You ran away again. John left the side door open enough to let the scent of freedom into the house. You smelled it. As he was retrieving a bag from the car, you loped by. Running with intent, head high, you ignored his whistles, callings and hand claps. Third escape in less than two weeks. John chased after you. A young boy heard him calling and nabbed you before you got too far. You showed no remorse for leaving, being caught, or returning home. You truly live in the moment Dwight. The mindful hound lesson I learned today: If you see an opportunity, don’t hesitate, take it before it disappears. I will try to adopt this philosophy. I tend to let the past haunt me and the future scare me, which crowds the present, distorting opportunities. Watching you, allows me to see that right here, right now is what matters. You are glad to see me when I come in from collecting the newspaper or the mail. Gone less than 30 seconds, but it’s a whole new moment for you.
I wonder if you remember your past. How did you acquire a tracheal injury and end up at the SPCA? Does the uncertainty and unpleasantness of those events effect you currently? I know a little about tracheal injuries. I had a tracheotomy once. I don’t remember the procedure. I was put in a coma, so that I wouldn’t pull out the plastic tube that was inserted into my airway. I couldn’t move my arms or use my hands, so I’m not sure why I was put under. I awoke to the sound of a machine that made noises like a dime store tambourine breathing for me. I was scared. Confused. Pissed. I didn’t know what had happened to me, but I couldn’t talk to ask questions. My husband was there for me, as he always is. I find it hard to forget that piece of my past.
Who was there for you Dwight? Who comforted you at the SPCA? You were at the shelter before going to the prison. I was in ICU before going to Rehab. I was still trapped and longed to walk in nature. I dreamed of walking barefoot over stones. What did you dream of? Maybe following the scent of a deer, through muddy fields, where tall weeds tickled your ears. Freedom. We both have tasted it. Lost it. Found it again. I vow to give you as much freedom as I can. We will never take our walks for granted. Rain, snow, sun, ice, fog. It’s all beautiful and there for us to enjoy. Be patient with me Dwight. I may not walk as fast, but I promise you will never have a more grateful walking partner. Together we will notice buds on tress, variegated greens on mosses, bumpy bark on trees, feathers on the path, sweet bird songs, fog kissing the creek. We will feel the warmth of the sun on our backs, the chill of the wind on our faces, and catch snowflakes on our noses. We will smell the richness of fall, the sweetness of spring, the heaviness of summer, and the fresh of winter.
We will enjoy our walks Dwight. We won’t hide our scars, just leave them be. That’s the past. Don’t look back. We aren’t going that way. I need you to keep me mindful of the moments. We need each other for love and kindness. Shared. A dog and his lady. Let’s begin our story together Dwight. Thanks for keeping me mindful.