My dog is resting. He had his tests today. So far a couple abnormalities that we are looking into.
He is currently curled up underneath a faux fur blanket, he can barely be roused. The puppy is trying her hardest to get his attention but he is so groggy. His hind end is very weak and he is so doped up right now he could hardly figure out how to eat. I had him lay down and I fed him by hand. I had to wipe little food particles from his nose with a moist wash cloth. He looks so ….. old. I know he isn’t and I know he will be fine tomorrow but in this moment he looks so mortal. He is letting me take care of him, which is not something he usually does. This dog is all go. Sitting still or being coddled is not on his agenda, ever. He also hates needles, hates the vet’s office, hates restraint. Once he figures out someone’s trick to get a shot in him they will never be able to use it again. I seriously worry about what will happen if he ever has a true medical crisis. He is not a dog that would do well in hospital. He is stubborn and strong and delicate at the same time. He also requires enough drugs to stun an elephant for us to be able to do a full workup on him. He had that today and will be sleeping it off most of the day tomorrow too. For now he will remain curled up next to me, letting me wipe his droopy eyes and rearrange him so he is more comfortable. These are tender moments that will never leave my heart.
He is difficult to say the least. Difficult to love, no, not at all. Not for me. He is unique and intelligent and so strong willed. And I love that about him. I also love that when he is feeling crappy all he wants is me. It feels good to feel needed sometimes.
He mirrors the men that I bring into my life. Strong, independent, intelligent, protective, loving…. difficult.
It is in the difficulty though that is where the genius lives. It is in the refusal to pander to expectation, the reluctance to slow down … it is in the knowing that once I have their heart they will be loyal to me because it won’t have been easily earned, that makes me love them so fiercely. These are animals that are not submissive. They will do things only because they want to. Sometimes there is a conversation about it and paths are adjusted and sometimes there is nothing that will persuade them from a particular journey. When they let their super powers down around me, that connection is like none other, be it a man or a dog, that bond is solid and difficult to replicate.
I don’t love easy things. I never have. Things that came easily were often boring. It is a curse sometimes to want the puzzles, to want the difficulty, the passion, the struggle, but the end result, the connection of the heart… it’s priceless.
I remind myself on this eve of further heart breaking that I do this to myself. I am not satisfied with passive energy. I like passion and fire, and with those things comes heat and destruction at times. It is all a matter of knowing when to push and when to pull and when to walk away. Nature really does have it all figured out for us if we are just open to seeing the lessons.
I like the difficult ones, because I am difficult myself. I am not for everyone. In fact I am for a very few. I am for the ones that love fire and can handle the heat. For the first time in my life, I am okay with that, because when my love finds a place to settle, I know that that place is truly… home. ❤ ❤
This is going to be a short one. I am typing with one hand in the most awkward position imaginable.
I have a dog head in my lap. There is a gentle snore happening which is the sweetest sound I have ever heard. His head will fall if I move my other hand. This is what’s important to me in this moment.
The truth is, he isn’t feeling well. He has been a little “off” for a couple weeks, nothing that I can really pin my finger on, so we are going in on Monday for a whole gamet of tests. This dog HATES vets. Well, no, not the vet really but anything to do with restraint or sitting still. He lets me do most of his work, but being an equine vet there is a lot I don’t know so he will be sedated and poked and prodded for a bit.
My last dog was my heart dog. She was this amazing creature. She got me through so much shit in my life. I loved the hell out of her. She was a really beautiful dog. She died the day before I was supposed to move cross country for my job. It was the most devastation I have ever felt. I don’t really connect with many people. It’s weird. I will open my heart as much as they do and it turns out, with many people, that isn’t very much. Or maybe my heart is just really big so it feels like a small opening. My dogs though, they get it all. When she died… I was not sure I wanted to move on. It was BAD. Then I got my current boy. It took us a long time to bond but now that we have we are pretty inseparable. I didn’t think another dog would ever fill my heart, but he does. He has a lot of anxiety and so do I and quite frankly we calm each other. There are not a lot of people who would take on a dog like him, he’s a bit of a nut, but, as with any dog, his heart is pure and his love knows no end.
He has helped me through so much and is the warm comfort of safety that allows me to sleep at night.
With my last dog I knew something was a little off for a few months and I kept taking her in and saying I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was wrong. We could never find anything. Until one day she woke up bleeding into her abdomen from a tumor on her spleen. In a way I am happy I didn’t know sooner. She was great up until her last day, and there was nothing but happiness and love in her last moments. My regret is that I didn’t do more with her, see more of the world. Realistically, she was probably happy just to be with me, no matter where we were.
