On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My husband teases me that my world revolves around my dog, Buddy. And while I like to think the animal is merely an occupant in my home, the truth is he does rule. And this is not a bad thing.

Having Buddy is like having small children again. There's a pleasure I get from the simple joy he gets from everything. For example, we've discovered a couple of dog parks in the area. I'm a good owner, (I was a good mother, too) so I make it a habit of taking him to one around noon every day. I've discovered the good this does for me as well, getting me away from work to clear my mind, exercising my body. The trail is exhilarating, up and down wooded slopes, through dense stands of trees, and even on the coldest days I am loathe to go in.

Buddy loves to run, and he grins as he goes, plowing through the powder, chasing squirrels, dodging through the bare tangle of brush and bush, making me laugh at my very old dog acting like a puppy. Then I feel myself growing lighter and younger. I find myself marveling once more at sun-sparkling snow, at the canopy of bare branches stretched across a blue sky, at the soughing of wind through trees. These are all things I had pushed aside in pursuit of grown-up goals, and now they are back, fresh again, reminding me of things forgotten.

Like a child, buddy's sadness is unbearable when I have to go without him. He deigns to take an offered biscuit, as though the taste is dross because I'm going away. That sad face weighs on me while I'm gone, even though I know he will spend the day stretched out in bliss on the couch. Then he is always so delighted when I return, his entire butt wriggling with joy.

I've missed that adulation.I think it's the joy inherent in children and pets that can help us as we age, that can give us fresh perspectives and keep our juices flowing.



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