I recently cashed in all of my work credit card points to buy a ticket to Oakland to get my sister's dog. I bought a stupidly expensive and impractical ticket leaving Friday, returning Saturday to meet a deep need I didn't fully understand. I just knew that I wanted to bring Freckles the dog into my life.
I arrived around 7pm on Friday with enough time to hang with Freckles and my sister, collect his bed and a few of his belongings, stuff him into a too-small soft travel kennel, and get on a noon flight Saturday. When I arrived in Seattle I freed Freckles from the too-small kennel and we headed for light rail. I planned to walk the mile and change to my house but Freckles was simply too tired so we got on the bus. When we got home Freckles, severely overweight and out of shape, was limping and exhausted. So, I did what any good dog owner would do-- I gave him a long bath. That night we had the biggest thunder and lightening storm in recent history and Freckles spent his first night squeezed between me and my partner Nancy with Nancy holding her hands over his ears and me rubbing his fat tushy. It was a really hard day and night for Freckles, but he woke up the next morning ready to start the day anew with a walk and few naps between morning and evening meals.
This is a strange time in life. My daughter is in high school and it feels like she's in college. I never see her and when I do, it's fleeting and unfocused. But I know she's happy and doing what she's supposed to do. I've been doing my job for close to twenty years, a whole generation of my life. The yoga studio mostly runs itself and I have time to explore new creative and spiritual passions. Why, in this time of newfound freedom do I want a dog?
Today I went on a walk with Freckles. Then I brought him to a meeting. Then he came to the studio with me. Then the bank. He's sitting right here as I type this. The obvious answer to why I chose to bring Freckles into my life is to fill a void, to refocus my need to take care of someone and to be in charge. And there is that. But there's also the pure joy that comes from my new little sidekick who simply is exactly who he is. He doesn't look at his phone when we take a walk. He isn't distracted by work or friends or money. Seeing Freckles live every moment like he does is just what I need. In this time of constant change and the potential to get highjacked by things I have no control over, it helps to check in with the energy Freckles brings. It's not that complicated, his eyes tell me-- some food, a walk, maybe a nap, more food, and a good night's rest. Then do it all again tomorrow. Thanks Freckles.