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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Something Else That Charmed Me

At a particularly difficult time in my life, I decided I needed a dog friend. This was unusual for me because I am a cat person. I would not offer to kick anyone's dog, but they aren't my favorites and I'd only ever loved 3 or 4 of them. But I needed some(thing)(one). My marriage was in its last desperate gasp. I was staggering from the blow of my daughter becoming an adolescent and not needing me in the same ways she had as a small child.

So Cousin and I set out on the search. I picked up Pomeranians and scoped out Scotties. I researched breeds, studying their suitability to me and my lifestyle. Jack Russells were struck from the list of possibilities with regret, and rescued greyhounds likely needed more than I had to give. Ultimately, I knew it would have to be one of the terrier breeds for me. We looked high and low, becoming regulars at some of the pooch emporia. One evening after Starbucks, we walked into a place where everybody really did know my name, and there - before my eyes - was a new arrival. My head spun toward Cousin. "Wire haired fox terrier on the left, Cuz!" That good woman had seen the price sticker, however, and said, "It's not a very nice one, Limes." She was wrong.

I visited that puppy four days in a row, for hours at a time. I placed a deposit so she would be held for me to make a decision in case someone else walked in and fell in love with her. She liked me and I liked her. On the fifth day, she came home with me. I extracted a promise from Ex that he would not feed her or flirt with her - dogs and children liked him more than they liked me. Amber was allowed access to the puppy I named JB (Jelly Belly - yes, like the candies). I felt the little dog was a good mom-daughter project.

This was about the time when I began to be a very serious walker, and that little curly/wiry-haired dog was my companion as I hoofed around Lake Murray every day of life. Afterward, we'd go to Barnes & Noble where she'd scoot under my chair and snooze while I read and had coffee. Some of the patrons looked oddly at me and my dog, but there was not a notice posted to prohibit her presence and she did not behave objectionably.

You see the lovely JB above in her Halloween costume that autumn that was so difficult for me. Yes, I was a pretty indulgent dog owner. I was about 2 stoplights from crazy, and those weren't the only clothes she owned. She was as good a friend as I could have hoped for. When I left the marriage, the little dog stayed back in the family home, of necessity. I couldn't take her with me. Sometimes Ex tried to rattle my cage by saying, "If you don't come and get this dog, I'll [multiple choice] 1) sell her; 2) give her away; 3) put her out at the curb on recycling day. . . . " But I never got too shaken. You see, there's a reason dogs and children liked Ex more than they liked me.

In my ears right now: Music I do not understand. Matt writes songs and is a pretty remarkable angry poet. He has put together some studio mixes that he clearly worked very hard to produce. He's very proud of them. Now I can do Pachelbel and Mozart, Hank Williams and I don't mean Jr., the British invasion, 80s stuff, REM, and even some musician's musicians. But, for the first time in my life, I'm struggling to find meaning and beauty in "young folks' music". I'm not delicate. I like the poetry of Charles Bukowski in its brutality. But I struggle trying to enjoy this.

Something that charmed me yet again: I moved to Las Vegas and began to walk in the park where I've walked almost daily for nearly 7 years. It is a lovely area, a circular park almost precisely 1 mile in diameter - it makes for easy counting. It is populated by families, older adults, teens, and pets. There is an older man who walks a wire haired fox terrier several times every day. I don't see them on the days that I walk in the pre-dawn, but most weekends . . . . his little dog likes me, too!

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