The Two Legged Dog . . .

Recently Charlie and I were watching that 'dog wisperer' show. You probably know the one. Most episodes are pretty much the same. Out of control dog gets put in his place and is happier for it. This show was different. It featured a little two legged Jack Russel kinda dog. He hopped around like a kangaroo and flopped onto his belly when at rest. His owners had made him a carriage that would allow him - and the rest of the pack - greater mobility. The dog whisperer was there to help the dog into the device and help him explore his new-found freedom. The show ended on a high note.

For some reason I thought of that episode last night after talking to another dog walker who was feeling melancholy.

What was moving was the happiness of the little two-legged dog and the couple who loved him - just the way he was. There was no physical disability as far as the dog was concerned. Better yet - he was part of a pack that adored him.

And that's what got me thinking. It made me think of how happy we are when we remain in the moment. When happiness comes from within. When it is not a relative thing based on me or us having more than you.
Charlie has taught me - and reminds me every day - that life is good. That I should give thanks for what I have. And that wishing for what others have destroys the happiness of the moment we're in and all of those to come.

I found this attributable quote 35 years ago: it's an integral part of my life now.

Happiness is the ability to make a bouquet out of the flowers within reach.


Where I live winter days and nights are generally overcast - hiding the sun by day and the stars and moon by night. When I take Charlie, my black poodle, for our evening walk he blends in with the night and the dark fields we walk through. To 'see' him I need to listen for the tinkling of his dog tags - and then look carefully for a place in the field that is even darker than the surrounding area: a little black hole so to speak. And when I draw close - there's Charlie laying in the grass, tail wagging.
Once the snow comes it'll get easier.
For now Charlie's lesson for me is this: that which you love and treasure most will always stand out - and can always be found (again). But not always in the manner in which we expect. My ears and 'night vision' serve me far better than the narrow beam of a flashlight.

More about apples

Winter arrived in the meadow in which Charlie and I take our morning walks. Most of the leaves are down and the tall grass that Charlie loves to jump through, like a little furry gazelle, is gone. Underfoot all is crunchy with frost, topped off with a dusting of snow. Here and there, there are bushes with bright red berries and a few old apple trees are hanging on to their fruit as well. On some trees - one red apple. On others many. On all of them - the fruit hangs between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. The windfall, the low hanging fruit and the tops are long gone. Left are the tenacious fruits coveted by many of the meadow's hungry creatures. And as they hang there, glistening in the morning sun I see something else as well. The druid's inspiration to decorate trees with bright red and yellow orbs.


Charlie can be a real prima donna when given a choice. Charlie's pretty happy with the stuff we find along the way, but he's not immune to bling. There's a guy in one of the parks Charlie and I go to. He likes to buy his Setter the cheap and chearful balls, boomerangs and other weird toys that are available at the local Dollar Store. When Charlie sees them he drops what he's got and chases after the Setter's toy-de-jour. Worst of all - Charlie chews them up on no time while the Setter and his owner look on in disgust. I'll let you decide what the lesson here is. Maybe - Bling is bling, display it at your peril because you might just loose it - which is O.K. as long as you're not too attached to it. One Guru taught me that it's O.K. to desire the good things in life so long as you don't covet them and become attached to them. Kind of like now - those who sweat the losses in the stock market are worse off than those who accept their losses and move on.




Every fall the apple trees along the Scarborough Bluffs give up their fruit to the local inhabitants - including deer, opossums, birds, field mice - and Charlie. While the summer is his time to hunt for tennis balls in the local tennis courts, the Fall refocuses Charlie's nose to a new 'ball' one that has all the appeal of a tennis ball - plus three others: they’re smaller, faster - and edible. While the first harvest of bitter apples is one to be chased and hunted for in the tall grass, the last sweet harvest is one to be eaten slowly and quietly lying in grass covered by cool morning dew.