Old Habits

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 old habits die hard.

Charlie slips and slides along these ice-paths because . . . that's the path.

Sound familiar? Look familiar? Feel familiar?

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




We learn as we go

This is my creative muse Charlie. I was just teaching myself how to add pictures to my blog and - voila!  This picture was taken by a Piotr Organa here in Toronto, Canada. His specialty is dogs + cats. You can see much of his wonderful (published + unpublished) work here: http://www.organa.ca/pet/


Driveway is a new game

Driveway" is the name of a game Charlie taught me last month. Here's how it works.

1. I take some action the suggests to Charlie that I will be going outside.
2. Charlie zooms around and finds a ball as fast as he can and follows me wherever I go. Hopefully outside.
3. If I stand outside our door, Charlie drops the ball in a corner, trots 1/2 way down the driveway, turns, stands and stares at me.
4. I throw the ball, he catches it, returns it, trots 1/2 way down the driveway again, turns, stands and stares. And so it goes.
5. The game is exactly the same length as a piece of string.
6. Driveway can only be played when he and I are alone in the driveway because a third player might steal the ball.
7. Late evening, just before bedtime is the only time he plays this game.

Weird but very cute.

The genesis of faith

The other night I didn't sleep very well. My Dad died recently and I'm still trying to come to terms with a few things. He was always a man of faith. He was taught to put his faith in God shortly after being born - and did so until he died 87 years later. There was a full moon that night and by laying on my side I could look down at the floor and watch Charlie who was in a deep, peaceful sleep on his favorite blanket. As I watched Charlie sleep I thought of how he trusts me to provide for all of his needs and what a beautiful metaphor his trust in me is for the trust my father placed in God. Was it a moment like this thousands of years ago that prompted the first quest for God?
Like Charlie, my father never knew what tomorrow would bring - but like me, God seemed to ensure that my father's needs were always cared for. I didn't and don't want to pursue the darker side of this trust metaphor - why so many innocent people (and animals)must die as a result of our negligence and abuse. The trust metaphor lingers and keeps burping up though. Perhaps it's because I'm not sure. I loosen my grip on faith when I need it most. I don't think that Dad ever did. If he did, it shifted him into prayer mode. Faith & prayer carried him through trials and tribulations that I can't even imagine. And God cared for him, carried him, and made his burdens light(er). Just as tonight I'll ensure Charlie gets a long walk, a good meal, a warm blanket and my blessing before he nods off to sleep beside me - teaching me to have a bit more faith that things will be alright.

Bonding with 4 winter boots

I've heard that it takes a few weeks for us to internalize change. Seems that rule applies to Charlie as well. Just before Christmas the salt trucks came round to make driving safer in our neighborhood. But Charlie hates road salt (in his paws) and refused to go on the road that leads to the park that he loves to play in. So Michelle and I bought Charlie a set of winter boots.
He hated the idea - and hid in his room (AKA the Hall Closet).
I put them on anyway and dragged him out for his walk.
1/2 way through the walk he began to trot, and by the end our the 'walk' he ran.
Here we are - three weeks later. He's wearing his boots most every day because of the road salt. When we come in from our walk I take his boots off and lay them in front of a heating vent to ensure they're warm and dry for the next walk.
In the last few days I have noticed that Charlie is going to the air vent to pick up a boot or two which he then takes to his day bed.
It seems he's learned the value of his boots and bonded with them.
A lot of the good things in my life were also rejected before they were embraced.