HOW A LITTLE DOG CHANGED THE COURSE OF MY LIFE [A TRUE STORY]

One day back in 1989 I walked over to put a sympathy card on a co-worker’s desk after the loss of one of her relatives.  She worked in the same building but in a different section of the building.  On the way to her desk, I noticed a photo of two Yorkshire Terriers on another co-worker’s desk.  I stopped at the desk with the photos of the dogs and left a sticky note that read:  if you ever need someone to watch your dogs, I love Yorkies and would be thrilled to watch them.  A week or so went by and I got a call from the dog owner.  She was considering re-homing one of the two dogs as the two were not a good fit.  She asked if I would like to talk to her about taking one of the dogs.  I was excited about the prospect and asked if I could take the dog for a trial weekend to see if we were “a good fit.”  She agreed we were and I became the owner of Rascal, a two-year-old, male, 13 pound, Yorkie.

Rascal 4

Halloween Rascal

I was 31 and single and had a pretty active social life as well as a somewhat regular routine at the gym.  How I was going to work for 8 hours a day, go to the gym, go to Happy Hour with friends, out on dates, and now walk a dog several times a day?  But of course, where there is a will, there is a way.  I knocked off the aerobic portion of my gym routine and instead, came directly home and walked Rascal for two miles every day.  I also walked him in the morning and lived close enough to frequently come home over my lunch hour to take him out.  If I was going to be late or wanted to go out after work, my lovely neighbor, Irene, who was retired and home all day would come and pick Rascal up.  I couldn’t take advantage of her too often, nor did I want to.

Rascal & Irene

Rascal’s Grammy

As for my social life, I couldn’t go directly out after work on any regular basis, I had Rascal to come home to and took that responsibility very seriously and actually couldn’t wait to get home to him.  As it turned out, I missed many Happy Hours, walked a lot and went to the gym on a much more regular basis.  I drank less, partied less, grew more responsible, got very healthy, and had the most loving dog anyone could ask for.

Rascal 2

Rascal enjoying the cool grass

Rascal was with me for 17 years.  I had to put him down at the very old age of 19.  He was not in any pain according to his Veterinarian but he was incredibly fragile and couldn’t easily get around, he couldn’t see, could barely hear and I owed him the dignity of letting him go, I definitely waited longer than I should have. It was without question, the hardest thing I ever had to do.  I have always given him credit for changing the course of my life because prior to getting him, I was surely on the wrong path.

Twelve years and three dogs later, I still look at Rascal’s picture every single day.  He still gets credit for being the best thing that ever happened to me.  Dogs have a way of making you a better person.  If it is feasible for you to do so, don’t wait, there are lots of dogs needing homes.  I believe you will be happier for it.

Rascal & Fiste

Rascal and his best buddy, Fiste

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Rascal the best dog ever!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”– Josh Billings (humorist)

60 GOOD DAYS

SOME LIVING TO DO

With my 60 Days to 60 blog, I had a clear mission, to chronicle the 60 days leading up to my 60th Birthday.  Man, those were 60 really great days.  Now, however, the birthday has come and gone but of course, I still have some living to do.  I guess a revamp is in order.  Check back in a day or so for the new name but more of the same.  I hope you will continue to follow, share and comment on my posts.

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel

Above is a photo I took of the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier where I visited with family earlier this month.  Like me, the Ferris Wheel has come a long way.

 

 

You might have guessed:   The Ferris Wheel is named after its inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., who unveiled the first Ferris wheel in Chicago in 1893. 

IS GRATEFUL ENOUGH

60 YEARS AND 8 DAYS

If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you understand the purpose was to rid myself of negative thoughts and feelings about getting older.  I did things I loved every day and appreciated each one with the intention of changing my attitude.  I do believe it worked.  However, I am left wondering if feeling grateful to be alive and to have the luxury of growing older is enough.  I feel like there should be more or rather that I personally should do more.

In just the past couple of weeks, I learned about huge losses suffered by friends/family; one who lost a daughter of 45, another who lost her mother of 82 and yesterday,  a friend who lost her niece of 16.  A friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer is just starting her fight and another has been fighting lung cancer for 10 months.  I guess the 60-day journey I took opened my eyes to how easy it is to forget that we are lucky to be here.  You may prefer the word “blessed” but I don’t think I am more favored or special in any way.  I think it is what it is and yes, I am grateful but I need more than an attitude of gratitude.

Onwards to making a difference…

My inspiration for today:  Rosa Parks was the queen mother of a movement whose single act of heroism sparked the movement for freedom, justice, and equality. Her greatest contribution is that she told us a regular person can make a difference. Marc Morial

 

 

 

AND THAT IS [NOT] A WRAP

DAY 60, JUNE 30, 2018

  • 2 Countries
  • 4  States
  • 3 Road Trips
  • 5 Parties
  • 3 Birthday Cakes
  • 2 Major Concerts
  • 1 Friendship Rekindled
  • 1 Attitude Adjusted

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How can anyone be a sniveler after a two-month celebration with so many memorable events?  I am feeling on top of the world.  I am excited about my sensational 60’s.

I finished up with a small gathering of friends and of course, cake.  The block came out to fit the oh so many candles.

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bday block 2018

I have to give a shout out to my friends and family for really jumping on board, nay, taking up the reins in many instances; for joining me in my 60 Day Journey.  Everyone was so sincerely supportive, encouraging, complimentary, and I hope it is fair to say “inspired.”  Their attitudes truly stirred me into action.  Having all of them behind me throughout my past and moving forward is the greatest treasure.  The journey will not end here as I have many years of living to do.

My plan is to stay positive, pursue a deeper acceptance of life’s imperfections, stay healthy, share the journey, and keep up a constructive dialogue to maintain a level of bodhi (love that word, hope it is being used correctly) for the future.  Let’s together get through this thing called life in the most splendid fashion possible.

Quotes that speak to me of friendship:

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy.  Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.  Charles R. Swindoll

I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.  Walt Whitman

There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends.  That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.  Paramahansa Yogananada

IT IS ALL IN THE PREPARATION

DAYS 56-59, JUNE 26-29. 2018

My big brother and his wife and two daughters made the last minute decision to fly out from Massachusetts for a visit. I spent the last few days making some calendar changes, shopping, cooking, and baking for a small party I wanted to have for their welcome. Any excuse, right!

We celebrated my birthday with lobster at the Salt Cellar.

And since one cannot visit AZ without a trip to Sedona. We did that.

We also decided to join them on their continuing journey to San Diego and then Los Angeles. A bit of preparation needed but we got it all arranged. A busy and fun few days to end my 60 Day Journey.