This situation feels a little similar. I am trying not to panic. He is young, 5 years old. I envisioned years and years with him and many more adventures. Hopefully, this will be nothing and he will come through with a clean bill of health. But this situation has weighed on me and made me really step back and look at what is important in my life. It makes me consider why I do what I do as a vet. Most importantly it has reminded me that life is short and we never know what’s around the bend, so it serves us best to be present with the moments we are given, try not to live in the past or future, show appreciation and love to those important in your life, and love like a dog…. with a fully open heart and a lot of tail wagging. ❤ ❤
Sometimes the best we can do on a given day pales in comparison to what we are capable of.
We make decisions and actions with the knowledge and wisdom that we have and we move through life moment by moment the best we can. This doesn’t mean that I am always acting in my highest power or that I am happy all the time.
Sometimes the best I can do is get out of bed, get my body moving and stumble through my day.
I have been sitting down to write a post for the last 45 minutes. I have three started, none finished, and little inspiration.
Then I remembered this journey is about self love. Yes, I wanted to write everyday. So here I am writing…. it may not be a winner, it may not be “good” or full of wisdom, but it is the best that my tired mind and heart can muster.
Whatever your day today, know that here, there is love and acceptance and the knowledge that we are all doing the best we can. Sometimes self love is admitting you need a night off. ❤ ❤
Guys, I have to take a second to brag on my dog a little bit.
I am sitting here in a tire place getting some new rubber (If you thought I meant anything other than getting tires you are the type of human I will get along with). It’s taken an hour and a half so far and I am still waiting….
A little back story on my dog. He was a disaster when I got him. His previous owner had him for two years and did absolutely nothing with him. Some dogs can tolerate this. Not my dog. He is a ball of energy that turns into anxiety and destruction if left unattended. I had no clue what I was getting myself into with him. He was returned to his original owner 3 times before I got him. And it was not love at first sight… it took me about nine months and the start of professional training before I really bonded with him. This guy is dog reactive, a resource guarder, and just generally a bundle of untamed energy.
As we sit here in the tire store I lack my usual training tools, but I do have some kibble. We are surrounded by children running amok, we are within ten feet of a popcorn machine and people are walking by every few seconds. He has successfully laid down as the children ran past, tolerated some petting, performed some obedience moves and while I know he is DYING to leave, he is being the quietest and calmest version of himself that he comes in. He is tolerating an incredible amount.
A woman commented on his behavior. Yes, the same woman with the three kids. She then asked me to watch said kids… while she took care of paying for her car. I am always shocked at what people will ask a total stranger. She caught me so off guard all I could do was cringe, lift my eyebrows in a gesture of “are you seriously leaving your kids with a complete stranger?!” and said a groan worthy, “suuuurreee?”
As the woman walked away I looked down in horror as three little rugrats ages 2-8, all heads tucked into computer screens (thank god). I suddenly had this jolt of empathy and compassion for this woman. How overwhelmed must she be to rely on a complete stranger to watch her kids. I saw her through the reflection in the store window, walking to the bathroom, sheepishly looking at me and side eyeing her kids. I wondered how long it had been since she had been able to go to the bathroom by herself.
Then the littlest one started to walk about the store. This is when panic set in. One kid went to the bathroom, the oldest was firmly entrenched in his screen time and the littlest one was deciding to adventure. Fuck, how do people do this?! I followed the little one around basically making sure he didn’t kill himself, my dog in tow. It was a glorious moment when I realized mom was coming back, I pointed and said, “One’s there, one’s in the bathroom and the other is where you left him!” Then I went back to my seat. It’s amazing just how much can happen, can be thought of, can be felt and processed in that space of what was probably not even five minutes. I felt compassion, empathy, impatience, anger, humor, and gratitude. The mom walked over to me and thanked me and acknowledged “what kind of mother would be desperate enough to leave her kids with a total stranger?” and she told me about how they had wanted four, but stopped at three. She looked completely exhausted and overwhelmed. In that moment all of the angst and fear that I felt left and there was nothing there but utter compassion for this woman.
I looked down at my pup as he gazed at me, eyes pleading to leave. I pet his head and told him a few more minutes and with a sigh he laid down. I watched the mom walk out to her car, moving her kids as if she was herding cats. Her face showed the fatigue, the worry, the love… and when she turned and looked at me she smiled.
It is sometimes, the littlest bits of humanity that create the biggest ripples.
