Saturday, June 23, 2012

Walking With My Angel Fox

I walked twelve miles with Teddy this week.  That doesn't include the hour I jumped at Sky High yesterday.  I can't count that since I jumped in one spot and Teddy didn't get to go with me. 

Okay, here's what I'm doing.  I have Maps on my phone.  I have RunKeeper telling me how far I walked as long as I remember to turn it off before I drive away at the end.  That makes for a wicked walking pace.  When I do that, I just guess my distance and since I usually walk the same trails over and over, I can guess fairly accurately.  I also keep a notebook at home with my daily distances in it.  My average is 7.5 miles a week for the past sixteen weeks.  That's no big deal.  Really.  I know people who run 7.5 miles in a day. 

But they're not walking a dog's lifetime distance.  That's what I'm doing.  I know.  It's strange, but I want to know how far Teddy and I will walk during his lifetime.  I'm hoping it is a long and productive walk, say spanning 15 years or so and ranging through parks and off leash areas wherever we can find them.

Obviously, I missed the first few weeks with him.  I only started this tracking in March and I started walking with Teddy in October when we brought him home.  Besides, on those first trips, I often ended up with this little ball of white fur zipped into my jacket with his head hanging out.  I carried my arms under him the way a pregnant woman sometimes cradles her large belly.  That jacket, like the pregnant belly, has never regained its original shape. 

Teddy's way to big for that jacket now, about 60 pounds.  He's a tall dog, with thick white and cream fur.  He has a darker cream Mohawk stripe down his back and what I've heard people call a saddle.  There's long dark fur on his bushy tail with a pure white tip, as if he's showing off.  His ears are edged with a soft latte color and the rest of him is mostly white.  He has big feet. 

Teddy seems to like going knee deep in mud and coming out and looking me square in the eye as if to tell me he was reincarnated from a red fox.  Nick, Adrian, and I saw one crossing the highway in front of us just yesterday.  It had black on its legs and that characteristic white tip to its bushy tail.  Teddy would be a whiter version of the red fox, an angel fox, maybe.  He's such a sweet dog, I could believe that he's built up quite a bit of good karma during his lives. 

There's another one of my weird trails of thought.  I like to think about the people and pets around me and wonder who they could have been in a previous life.  I like to think that they might have loved me so much that they came back to be with me again and again.  I swear that my cat Buddy reminds me of my grandpa.  He's very sweet, playful, demanding, and every day, he tells me how much he loves me with his eyes.  It's further strange to me, or maybe just fitting, that their hair was the same color and they both had issues with heart failure.  Buddy is managing pretty well with his heart, though the vet has no idea how he's managed to live this long.  I believe that love is what's done it.  I believe he's back in my life after having left it abruptly when I needed him most. 

Think me strange if you will.  I don't care.   It's my brain and I like what's in it.  Here's my argument about any kind of afterlife.  I can't prove that any of this is true.  I really can't.  No one can, not even the people who wake from a near death experience and have 'moved into the light.'  They have their experience, but no proof.  Well, sometimes, a person has been known to have accurately described what was happening in the room after his death, with a strange accuracy and a perspective near the ceiling.  I can't explain that, but really, anyone who believes that our species has even scratched the surface at explaining the universe around us deluded.  We're ignorant!  Our minds can't even grasp the distance to the moon in any real sense.  We don't know where the rest of the 96% of the universe is!  Even though I'm not done with my last book, I'm beginning to read a book I got from the library today called '13 Things That Don't Make Sense' by Michael Brooks.  Well, Michael, it's a beginning.  Oh, mind you, I like this book.  I really do.  Any book that covers the placebo effect, the size of the universe, free will, and sex is good in my book.  Okay, you can leave out the rest and just rewrite that last sentence using the word 'sex' and I'd be good with it.  Sorry.  So, I can't prove a thing regarding my ideas of reincarnation.  Oh, I read and reread 'Johnathan Livingston Seagull' in the seventies, and no, I wasn't high when I did it, thank you.  Yet, I know there is no proof of reincarnation.  None! 

And that's the beauty of it.  There is no proof that reincarnation doesn't exist either. None!

So what's the harm in feeling as though I've been loved through the centuries? 

Perhaps my lonely and deluded mind has conjured a whole set of people, furry and otherwise, who have loved me throughout time.  Now isn't that a lovely thought, to have been loved through eternity? You tell me how that might cause damage to myself or anyone around me and I'll stop.  I really will. 

So in this life, I'm walking with my sweet dog, Teddy.  So far, we've walked roughly 119 miles since the first week in March.  RunKeeper helps me log those distances.  During his physical on Friday, Nick proudly announced that we had walked 4.04 miles the day before, as if that four-hundredths of a mile meant something to the doctor.  Okay, he really did have a right to be proud.  He's working to build that up and wants to walk further tomorrow.  Yay, 4.05 miles!

That's where my Map app comes in handy on my iPhone.  Did I tell you that I love my iPhone, even though it's only a 3G?  I can find I-90 on my map and look at towns and points of interest along it.  If Teddy and I had started walking near our home that first week in March, we'd almost have walked to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park by the Columbia river by now.  That's quite a walk!

Just me, my sweet angel fox, my boy sometimes, my husband sometimes, and good friends sometimes.  It has been a lovely walk so far.  I wonder how just far we'll go together?

Thank you for listening, jb

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