the creek after the rain.

Sparky playing in the creek after the rain.

Ever have one of those experiences that you know you’ll remember forever? One of those moments that stays etched in your soul….you can remember the way the air smelled, the taste in your mouth, the color of the leaves on the tree, every detail?

Once upon a time, not that long ago, but long enough that Lisa and Beulah were both still alive, I harnessed all three doggies (Sparky had just moved in) and trotted off across the pasture.  It was a misty fall day. Everything in the pasture was brown and red and the air was wet.

As I started out, I remembered how often as a child I’d want to play in the rain but adults never approved. I thought with a smile, ” I’m a grownup now – I can play in thunderstorms if I want to.” (The wisdom of playing in thunderstorms was addressed a few months later – that’s another blog post.)

As I ran I had some of those profoundly crazy running thoughts I get. I pondered how we’re made up of atoms…and all the stuff around us is made up of atoms…the rain, the ground, the dogs, the bugs….

I wondered what really separates us.

SUDDENLY I had one “THE MOMENT”…the moment of clarity where I knew that NOTHING really separates us. We’re all part of the whole…the dogs and I were all one…running through the rain, jumping over prickly pear, panting and sweating, hearts beating…I felt true oneness….and all around us, holding us all together…well, that was GOD. Big and loving. No judgments, just love.

Off we ran into the rain, one ball of energy wet and shaggy, panting and smelly…held together by love.

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Beulah and Lisa

When lightning strikes my sleepy little mind . . .

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I’m not really sure what’s going on lately but SOMEBODY out there is trying to get me wake up and pay attention. Seems each day presents a new lesson.

I’m new to this blogging business and I’ll probably be the only person to ever read this but at least I’ll be able to track these lessons and miracles of synchronicity.

Guess I’ll start with the title…When I grow up, I want to be a dog. The other morning I was running and started thinking about how wonderful life would be if I could go into each day as if that day was the first day of school. Each morning, I’d start with sharpened pencils and a mind open to new adventures. I’d walk through my life ready to make new friends at every turn. I’d join clubs and take naps and get outside during recess regardless of the weather. Each moment would be be exciting!

And then I saw it…the meme that made me realize my spiritual goal in this life: I want to grow up to be a dog!

“We live our lives as if nothing is a miracle, dogs live their lives as if everything is a miracle.”

Quote by aplacetolovedogs.com  Read more at http://www.aplacetolovedogs.com/2010/05/dogs-inspirational-original-2/1486590638/#AJHVfIkyFCUuuGzI.99

So that’s the goal… to seek miracles. NO – not “seek”…to SEE miracles. The miracles are there. I just have to wake up and see them.  And so I’ll share miracles here and lessons I’m learning. I’ll try to be honest as I’m capable of being. Of course, the dog version of me would be perfectly belly-up, butt-sniffing honest. I’m working on it.

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