Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Girl With the Dog

So I've been dubbed, in my small town, "the girl with the dog". Here is why:

Yes indeed, that is my dog in a jogging stroller. Having a paralyzed dog and pushing him around in a stroller takes a certain type of moxie (or insanity), as most people think something along the lines of she doesn't have kids, so this must be some sort of psychological fulfillment of that lack. Other people just think my dog is lazy. So I set 'em straight. The dog can't walk.

For the most part, I adjust to Lewis's paralysis as it comes. He can't do much. I have to carry him from here to there. He rides in a stroller. But he seems happy and participatory enough. He still drags himself around pretty fast in the morning, biting my calves and spinning in circles, something he's done his whole life. Even so, despite mine and his adaptive qualities, there are days . . .

One particular day of late, as I was pushing Lewis through the park in his stroller, I got overtaken by the weight of his condition and his constant needs. Totally consumed, I was startled when a little piece of cotton brushed by my face. Looking up, I noted the warm breeze showered us with cotton fluff from the cottonwood trees.

I have to say, it's pretty hard to be morose when you find yourself encompassed in floating cotton, standing in a field of grass dancing in the warm spring breeze, brushed golden by the setting sun. Yes, it is easier to have a fully ambulatory dog, but I see that God still smiles on us. 

I am thankful to live in one of the most rugged and beautiful places in the world. Surrounded by the ever-changing face of nature, I am reminded that nothing stays the same, yet everything is taken care of, including Lewis and me. And so we press on.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just Hangin' Around

My rental house has this quaint little closet in which resides the smallest washer and dryer set ever manufactured. While forcing my t-shirt and one sock into the washer, I noticed a movement to my left. Gliding deftly down from the ceiling was a little spider. When he got to about four feet from the floor, he ceased his descent and proceeded to simply hang there.

Being, in general, a friend to all things living, I shut the closet, assuming the spider would eventually climb his way back up his web and move to another location. Around midday, I was putting the clothes from the washer into the dryer and found the spider still dangling in the same place he was before.

Wanting to know if this was normal arachnid behavior, I texted a friend to get her opinion. She decided the spider just wanted to swing and suggested I give him a push. Having none of playground shenanigans, the spider splayed his legs and acted rather startled as he swung back and forth. Nope, he must not want to be pushed, I decided.

Shortly after, I completely forgot there was a spider hanging in my laundry closet, and I nearly smashed my face into him while organizing my recycling bags in the closet.

So there he is, at this very moment, in all his glory. If he's still hanging like that tomorrow, I will relocate him outside. While it's be great having him hanging there and all, enough bizarre spider behavior is enough.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Mystery of the Bathing Bird

I have lived in my small town for going on four years now, and it only just occurred to me two weeks ago that I live in the mountains. Never having lived in the mountains before, my eyes have been opened to shocking concepts, namely that winter lasts a lot longer. Despite this somewhat disappointing fact, spring does eventually even come to the mountains, and along with spring comes little birds.

I have noticed that little birds really enjoy being clean. Now, one must bear in mind that my small town does have a lovely, small river running through it. This small river is even replete with little shallow areas of slow moving water; a veritable bathing bird's paradise.

But is this where the birds choose to take their daily dip? No. Rather they choose my dog's water dish sitting in the backyard. From sunup to sundown, it is not uncommon for me to see large groups of little birds communing around my dog's water dish. They sit on the edge. They jump in and fluff their feathers through the water. They poop in it. . . And it's only eight inches in diameter.

My dog could be sitting right there, next to the dish, and some brazen bird is flitting around in his dish, bathing itself. Sometimes Lewis is too close to the dish and the birds get antsy, jumping around him, waiting for him to move so they can dive in.

How do these birds even know his dish is there? When they have an entire body of water to douse themselves with, what draws them to two inches of water in an eight inch dish in a dandelion-filled yard?

Maybe the answer will come to me, in about four years . . .