My Silent Companion

He may be silent, but his eyes speak volumes.  He is my muse. A gentle, guiding spirit who curls up beside me whilst I write for hours on end.

As I’ve mentioned before, his name is Bacchus and he will be 11 years old next month.  Surprisingly, although his fur is greying, he is as spry as ever.  Nevertheless, we decided to buy him a large Red Radio Flyer Wagon, complete with padding (bottom and sides) and installed with an “umbrella” to keep the UV rays out. When we take him for a long walk, we lift him into the wagon as he gets tired.  He can lie down comfortably and enjoy the scenery or take a nap as we continue our stroll. I know this sounds a bit over the top but, he is – after all – our “son.” (Note: we also have doggie ramps ready to be installed for that time – hopefully not for a while yet – when stairs become a challenge for him). People do look at us rather strangely, but we don’t mind appearing a little “eccentric.”

We feed him natural, preservative-free food — a combination of home-cooked and Orijen (a wonderful brand – made in Canada, of course!) , which makes his coat shiny and soft.

Bacchus came into our lives when he was an 8-week old puppy. He has been a source of joy from the first day I held him in my arms.  He has taught us a lot about loyalty, love, patience, and trust. Most importantly, he helps us to understand — truly — that life doesn’t need to be as complex as we humans make it out to be.  There is serenity in simplicity.  Bacchus continues to help us keep things in perspective.

Right now, I feel his breath on my feet.  He is content, eyes half-closed and probably thinking that I spend way too much time on the computer.   He’d be right about that.  Come to think of it, maybe I should take a break and take him outside to the garden for a bit. It’ll do him good.  And me, as well.

Signing off for now …. h.f.t.g.

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”    -Unknown

New Year’s Revelation #4 of 7: Take the Scenic Route Always

Ever stop and wonder whether it’s really, really necessary to rush about (almost manically, sometimes) each day – from point A to point B, zig-zagging through traffic to make that green light (which will inevitably turn red, just as you reach it, no matter how fast you drive), or chauffeuring the teenage kids (some of whom feel that they are entitled to parental limo service) to all their activities and social events?  

Do we often impose imaginary deadlines or unreasonable time limitations on ourselves?  Are we biting off more than we can chew? Or, more to the point, are  we over-scheduling ourselves and perhaps need a refresher course on how to manage our time more reasonably?

Most importantly, are we cheating ourselves of the simple, serene moments (so very necessary for the nourishment of mind, soul and body) — like stopping to marvel at someone’s beautiful front garden, slowing down the car to gaze at a breathtaking sunset, stepping out to frolic in the snow (we’re never too old for that!), or taking a nice evening stroll just after dinner. Let the teenagers carpool with one of their friend’s parents or – here’s a novel idea – tell them to take the bus! We did . Back in the day. And, incidentally,  we didn’t have cell phones back then, to call anyone in case of emergency. 

Again, I digress.

Here’s another heatherfromthegrove anecdote.  My husband rides a Harley (Fat Boy  — the motorcycle, that is, not my husband!).  I happily ride on the back of the Harley.  We both love it.  Riding, with the wind in our faces, well … the word that comes to mind is Freedom.  When we ride, we feel free.  It is the most exhilarating experience.  Yet, so many times, we’ve had to go places and he would ask me (every single time):  “Do you want to take the scenic route, or go the fast way?”  Often – too often – I answered  “The fast way.”  Why?  I felt some irrational need to hurry.  I was cheating myself.  My husband – a very, very sage man – knew that I was choosing the wrong path.  He would always ask the question twice – the second time, he’d say “Are you sure you don’t want to take the scenic route?” The implication of the second question went right over my head.  I was blinded by my own imaginary timing. 

It should be noted that whenever we took the scenic route, we would ride with grins from ear-to-ear.  Ahhhhhh …. the sights, smells, sounds…. simply delightful!  Then we’d stop for a bite to eat and enjoy each other’s company.  We took our time.  And,  the amazing thing was that we somehow managed to do all the things we had set out to do that day.  Imagine that! 

Fyi … now, we take the scenic route – every time.  Life is too short for compromises.

So, if you ever have to choose between taking the fastest route or the scenic route….. always, ALWAYS take the scenic route. 

You won’t be disappointed.

It appears that animals are often times more spiritually enlightened than we humans.  Below, Bacchus (my “son”) takes a moment to gaze at the scenery (Bear Creek Canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains – Northern California).