I will never know what impact I had on that woman’s life, but I do know for a few brief moments she was able to find solitude and respite. And for me, what did I gain? A great training arena for my dog, some pride in his actions, appreciation for the choices that I have made in life and a whole lotta pride for helping that woman out.
Sometimes self love is doing something you don’t want to and turning it into a situation that benefits you and shows you some of your heart. ❤ ❤
Not every day is as inspiring as the last. We can get through resistance, let down our guard in life and start feeling clearly one day, only to have the next be wrought with anxiety. This is the beauty of humanity. No two days are the same.
I am sitting here in bed, worrying over the next blog post, having anxiety about “this thing” that I started. What if I don’t “finish it?” “What if I have lost that inspiration?”
And then… a fart. One of those little bubblers…. pfft, pfft, pfft…. and my dog, who was sound asleep, launches himself off of his furry blanket, stares at the betrayal that is his asshole and looks at me with shock in his eyes as if to say “I have NO IDEA how that happened!”
A split second later I am roaring with laughter. Giggling so hard I have tears rolling down my cheeks and in this moment… pure joy.
This food guzzling, fart excreting, whining, love of a creature is my totem.
What is a totem and why should everyone have one? A totem is an animal or object that represents a particular quality, thought or feeling. For me, my dog is a totem for joy and love. And in this moment, the innocence of laughter.
Sometimes the world gets overwhelming. Sometimes our anxiety takes over and worries abound. The future, the past… we lose sight of the present moment in all its glory. Sometimes we cannot figure out what’s up or down, what we want, what we don’t want, panic sets in and suddenly the world seems a big, dark, scary place. Totems can bring us back. Whenever I look at this dog, pet him, snuggle with him, my heart warms, joy fills my body and I relax. Totems keep us connected to a purity of feeling that is sometimes necessary to get back to a base reality. They are a breath of air when a 1000 pound weight is on our chest. And in that moment, when laughter is present and the body opens and relaxes, inspiration and happiness poke their heads back in the door.
I learned about totems from my friend (and mentor and author and all around badass dude) Mike Kemski (whose challenge started today, so you’ll likely hear a fair bit about him in the next two weeks). He talks about them as touchstones for the empath, or a way to reconnect with self in the face of feeling a whole bunch of shit from other people. A totem that brings happiness can be felt or touched and that feeling comes back and that can be used to identify what is truly your feeling versus that of others around you. He calls people that can feel other people’s emotions an “emotional empath.” We have also talked about cognitive empaths of which I am one. This is the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes and understand their motives and actions. This comes up for me because I am so capable of stepping in shoes that I often forget I have my own to walk in. I have a history of giving myself completely over to others without filling my cup and it is a big part of the reason I have isolated myself from others for so long. Having totems helps. It brings me back to me.
A totem can be an animal, an object, a person…. anything really. I highly suggest that people have them. But maybe…. maybe choose one that is a little less…. gassy… ❤ ❤
Once upon a time a girl had a dog. She felt that said dog would like a companion, so she adopted a puppy. This was a terrible idea.
The dog’s loved each other a ton and snuggled and played and that was good, but sometimes, the girl wondered if the puppy wasn’t a little…. slow developmentally.
This puppy would not take no for an answer. She was into the same things repeatedly, she took MONTHS to potty train and even then still had accidents occasionally in the house and her obedience was sub par despite hours and hours of repetition. In short…. she was a puppy and the girl wasn’t mentally prepared for that. But, the puppy was full of love and happiness and a little bundle of chewing, peeing, joy so the trio carried on.
Which brings us to today. Now, I know this puppy has some smarts, I can see her rolling things around in her noggin. Today she had a really big win and I am proud of her. She has to go out on a tie out in the yard and there is exactly one tree that she can get wrapped around and today she did just that. She was getting rained on and wrapped around the tree and just looked a miserable wretch. I was eating a bowl of cereal so OBVIOUSLY not in any position to go help her. So I shut the door and watched her for a second. Now, this dog will choose the wrong answer 99/100 times, but, add a little rain in the mix and suddenly this girl had some massive motivation to get back to the house. She tried to run straight to it, fail. She tried to go the wrong way around the tree, fail. She tried to bark for my rescue, fail. Then she stopped a second, looked at her goal, evaluated her problem and what she had to work with and she figured out how to untangle herself. She came RUNNING full speed up to the house, crashed into the front door like a freight train (she has figured out this will bump the lock and open the door … super charming habit…). I unhooked her and she went zooming around my house, the epitome of elation, the pinnacle of success! Then she laid down and is currently snoring like the smart little angel she is.
What the fuck is the point of that story?
