spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily
PictureFoxiebeau amidst native habitat
Foxiebeau apologizes. These first two days of 2016, he hasn't been writing; he’s been coming off a New Year’s doggie sedative. He began to doze in the early afternoon of 12-31-2015 after gobbling the little pink pill mixed into Puperoni treats, a pill meant to mute merrymaking, letting him relax into the next year. His one and only sat by his side, questioning her memory. Should it have been half a pill or an entire pill? Then his one and only sat at his side until 12:58 as though her wakefulness could guard him against the intrusive drumming that bumped through the window from across the street. The following day was an additional day of rest for the dog, although he did manage to be dragged out for several stops along familiar curbs.

Further, Foxie apologizes for being incommunicado the week leading up to Christmas. He had been traveling to Los Osos to spend the holiday with his one and only’s son and granddaughter and Shiloh, the resident large dog. And this intergenerational holiday didn’t facilitate sharing experiences. He was too wary of fast-moving pant legs, sometimes on eight-year olds and sometimes cuffs about the ankles of larger males and females coming and going. And always there was a chance to contribute to the cacophony of greeting strangers: Shiloh’s low convincing bark mixed with his own shrill, “me too, me too.” So sans a routine, communicating was hard for le chien.

If Foxie were presently awake, he would say that in Los Osos, mornings were probably his favorite times despite the cold. Alone with his one and only. they drove the dark, deserted streets to warm and holiday-music-filled Starbucks and then made the rounds of close-by building and bushes. Then the two drove to Baywood and walked near the water and in the street. Usually no one at all was awake and the street was empty, so they could walk in the middle of the street until around six when the café opened for coffee and some regulars would arrive. One morning, Foxie hung around until breakfast was served and shared a veggie burrito while he and his one and only stood on the landing and noted how at high tide the usually grounded canoes bobbed near shore.

Almost every day Foxie rode to look at the new house. The rooms were being painted so he could not go inside. But he walked around the back of the house into the fenced yard; perhaps he contemplated life without a leash. In the few years of his life, he could remember only animal control being on the same level as the rest of the world. Once he came to live with his one and only, there had been indoor life and then stairs or elevators to reach outdoor life. Now what? Could he thrive once the cord was cut?

Driving to their new house was an additional adventure. Being new to the neighborhood, neither he nor his one and only knew a direct way to reach what would eventually be their home. Streets paved partway became dirt and bumps. Streets that went through took them many blocks past the actual address. It was all so confusing to a dog in the passenger seat. At the onset of each trip to the house, his one and only would calculate what she learned from a previous trip and correct for a street that dead-ended before their street, only to discover a second street doing the same. Needless to say, they always got there.

In conclusion, Foxie would want you to know that he has made no New Year’s resolutions. Once he fully recovers from the pleasant haze of holiday sedation, he will get back to covering the home front. Meanwhile, he would want you to know that his one and only also resolved nothing, but she did discover an affinity for jigsaw puzzles. At her son's house, if her granddaughter did not finish a puzzle my one and only was helping complete, she found herself drifting back to put the finishing tails on the mermaids. Presently, Foxie can see that his one and only is perplexing her way through a 500-piece puzzle of a New Yorker cover, dog reading a book. And she’s doing it in the kitchen while top dog continues to doze on the couch. Happy New Year.

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