Music and Star

Yesterday I complained to my dear friend, Kendall, about my dogs. I told her that they absorbed my day with their various needs and demands. I lamented the fact that I never take walks without both dogs attached to my arm. In fact, only when I go to Paris. All of this sounded pretty ridiculous when I said it out loud, but she had sympathy for her silly old friend, having recently adopted a darling and totally absorbing poodle named Lambie (she has her own blog). These days we do tend to speak of our dogs: the problems and the joys of parenting dogs pour forth and are made more acceptable and less ridiculous by sharing. We continue to mirror one another and remind one another that we are as human as we are spiritual in nature, and it’s OK – even quite wonderful to love our dogs. This  post is – in part – inspired by our recent exchanges. I feel moved to express my gratitude for my canine companions.

Music is a red and white cocker spaniel with a perfectly round dot on top of his head. I call this an angel’s kiss, which might go far toward explaining his rather angelic demeanor, at least when he’s in a peaceful mood. Relaxed and drowsy on my bed – or when riding beside me in the car – his gaze can be so over-flowing with love that I have to respond in kind. Any negative energy in the vicinity is banished immediately by Music’s love-eyes. Of course, even an angel of a dog has a devilish side, or should I say stubborn side. When his nose is in gear and he sniffs out the odorous presence of racoon, fox, or who knows what other tantalizing scent, he becomes a dog possessed – takes off like a streak, forgetting any intention to stay close to the one he loves above all else. My voice – calling sweetly at first, then louder and increasingly commanding – has no effect. His ears are closed the minute his nostrils flare. My frustration and anger mount as Music disappears further into the woods, and only when he is stopped by the briars does he come to his (higher) senses, becoming submissive enough to be rescued. I am the rescuer, also the briar remover, the tick drowner, and the one who hoses the stinking mud from his beautiful coat. I am also extremely angry until those eyes are turned on me once again: those beseeching – I love you, no matter what – eyes. Music also sings: a loud lament that tells me he needs – immediately and desparately – to be let in off the porch. He also sings when I leave the house without him. The singing seems to be brought on by separation anxiety, but it could be simply a talent for singing the blues. Music is twelve-years-old. I have been graced by his inimicable presence for nearly as long.

Star is a happy little cocker/beagle mix, brought home because Music needed a friend – or so I surmised. For the first week of her presence in our home, I thought of her as a foolish mistake. I am pretty sure Music felt the same way, and we came pretty close to giving her away to the Wisconsin Christmas tree man. I couldn’t do it. Puppy Star was cute and round and endlessly affectionate – generous with wet sloppy kisses  and eager to leap into the nearest lap and stay for a while. She is still all these things, though ten years later – at thirty-two pounds, her lap-leapings can make a startling and weighty impression. Star is a hungry dog – all of the time and for anything, edible or questionably so. My love for this little dog tells me that she has an appetite for life. My horror at her occasional partaking of cat poop tells me she is an indiscriminate eater with a few nasty habits. Her beagle side requires frequent baths and liberal applications of deoderizing spray. Despite her extra weight, my Star can run like the wind. She can also dance, when in the mood. She and I only dance together in private. This is usually when Music is happily ensconced on the porch watching out for racoons.

Music and Star are really quite wonderful companions, and they can be enormously patient when I am in creative mode, which is most mornings after our longest walk of the day. Around one or two o’clock we are all more than ready for an outing in the car. The park we head for used to be called Magnolia Park. Now it’s officially named the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park. Oh dear… Anyway this is one of our favorite outings. I take along my protein smoothie, put on music or an audiobook, and go with the flow. When we arrive we meander around beneath oak trees that survived a hard hit by Katrina. This walk is not about getting anywhere. I am more patient with their need to sniff and mark – and to greet enthusiastically everyone we meet. It’s a good place for losing yourself in the moment. Dogs are good at this, and my two remind me again and again and again. Bless them…

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2 Responses to “Music and Star”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Yielding and rising–it is what you have always taught me, what I always try to learn again and again, that dance. The in-breath, the inspiration, the out-breath, the exhalation–we can’t have one without the other. So the dogs go on with their doggy life, as Auden said, and we run along beside them, dragged at the end of the leash, preoccupied with our doggy lives, trying to make sense and magic, trying to make SOMETHING as we grow ourselves toward what we now want to become.

    Apart from this being a lovely post about the dogs, who I feel I am really meeting for the first time in your words, it is also a stunning pair of photographs. I love the shadows embracing Music and the light splashing over Star. The colors, the light–look like something out of Rembrandt.

    How often the miracles in our lives, the ones that lead us where we MUST go, appear at first to be foolish mistakes.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Oh, my darling friend, your words are like kisses from angels – kisses of affirmation. So we shall continue to yield and rise as we are becoming – helping one another to recognize the miracles…

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