Nature is simple and uncomplicated. WE complicate things. Our lives are complex and we add layer and layer on to our plates until we can no longer see the root of our suffering. We become so transfixed with the beauty of words that we forget their meaning. We run down rabbit holes looking for help and escape from the existence of our lives, which WE have created. We give our power away to the first charismatic guru we come to because the things they say take away a micron of our suffering and we forget the very basic survival necessities: identify a goal or problem, try something, fail…. repeatedly, and then…. succeed.
Goal, effort, failure, success.
Failure is built into our recipe for success. FAILURE. Just reading that word will make some people itchy. Why are we so afraid to fail? Failure makes us feel like we aren’t good enough. It makes us feel less than. It makes us human in the face of society and social media projecting false ideals of perfection. Let me tell you something right now, there is no definition of perfect! WE get to decide what our “perfect” looks like. My “perfect” is authenticity. Unapologetic authenticity. My perfect is RIPE with failure, because failure means I am trying, and I am living.
Failure is not a demon. Someone once told me that there were a lot of beneficial guides in our darkness. It took me about 8 months to figure out what the fuck that meant. I kept diving into these brutal moments of pain and sadness waiting for some dark cloaked figure to come and take my hand and teach me some lesson. I am not even joking. I would sit there and be like what the actual fuck, there is no guide here. You tell me to explore my pain and here I am in the thick of it and NO ONE IS HERE BUT ME! I understand now, what he meant. Pain serves to change our course. No cloaked guy comes along with a cheeseburger and bottle of water and a pat on the back. We are alone in our pain, but there are some AMAZING lessons in there if we are courageous enough to look for them.
Failure also serves to change our course. We simply cannot reach our goals in life without failing. We fail and we are summoned to something else, we are GUIDED to another path. Failure teaches us what works, what doesn’t work and that we can make other choices. Failure teaches us perseverance and grit. There is not one person in this life who has succeeded without failing a bunch of times. Failure creates humility and invites authenticity and vulnerability which, if used as tools, leads to connection, finding new people and ultimately new resources. Failure is arguably the most important aspect of success. It’s all a matter of perspective and this is the one that supports me. When the idea of failure becomes overwhelming and scary we become paralyzed, stuck…. we stop moving and we start to atrophy our muscles, our strength starts to decline until we are covered in so much of our own bullshit thought patterns we can’t see straight. And when we have to move cause we cannot take it any longer, then, then we are starting over again, and we will fail… again and again and again. It is an inevitability for anyone who chooses to take any sort of risk in life, for anyone who chooses to grow. Failure is a friend. Sure, sometimes it stings. Sometimes it takes you down for the count and all you can do is crawl to your corner and suck on some ice chips for a while. But, if your heart is open to the lessons that can be learned you will stand up again, you will change course and if you keep moving, you will succeed.
If there is one resolution I will take into 2020 it will be to fail. To fall on my ass again and again until I reach my goals. It will be to take a breath and adjust course after finding the inherent lessons, because as long as I am failing, I am progressing, and with each failure…. I am that much closer to success.
And when I succeed you can bet your ass I will do some zoomies around the house before taking my nap. The puppy got that part right too. ❤ ❤
** This is where I have to say that the reason I feel like I can fail, the reason the world doesn’t seem quite so scary is because I have A LOT of support. I am a member of this amazing community of individuals who are LIVING LIFE. There is so much inspiration, so much hope, so much success, humility, love and appreciation there… it is a breathtakingly safe space. Support is CRUCIAL to success. I know you are thinking, well fuck you Frazzled chick I don’t have that breathing room….
Yes, you do. Find your people and go out there and make your mark. If you haven’t found your people…. find them. Your life will be massively improved. Don’t know where to start?
Start here. Mike Kemski. He runs the unicorn group that I am talking about. He is smart as hell, incredibly caring and he pours his heart into the group. He puts the spotlight on the people doing the work, he shows people that they are powerful, that they create their lives. I can’t think of a more empowering perspective. He is starting a challenge on January 6th. The challenge runs for 2 weeks. It is a jump start to putting your life on the path you want. His teaching style is really down to earth, no bullshit, simple and easy to execute. If you are struggling to find your tribe I encourage you to check out his writings on FaceBook and if anything resonates, look into his challenge. If you want to change your life you have to start with a single step and I cannot think of a step that is more supported than this one. At the end of two weeks you will have all of the tools you need to transform your life if you choose to continue utilizing them. Bold claims, I know, but his shit works. I talk about him more in this post: Day 7: The Responsibility of the Social Influencer – Grocery Store Ponderings.