spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily

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PictureFoxie blends with the garden
I last reported being picked up from Happy Tails where I vacationed while my one and only saw plays in Ashland. That was June. I recounted our visit to Creston, up the windy roads to see the rescue dogs living their last days happily and sometimes finding homes, which I should have said in my last report to you, but didn’t. Since then, we have had a garden planted in our back yard. So many tiny plants we hope will thrive, covered in reddish-brown bark chips.

One day soon after the garden was completed, I discovered a way through the fence, so I slipped out of the yard and ran into the street where I met a big dog and a woman with a baby carriage. My one and only saw me scampering in the street and called. I hustled home. Living rural like we do gives me chances I didn’t have in San Francisco or Oakland where traffic and other scary possibilities kept me on a tight leash.

Speaking of scary, whenever an orange man with yellow hair appears on TV, my one and only makes horrible sounds and rushes to change the channel. We have been watching more of Property Brothers and Chopped Jr. than usual. Then we saw the Olympics. Hopefully, the orange man will not be around much longer. I do not like our energy when we see his face or hear his voice.

Another thing I don't like is that on Thursday nights just before six, my one and only hustles me into her car and drives across the street where she parks the car with me in the front seat. An hour later, she returns and we go back across the street into our driveway.  I used to love Thursday night because of meditation. I could see as soon as she placed the blue garden chair in the living room and rearranged the other chairs that people were coming over. That was a cue for me to drag my toys into the center of the room, ready to chew on them as soon as the three chimes sounded. When everyone was still, I might try to get into someone’s lap or jump on my one and only as she sat with her downward glance. I wonder if I had squeakers in my toys when we meditated in San Francisco or Oakland? With meditation in Los Osos, I know all the squeakers have been removed. As for being present, I don’t remember it as a problem. Maybe my being in the room is annoying because rural dwellers have more allergies due to how the wind blows. And they may think I contribute to their difficulties. Claiming dog dander, one lady said she couldn’t sit in our living room, even with the door open.

There were a few days, just after five in the morning, when we drove directly from Starbucks to the part of Los Osos called “Cuesta by the Sea.” There we sat in the semidarkness of the house of my one and only’s early rising son. He likes to go fishing before the sun is up. We waited on the couch for my one and only’s granddaughter to get out of bed. That house is not my favorite place to visit because I am not allowed on the couch. My one and only calls her eight-year-old granddaughter, “Officer Emily” because she issues orders and enforces the “no dogs on the couch” rule. Once, my one and only was ordered to heat water and put a bit of it in a bowl so ice cubes could slightly melt – for the purpose of morning hydration. I was impressed by how patiently my one and only went back and forth to the kitchen, heating water and pulling ice cubes from the fridge. Of course, she requested that Officer Emily say “please,” which she did.

My one and only says that living near her family allows her to practice patience. She is still practicing because a sliding door being installed in the place of a window hasn't been completed. The yard is still full of debris from the unfinished work. Someone was supposed to come and finish and someone else was supposed to clean up before the weekend. Because those someones are friends of the family, my one and only is practicing and practicing. 


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