Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)

There are gulpers and there are chippers in this world. I am a gulper. There are no stages, no stepping stones of graduated achievements with how I proceed. There is simply the goal and myself, whatever it may be. Everything between me and the goal must be overcome. And now, today, this very instant in fact! Definitely not tomorrow or a wishy-washy “sometime later, honey.” I will stay the course, finish strong, even if doctors and nurses hurry behind me with a crash cart and tranquilizer darts. Reality be darned!

All this I thought today during my first 10k, walking at a steady pace with my saintly husband* and tolerant Labrador. And then my Lab, during mile six, laid down in the middle of the road during a water break. She peered up at me and my so-called goals.

“Go ahead–try to move me, human,” my Labrador taunted me from the ground. “But you’re going to carry my 55lb butt back to the air conditioned car. And then I’m gonna pee all over your azaleas you just planted so lovingly…”

Continue reading “Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)”

The Impermanence of Legacy

I walked my Labrador this evening. Over hills, through mud, grass, gravel and turf we went, smelling, sniffing and eating things of questionable nature before I could issue a stern “Ka kah!”* Upon our walk, we came across a memorial for local fire fighters. In the sidewalk ambling up laid worn bricks with donors’ names etched. Most of the names were erased by the elements, faint letters visible sporadically, leaving nonsense to be deciphered and speculated.

We lingered only a moment, as my Lab was undertaking a smell inventory. In the pause, I became aware how short human memory and legacies are, despite salesmen’s promises. We are born with nothing; we die with nothing. As a stumbling follower of Yeshua, this doesn’t bother me. I chose to place my trust in him and his words, something I don’t consider transient. This speck of dust does hope to leave some books behind, like the Brontës did in their century.  If anything, someone can use the novels to prop open a door for another. Or level a wobbly table or two on the Enterprise. It could happen.

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Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion

We’ve owned our Labrador Retriever rescue mix for about a year now. We will celebrate her adoption day soon. During our time together she continually developed her resume and list of self-appointed duties. These duties culminated into a steadfast guarding of her people who feed her and take her on patrol marches around the parameters of her territory. Our Lab is a gentle soul, but grows protective and suspicious of the outside world. It is a scary time, after all. She reads newspapers; she knows. Continue reading “Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion”

All Dogs Go to Heaven

I’ve never liked when I come across a person who is so adamantly sure that animals–particularly dogs–don’t go to heaven. I listen to their explanation, or rather give the appearance of it, because I’m usually required to be polite while enduring intolerable situations. I nod along to their premises (ones I disagree with) and take out an umbrella to shelter myself from their dripping grey attitude. Drip, drip, drip…the beating of the umbrella fabric gives me something to count. On some occasions, I watch the speaker’s temper flicker and flare, catching their pants on fire. I find a fire bucket and quickly douse them, becoming a hero two-fold. I smile coyly and say “There now, everything’s alright. You’re all wet after all!” Continue reading “All Dogs Go to Heaven”

Labrador Lessons: Lesson 1

I own a Labrador Retriever mix, a dog who is the inspiration for a canine character (or two) in my new novel. When the real dog barked in the middle of a sentence tweak or the fiddling of a paragraph, the fictional dog barked, too. When one spied a dastardly preschooler circling our block on a tricycle, pig tails a flyin’ without care, honor or worry, both dogs raised their hackles and the barking commenced. When one had to pee…well… One must have a sense of humor in these things. Continue reading “Labrador Lessons: Lesson 1”