Thank ‘Dog’ for My Dog! My Canine, The Cute Catalyst

This is a post about a simple pleasure.

Where I live, it feels like it’s been a bit of a long winter.

Usually I’m relatively fine with it, since given my ancestry (Irish, English, Scottish), I think I’m hard-wired to hibernate during long cold winters.

However, perhaps due to my hard-wiring or just my inert disposition (either way, I take responsibility for both), I can all too easily stay home for days at time without even realizing it.

After one snow storm, I didn’t clean off my car for nearly three days. If it hadn’t been for the snow, I wouldn’t have noticed that I was being such a yoga-panted hermit.

How does this happen?

I work at home and spend much of my day on the computer. I can get sucked into the screen vortex in a scary easy way.

This chronic indoorism, as I’m sure you either understand or can imagine (if you must imagine it, then you’re blessed to live in a warm climate, so Aloha!), can have adverse effects.

Vitamin D deficiencies and seasonal effective disorder due to lack of sunlight spring to mind.

I need to add a third issue: I miss being in nature and ironically, I get so caught up in the day-to-day of email answering and diswasher-empty-ing, that I forget I am missing it.

Now, this is specifically pertains to me and my particular proclivities, because of course there is nothing stopping me from going outside any time. However, the hard and yes, cold truth is, if it’s really cold out, I will opt to stay in.

I have joked that had I lived long ago, I would be one of those girls who caught her death from crossing the moors in only a cotton dress and a bonnet.

This is where I give thanks to our dog, Pippa. photo

Because she, no matter what, with her never-ending little fuzz-ballness of pure delight and presence, gets me outside everyday.

And by doing so, she brings me back to nature, which I so sorely need. She saves me from laptop-fixated self.

Even on the coldest most brittle of days, she wants to go out and play (our old dog, Daphne, detested precipitation and its by-products). Pippa loves the snow more than I would have thought possible:

Exhibit A: Pippa’s Sense of Snow Video  * WARNING: My talking-to-dog-vox is high-pitched. Hide your stemware.

VIDEO NOTES: I’m amazed that she can find her ball in nine inches of snow. Also, notice how her tail never stops wagging? She’s totally blissed out. And in case you’re wondering, her long red lead is a safety precaution suggested by her trainer, as we live on a very busy road and our yard isn’t fenced-in on all sides.

To borrow from The Daily Show, this is our (true) moment of zen. In these moments, I am extra grateful for Pippa, because she’s my link to the natural world.

My pipeline to peace.

When we’re out in the yard together, I enter a calm state. I relax. My thoughts recede. She and I enter into a rhythm where the only goal is her fun (and exercise).

This shift then opens me up to inspiration and to my own sense of presence. I take in the stark leafless trees, the sky, and the birds who are sticking this one out and I just… am.

Sure, there are days where I feel very busy and she needs to coax me away from the computer (pulling me out of the vortex can be a dance).

Exhibit B:


Here she is waiting patiently for me to wrap it up so we can head out.

Needless to say, she always prevails and for this, I am hyper-appreciative for her powerful, single-minded desire to chase a lacrosse ball in all seasons.

Do you have pets?  What unexpected gifts do they give you? How do you connect with nature during winter? I would love to know!


PS – Pippa loves a good snooze just as much as the rest of us. Here she is after a great day of play in the great outdoors. Pipsleeps

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