Day one


The first lesson that Charlie taught us is that life revolves around the pack - not money, careers or possessions. Before he came into our lives, Michelle and I came home and reviewed our days like a final status meeting, had dinner, skimmed a book or magazine, watched the late news and crashed. Then Charlie came along. We walked into the house, he ran up to us, howled, rolled over, and then ran off to find and bring us a shoe, sock, glove or toys that he’d drop at our feet. 

Every time we came home he went out of his way to tell us just how happy he was to see us, again.




Problem solving


When we moved to the Scarborough Bluffs Charlie began hunting for tennis balls in the late spring when the local tennis courts opened. He taught me that the best place to look for balls is not on tennis courts or along the sidelines; far too obvious. He prefers bushes, undergrowth and garbage cans. His hunting strategy reminds me to look beyond the easy and obvious solutions.

Also, with my eyes and his nose we’re a much better team than any two-dog or two-person combination because together we see more . . . and we see differently.






Last week Charlie + I played our last game of snowballs for the season because the last of the spring snow is all gone. But if you go into the shaded forests that we like to walk through there are still some ice-paths; they're the summer paths that become the winter paths and over the course of the winter the snow on those paths turns to dense ice and is the last bit of winter to melt away.

On either side of these (six foot wide) ice-paths there's dried grass from last fall to walk on. But Charlie slips and slides along the ice-paths because that's the path he always takes. 

Sound familiar? Look familiar? Feel familiar?  Old habits die hard.

Sometimes I too catch myself moving or thinking along an old path while there are better paths right in front of me.




Life, loss and renewal


Zeus, Mozart and Charlie.

What goes around, comes around. No ball lasts forever. 

Neither do the good times, nor the bad times.




The joy of discovery


Three times a day Charlie reminds me that it’s time to go for a walk. He’s very punctual and persistent that way. But while it’s important for him to go for a walk “now” and to head off in a particular direction, once we begin walking, he becomes immersed in the walk. He can be speeding along, tracking a ball or friend by sight - when an interesting smell interrupts his present intention and everything changes. In a flash he skids to a stop, circles, once, twice and then bounds off in a new direction. This sort of behaviour is really bad news if your journey is all about arriving first. But it’s no big deal if your trip is all about the journey and the discoveries you make along the way.




Page 1 of 2

About  |  Back Story  |  Art