Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dog Speak

After our training, Hazer and Kaeden asked to be able to post today. And since it helps me procrastinate vacuuming, I agreed.

From Hazer:
Today was SO exciting!!! It was nice and cool and I got to go FIND PEOPLE. I got to run through the forest anywhere my nose took me and it was great! I even solved a small puzzle on my own. I found this downed tree that had so much smell of PEOPLE that I was just sure that someone had to be there, but alas, there was no one. I thought it smelled familiar so I came back to the group that had come out to watch and checked them all out and sure enough the smell at that tree belonged to one of the people that was with us. That puzzle solved, I moved on to FIND PEOPLE. (Trish's note: one of the observers with my group had been hidden in that tree for another dog handler earlier that morning. Hazer was compelled figure that out before we moved on. It was quite cool to watch). As I moved on into a more open area, I CAUGHT SCENT, and it was GAME ON!! I followed my nose back and forth across the field until I found my first person standing inside the fluffiness of a very big tree. I ran and told mom, and we got to play with the KONG. When I had had time to rest and drink a bit, I was off again to FIND PEOPLE. The yellow jacketed one was a quick find and I got to play even more with the KONG. After more water I was so thrilled to find out that there was one more I could go and find. This one was harder. The wind kept shifting and shifting but finally I CAUGHT SCENT again and held on to it and FOUND him! Then I got to keep the KONG!! The whole way back to the truck it was MINE ALL MINE! I wish we could do this EVERY DAY!!

From Kaeden:
Ah Hazer, he is always so into the technical stuff... CATCHING SCENT... finding PEOPLE ... I love him, but he can be so serious sometimes! I will agree that today was fun! I got to RUN and JUMP in the CREEK! I love running as fast as I can through the WATER just to see how high I can make it splash. While I was out RUNNING and JUMPING and SPLASHING, you'll never guess what I FOUND!!! There were three things out there! I am always amazed that there is stuff out there and she is always so HAPPY that I tell her about it! One of them was a bone, but I am really good and NEVER pick those bones up!! NO NO NO can't do that!!! It is really fun to find those things because she actually WANTS me to RUN at her as FAST as I can and then JUMP on her as HARD as I can!! I even get to play with a KONG afterwards. Mostly what I really like to do is make her laugh and smile, so I run around with the KONG and throw it for myself and jump for it and she laughs a lot! I live to RUN and JUMP and make her LAUGH...

I love my dogs....

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I had a dream the other night that I was trying to sleep. I think that means that I was really tired!

Some days I am really struggling with getting old. I worry what will happen to my wife and I when we are old and have no children to help us during that time of our life. I think I am worrying about this because my denial of my mother getting old is no longer feasible. She is in need of help, but not willing to accept much of it. She knows things are changing fast for her now and I suspect she is feeling a bit like she is in a whirpool and can't get out. The more you do, the more you can do, but if you don't do, you can't do. As her mind becomes less and less sharp, it will become less and less sharp. As her body becomes less and less able, it will become less and less able. I can't imagine a day when, if I were to find myself on the floor, I couldn't get myself up. Yet she is there. For what was once such a strong woman to face helplessness, I don't blame her for balking at NEEDING help.

So as I watch her struggle, I wonder about my future and worry. I feel aches and pains now that I never felt before. I see lines in my face I don't recall seeing before. And time just goes on... they say time flies when you're having fun, but I would tend to say that time flies faster as you get older. There doesn't seem to be any stopping it! I swear I woke up yesterday and it was Tuesday and I open my eyes now and it is Saturday night. Where did the week go?

Two months to 40. Sigh.

Just keep swimming Just keep swimming What do we do? We swim....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Courage Examined
Cody McCasland is a six year old profile in courage. Six years old, double amputee and participating in marathons. Wow.

I aspire to that kind of courage. The kind of courage that knows no fear and steps bravely forward toward the next thing that life brings. It's the kind of courage that doesn't believe in failure as an option. Is that kind of courage only borne out of extreme circumstances, such as losing your legs, or is it a way of life that can be learned and achieved through diligent work?

I believe I have done courageous things. I have completed a marathon. I have helped to rescue multiple animals from a burning building. I have stood before groups of people and spoken. I have intervened in an altercation, saving a woman from being drug down the street hanging from the door of her boyfriend's car.

Does that make me a courageous woman? Or simply a person capable of courageous acts when the opportunity presents itself? Is there a difference?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Animal Funnies and Friends

There are few things in life you can count on, but I am grateful for the happy things in life you can count on. My animals are often a great source of entertainment, if not outright laughs! This is Splash. No, he is not sick. He is asleep. Very asleep. So asleep I could leave the room, get my wife and show her, leave the room again and get the camera and take not one but 4 pictures of him sleeping like this. Now that is some serious sleeping!! We have often called him our "special" kitty. As an example, he came to us with the name Flash.... then he fell in the toilet... He has had a bit of a rough life. I had the privilege of meeting him while he was in a coma after a traumatic incident we'll never know the details of. He had to have his tail amputated and he was blind for a bit afterwards, but regained his sight and fairly well turned into a normal cat, if you can call a cat who wrestles, lovingly, with a border collie normal. He was run over once as well, so we're thinking he is down a few lives, but we'll do our best to keep the life numbers usage to a minimum!

And speaking of things you can count on....
It is so awesome when you connect with people in such a way that you know, nearly instantly, that the connection is deep and permanent, and even has roots you cannot explain. Those are the friends you have in your life for forever. I don't take friendship lightly and I hold good friends in high regard. Today a good friend of mine went beyond out of her way to help my family (think toilet troubles!) and for that I am very grateful!

Looking ahead to good times with good friends! (and a lot more laughs!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Joy in the New Year

Last night, I crawled into bed, exhausted and looking forward to a refreshing sleep. Recently, with my permission, Kaeden has occasionally been sharing the bed with me. We have a deal that if the cats haven't already made themselves at home in the bed, then he may share the space with me. He is so funny because he will put his paws up to check the bed before actually coming up on the bed. I truly think he is checking to see if the bed is clear!

He wants nothing more than to snuggle up as close as possible to me. It is reassuring to feel him near by. He is connected to me in some deep, innate way that I have no explanation for, nor do I have a need for an explanation... I just enjoy it. He spends the majority of his time actively searching for and finding the joy in life. An attitude I am looking to adopt.

So as we move into another year, I hope to find that joy in the same manner Kaeden does.

And, frankly, I hope YOU find that joy too! It looks like it feels pretty good!