7.07.2011

LIFE LESSONS FROM A TERRIER


This morning on our walk, Pete decided to take a moment.

He sniffed along the curb for a bit, found things satisfactory, and then laid himself down on the hot sidewalk right outside our building, belly to concrete, and refused to budge. 

I was running late already, and feeling impatient, and after tugging fruitlessly for a bit I looked down at him over the bald head of my baby and pondered his scruffy face. 

Suddenly there he was again, my Petey, just like old times. Like nothing had changed. Boy had I missed him. He looked up at me inquisitively, possibly wondering why I was staring at him so strangely. 

"Should we find you a park bench in the sun then?" I asked, relinquishing my agenda and all of the shoulds of the day and pulling softly on his green nylon leash. 

He looked up at me lazily and yawned and stretched his gangly white legs, and then set about the business of watching cars pass by on the road, just right there, where last night all our garbage bags awaited their pick up. Like this was something he could do--lay on the sidewalk instead of fulfilling every silly expectation. 

It was such a significant, dumb moment that I nearly shouted. I wanted to laugh, and I wanted to cry, and maybe also just a little bit I wanted to lay down there with him and forget about everything else, too. Just me, my puppy baby, my chubby baby, and the hot, stinky street slowly warming our climate-controlled bones. 

Instead, we settled on a sunny park bench, a suddenly free morning, and some people watching. I mean, after all, I was wearing a skirt.

The park was quiet as I cancelled some plans, and then we eased into doing absolutely nothing. We watched some horses clomp by carrying their tourist cargo, we discussed the weather with a nice old lady and her fluffy Maltese. Pete lay until the laying was laid, then got up and bravely cleared his way through some awfully tall weeds along the side of the bench, sniffing for worms I'm sure. And then we paused to watch an older gentleman jogging down the street in a track suit made of plastic, his curly hair glistening with sweat. It looked terribly uncomfortable.

Sometimes in life things are so obvious that it catches me by surprise, which is so weird to me. Shouldn't obvious things always make sense? But even in the best of times, roads are windy and decisions feel strange. Doesn't life sometimes feel like a big old ball of string, with one more person to disappoint, and one more expectation you know you will struggle to meet? I can't please everyone, and in trying, I lose sight of all of the beautiful things most worth seeing. I'm learning the hard way to accept that and move on.

It was a good lesson today from that silly white dog of mine with the long, scruffy nose. To just lay down on the concrete, and maybe sniff at a passing bug, and let the obvious things in life be the most important things for a bit.

Thanks for that, Pete.  

18 comments :

  1. Last night after work I was in a rush! I had 2 hours to complete all of the prep work I had procrastinated on before my neighbors and their kids came for "Crafting With Miss PJ"... my sweet Lady went outside and did her business and then plopped down in a warm sunny spot. I had to smile.... there is always time for a little sun!

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  2. not gonna lie, i would have been sliiightly disappointed if this hadn't included a huck face or two.

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  3. That Peter Pan knows what it's all about...

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  4. It is those special moments when life REALLY happens.

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  5. i loved this. sometimes it feels so good to blow off everything and just be. animals are good at teaching us that. and no, you can't please everyone, but those you can't will slowly fade away and what matters always comes to focus. you're doing great natalie.

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  6. what a beautifully written post. when your book deal inevitably comes through, i'll be first in line. you're good natalie, really good.

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  7. that is so incredibly sweet of you ... he still is your baby after all :)

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  8. I love this post; it just seems like you found your way back home if that even makes sense? Maybe not.

    My dog once sat down on a walk and refused to continue, it was too hot, I ended up carrying him a block home. He was only a pup, but he was at least 30 lbs. I definitely learned my lesson about midday walks.

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  9. I have decided that the best dogs are named Pete. I have one myself :) He often teaches me life lessons as well, but most of the time he pokes me with his nose until I scratch his tummy.

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  10. sometimes little moments like this become big moments :) love this!

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  11. I cannot even tell you how my soul sang along to that second to last paragraph. Just lovely, you nailed it.

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  12. Sounds like a terrific day! I want more days like that; I even have 3 day weekends (every. single. week.)...but those days fill up so quickly! You've inspired me, Natalie. I'm going to take a day and just watch and feel...see where the wind carries me (and here in SE Idaho, there's no telling where I might end up. Just sayin.)

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  13. just letting yourself BE for a day. great lesson! pete's a genius - you're a genius for listening to that inner voice telling you having an unplanned day was more important than whatever had been planned. : )

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  14. All the cliches come to mind, especially: The best things in the life are free.

    Being able to enjoy the simplicity and beauty in 'life' is something not everybody is able to do. To be able to sit and clear your mind and not be always on the go or being tormented in your head is a real asset and will keep you 'happy'!

    Lovely writing, as always :-)

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  15. Thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts.

    You truly are a gem with words.


    beckitybopity.blogspot.com

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  16. Aww, this post made me very happy. I'm going to miss Petey.

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