There will always be dogs. For me anyway. This past week with my two boys, Baxter and Bradford, have simply been divine. I have been on spring break and had my first stay-cation for this break for the first time in 16 years and I loved it. Much of that due to being with my boys. What they do for me, what dogs do for us, is simply incredible. And for that, I am grateful. Because of them, I can safely say, there will always be dogs in my life.
Even as I write, my boys are on the couch with me hanging out to be as close as possible. We find ourselves here in this little “cocoon” often as it seems the easiest place to come together and relax with one another while we do our things. More so when I am doing all sorts of writing, reading or watching a movie. It is our sacred space where we find ourselves in our “spots” in which somehow helps reaffirm our place in our pack and establishes a calm for us all. Here we let go and reconnect with ourselves and with one another.
I have recently shifted things in my life and I have begun to challenge myself and being a better Pop Pop for my boys. I had gotten so busy and tangled I found myself only letting them out to hang out or do their business. For some time now I have committed to walking them much more. At least two times a day and on the good days, three. I have also tried to take them on an adventure day where we drive to a place they don’t get to go on a regular basis but stimulates them in so many ways. Baxter LOVES the water and if there is the chance to find some place where he can sneak his feet, we do. And of course his shadow Bradford follows as he can’t stand to be left out.
I have found this decision to focus on being a better dad has made a profound shift in their energies as well as their need to be closer. I have found them to be so much calmer in the house as well as with others. They were terrific during my wine tasting birthday party with the house full of people. I think that in itself was a little overwhelming honestly but for the most part, they were a delight. Well behaved and super affectionate with all the guests. I think they were happy when everyone left their cave and they could have me back to themselves. They slept well that night. We all slept well.
These changes and these commitments have had a significant impact on me as well. I am out in the world more walking and taking in the neighborhood and nature on our adventures. I am reminded how much being out with them recharges me and allows me time and space to think, feel and open up my heart to the creative process. Yes, so many ideas have come to the forefront of my thinking because of spending more time with my boys. You might even say they are a part of the creative team that allows for all of the things I am able to do and discover. They assist in creating a safe space to be creatively vulnerable and quiet myself to listen to what the universe is whispering. They are my tuning forks allowing me to hear what is being shared.
My life is because of my boys. My life is because of the dogs in my life. Before these two, there were two others, Basil and Anise. They were from a different life in a different state and a different state of being. They were the first that made me realize I had purposefully chosen a life with dogs over a life that allowed ultimate freedom to do and to become. In choosing them, I had to choose a life that would creatively create a space for myself and my children in a way that most performers lives do not allow. I would always have to think of them as I had opportunities to accept or reject. There were many opportunities lost, but the choices made, made me. And for this I am grateful to them and grateful for them.
When they passed they took with them my love and my respect. They took over a decade of growth and development as well as the heart ache that the growth created. Oddly, the released what held me to a past and took with them much anger and so much fear. It’s as if they carried my sorrow so that I could be free to once again reach within to open up for more; more of me, more of life, more opportunity and more dreams. There love still lives inside of me because they took away the noise of the past. And because of that love, they allowed me to love again.
Now I am blessed with two beautiful boys who do for me what Basil and Anise had done. These boys remind me on a daily basis to reach down and connect. The remind me to stop and to listen. They remind me to look within so that I might see what is right in front of me. The remind me to live and they remind me to love. Even greater than that, they remind me to be patient with myself and with others because of their infinite forgiveness and unconditional love.
More than ever, as busy as I am and as full as my life is with so much creative abundance and incredible prosperity, they bring me back to the essentials of being human. They already know the things that matter for us. They have mastered the art of being and are here at our side to help us find it as well. And for this I am grateful and humbled by their love. And this is why, for me, there will always be dogs.