Sunday, June 7, 2009

Word of the Day

I may have mentioned that I was going to work very part-time for a local hospice -- well, their regular social worker abruptly quit about three weeks ago and so I am now working there more than very part-time. While it adds a wrinkle to the already wrinkled fabric of my life, what a blessing it has been to once again work with the dying. There is nothing like sitting at the end of life to remind us about the things that really matter -- and more importantly, about the things that really don't.

The work has reminded me that the life I live now will one day be my past. Some of the people I work with have no regrets and look back on the past with the satisfaction of a life well lived, and others feel differently. It has made me consider how I can live life backwards, or mindful that I am creating my future self's past.

One thing I have been reflecting on is a definition of success. I have never been one to care much about money, status or "stuff", and so I have been thinking about how I will define whether my life is successful or not -- do you ever think about that? The cool thing is that we each get to define "success" for ourselves, and it is perfectly wonderful if your definition is different from mine. What matters is not that we share a definition of success, but that we celebrate whatever another considers successful.

And with that, I share what I consider a successful weekend even though no titles were earned. Cadi and Asia were both in the Montana tracking test today. Yesterday I spent the day with one of the judges plotting tracks -- I was a tracklayer for the TD part of the test. It was pouring rain and I went through two sets of boots and clothes, and was still chilled to the bone. But today was nice -- overcast, cool and no rain. And the scenery -- it was simply breathtaking.

None of the nine dogs entered in the test passed. There were five entries in the TDX portion and I had two. Asia was first and she made one wrong turn but otherwise ran a stunning track -- I was SO proud of her. It was not an easy track but she gamely went through woods, over logs, and up the mountain to find all of her articles.

Then it was Cadi's turn and in my mind, I saw her in the crate in that pool of blood after her surgery. I remembered that panic and being just convinced she would die. And then I was looking at her as she barked and pulled on the tracking line, anxious to get going, in the most beautiful place -- and I knew that no matter what happened, I had all the success I needed at that moment. No title could ever represent greater success than just being able to enjoy that piece of time with that superb dog in such an amazing setting. Yes, we failed to get the TDX -- she made one mistake -- but we succeeded in so many more important ways today.

This is me and Cadi on our track -- I know it is hard to see but look at that scenery!

Driving home yesterday I stopped the car to get this picture of a bald eagle -- isn't it majestic?

And after I had finished today I saw this bird, and thought how appropriate it was to see a bluebird of happiness right after I had finally gotten a chance to run a TDX track with my sweet Cadi-Bug.

I took some other pictures in the yard this evening -- here is Mrs. Maize.

And this is Halo.

At the test today, someone commented, "there is a lot of her" about Asia, our plus-size model. She is not fat at all and is, in fact, in great shape but yes, she is definitely not petite. Maybe we should call her, "Amazon Asia"? ;)

These are some pictures of our very not Amazon-ish Sydney. Doesn't she have a lovely head for being just six months old?

Zoey thinks she is a retriever. She will happily fetch for as long as one is willing to throw, and she nicely brings whatever it is back. She doesn't require a treat for this -- her eyes just light up when she sees I am going to throw it yet again! Here are some pictures from our game tonight. In the first one she is escaping from Syd, who was chasing her -- in the second picture you can see why she might want to avoid Sydney!

Thanks for visiting us. I hope you are able to feel successful in your life, and if not, maybe it is time to re-evaluate how you define success... The tracking test could be seen as a failure -- I choose to see it as a wonderful success. The word of the day -- perspective :)


  1. It might be time for me to request a spot on the list for Zoey's first litter!!! She is so darn cute! You make me crazy to get out of the city. Your thoughts about success are wonderful and timely, as Pradip and I have been talking lately about "next steps" in our life trajectories. And for some reason (because he has a Gmail account I guess) my posts show as posted by Pradip instead of me.

  2. I don't know what kind of bird that is M-A, but it surely isn't just a blue bird. You need to look it up! I would but I can't seem to find my Western bird guide ... only the Eastern ones. Maybe a lapis something? Wow, send that bird east to me!!

  3. Beautiful, beautiful... landscape, dogs, birds & the yard! Must be Eden! I think Asia looks very nice ~ a nice healthy BMD, imho. Sydney does have a lovely head ~ be proud, as I'm sure you are, of all your "girls". :D