August has been quite the month so far. Oscar and I have had our ups and downs and mostly we are finding a new rhythm by ourselves. And so far we are doing pretty well. I do have to say that Oscar keeps me on my toes. He wants to dive into things head first and look later. Case in point was August 1st. I have had a lot of dogs over the years and I have lived in the country for a lot of those years. Most of the time, those dogs did not go outside on a leash. Oscar goes outside on a 10′ retractable leash because otherwise he would try to catch every chipmunk, (real or imagined) in the entire state. He might stop running by the time he got to Timbuktu, but I’m not sure about that either. If you asked him, Chipmunks are the enemy.
At any rate, this night we headed outside before it was full dark and I stopped to look at the field in front of me and Oscar headed to where the bird feeders are. By the time I looked over that way, it was way too late. I see Oscar laying on the ground in submission and a black and white tail in the air. In all my life I never would have thought that my Yorkie would be the first dog that I have ever had to get sprayed by a skunk!! Much shampooing ensued and he slept that night as close to me as he could get. I would say that was a lesson learned but I think he wanted to talk to another skunk just the other night.
Like I said, he leaps into life with such joy and he wants to make friends with everyone and everything out there. Tonight was another example of his zest for life. There is a juvenile squirrel that hangs around by the bird feeders, and the back deck. I am sure that all day long, Oscar sees it run back and forth and most likely barks at it when I am not here. I know that he barks at it when I am here. Well tonight, we got home from working and he wanted to go around to the back. So, we went. As we neared the bird feeders I saw the squirrel and thought that this was not a good situation for either the squirrel or Oscar. He spotted the squirrel and made a beeline for him. As the squirrel sat on top of the tree out there, with nowhere to go, Oscar stood looking up at him and didn’t bark at all. When the squirrel fell to the ground and hid in the tall flowers, my little guy put his butt up in the air and his nose into the flowers with his little tail going to town. He was trying to make a friend. He was trying to get the little squirrel to come out. Oscar could have easily gone into the flowers and bitten the squirrel, he was only inches from him, but he didn’t. Instead he tried to make a friend. I think we can all learn a lot from my little dog.
In life we have choices all the time. We can choose to be negative, hurtful, unkind and uncaring. We can choose to let life beat us down and let our sorrows consume us. We can let heartbreak literally break us and we can choose to respond with anger to a person or situation that is new and unknown to us. Or, like Oscar, we can live each moment as if there won’t ever be another like it. We can greet each day with joy and each night with the serenity of knowing that we lived to the fullest that day. We can choose to leap into life headfirst and navigate the ups and downs with no thought of turning back. We can choose to get to know a person, or a situation…or in Oscar’s case a squirrel…before reacting. We can choose to greet each person as a friend and each experience as an adventure.
As I took Oscar to the house, before the squirrel had a heart attack, I thought about what had just happened. It was not what I had expected. didn’t really expect him to attack the squirrel, but I never expected him to stop and try to befriend it either. So, if you find yourself next to a squirrel, give it a chance to be your friend…you just be surprised. Life is about the experience…I hope each and every one of you get out there and find that out for yourselves. I’ll leave you tonight with a quote much wiser than my words and a few shots that I don’t think you have seen. I will talk to you soon.
“The soul should always
stand ajar, ready to
welcome the ecstatic
– Emily Dickinson –