November 12, 2014

Grateful Dog Days

I'm a morning person. I know the night owls hate that about me. It's just that when I go to bed early or at a decent time, morning is awesome. I love sleep. I just don't want to do it all day. So, I get up, make myself a hot brew and start my day.

Some days like today, I catch up on emails or the classifieds or scour websites and blogs that interest me. I do all this while I think. And think. And think. Never too much of a good thing. The key is to think positive. Believe it or not it's not always easy to do at 4am or even 6am.

This morning I thought of a few negative things that have happened in my life in the past couple years. What a bummer. But I give myself that. Sulk for a bit and then SNAP out of it and move on with your day, lady.

I've recently re-joined a group of dog walkers and I'm so glad I did. I realized I really miss seeing them. With a new dog who needs to RUN, this is the perfect group to hang with. I really like their company.

Yesterday a few of us were out braving the Polar Vortex, getting some exercise and socializing - our dogs. Once out of the Arctic winds we could actually slow down and breathe. It was beautiful.

Sure, the aesthetics would not have made splendid polaroids for some but I remember laughing while we all caught up and our canines romped and forged ahead on the trail. 

Along the trail we see that others have been busy.

It took me three hours to get the chill out of my bones when I got home. While I griped internally about the forecast for our upcoming winter, I stopped and thought of my walking companions I had earlier in the day.

One lady had recently lost her great dane. That pooch was so entertaining to me just because of his size. His personality was just as large too. With this loss, still,  it's owner continued the trails as she borrowed a dog to walk. As she pulled her hood tighter around her face, she confided in me that she wouldn't even go outside this winter but her dog needs the exercise.

Then I thought about another couple who walk every day with their little mop dog. They are a retired, elderly pair with outstanding humour. They never cease to make me laugh along the trail. What struck me as I recalled my day was that neither of them complained about the weather but they did relish when we found the sheltered trail.

This couple is amazing to me. They are (were) immigrants to Canada way back when, worked hard, raised a family and are now enjoying their retirement. What gets me is that they really don't complain about anything.  They are so thankful for everything they have that I am blown away by their incessant optimism and humour. They have both suffered multiple life threatening conditions and battled back to return to the trail walks each and every time, sometimes alone but nonetheless, they return.

So, as I cranked the heat to rid myself of inner winter chill I thought of how thankful I am for who I am, what I know, where I've been, who I know and what I have.

Life is so short and so unpredictable. This I know. I really need to be more aware to be more grateful more often. As I look at the forecast for today though, I am undecided if I will join the frozen few who never waiver.

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