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The Ice Gods Are Laughing

If my life came with a dictionary, the definition of irony would be “shattering your wrist on ice only to spend the rest of the week with ice on your wrist.”

Needless to say, I’ve spent the past few days pondering how the same substance  that precipitated the events that led to my shattered wrist could be the same substance that is supposed to help heal it. That’s why I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with ice.

The whole complicated affair could have been avoided last Saturday if I had just used common sense. But even though C is my middle initial, it doesn’t stand for Common sense. Nor does it stand for Clumsy, but at least that would be more appropriate.

rodinsnow (2)As I do every morning, last Saturday, I hooked a leash on my German Shepherd, Rodney.  I then put on my snow boots and took him for a walk in the wintry mix. I even took pictures.

As I entered the nearby park, I slipped on ice, went up in the air and landed flat on my back was my head cracked against the concrete. I got up, rubbing the back of my head and momentarily worried that I might have suffered a head injury. I wasn’t all that concerned and decided the risk of any permanent damage was limited. The risk that I might fall again never crossed my mind. (As I mentioned, the C in my middle name does not stand for Common sense.)

I did text my husband, who was at work in Washington DC, and let him know I’d hit my head and if I started acting wacky he should worry about a concussion.

The next time he received any communication from me was a photo I took in the back of an ambulance (2)ambulance as I was being transported to the emergency room of the local hospital.

I had continued my walk through the park and the neighborhood on the other side when I went down again. This time, as my feet slid on ice, my right hand instinctively reached to catch me. This was the same arm with a leash attached to a German Shepherd pulling in the opposite direction.

My first reaction was to yell in pain. My second reaction was to yell in pain. My third reaction was to scream in pain. The man shoveling snow in the next driveway responded quickly by calling his comrades, who were also emergency medical technicians. Before I had time to register what was happening, not only had an ambulance arrived, but so had two police officers.

Unfortunately, common sense once again failed me, and I refused to get in the ambulance because my dog couldn’t go with me. The men in uniforms tried to convince me they would take care of him. Rodney didn’t agree and wouldn’t let them come near me or him. Even though I was in agonizing pain, a part of me was proud of my dog for protecting me. Another part of me was amused. And a part of me was frustrated, especially when I was told to tie him up. With only my left hand as my dominant right throbbed in pain. With a short leash. On a wooden fence.

I somehow managed to secure him and to call my neighbor to come get him. In other words, I asked her to risk driving on icy streets to get my dog so the police wouldn’t take him away. She did come. and once Rodney was in her vehicle, I left in an ambulance. I even provided the emergency medical technicians with every possible piece of personal data they requested, thus proving to myself that I didn’t have a concussion.

In the meantime, my husband thought I did have a head injury and was arguing with the neighbor who had rescued Rodney. She said my head seemed fine. My husband said it wasn’t,  and I wad oblivious to his concerns as I posted a photo of my first ever ambulance ride on Facebook.

(To justify my behavior, the activity was an attempt to distract me from pain, but my efforts didn’t work. That’s why I put the phone away and missed my husband’s frantic calls.)

bolts (2)Once I arrived at the hospital, I was diagnosed with a severely shattered wrist.  I was eventually admitted, and surgery was performed Sunday morning. I woke up from surgery with a long metal bar called a fixator screwed into my arm and the potential for more surgery.

On Monday I was sent home with instructions to keep my arm on ice for several days and a warning not to walk on ice.

Which is why, if I believed in ice gods, I’d also believe they are laughing at me. If you listen closely, you might even hear them through the softly falling snowflakes.

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 160

Oops Word on Billboard Public Mistake EmbarrassmentWe are quickly approaching the longest day of the year, but I’ve been experiencing the short days for a while now. I get up and walk the dog in the dark, and I get home and walk the dog in the dark.

I’m glad that my new job allows me to be out and about in the sunshine and that my new office  is a corner office with two windows. Sunshine is my friend, but walks in the dark with my dog Rodney are a constant source of amusement.

Apparently, Rodney’s eyesight is as bad as mine,  but he doesn’t have the advantage of corrective lenses.  As a result, he thinks every clump of snow or garbage can is an animal or  monster from which he has to protect me..

He’ll drop his head, stare at the enemy than growl a bit. When we get closer, he’ll realize the inanimate object is nothing to fear and he’ll act like he’s looking at something in the distance.

His behavior always makes me smile.

Day 160:  When Dogs Try to Avoid Embarrassment  Day 159: Surprises in the Mail  Day 158: Kids who aren’t superficial  Day 157:  A Garage on Winter Days    Day 156:  Real Christmas Trees    Day 155: Being a Parent   Day 154: Selfless People Day 153:  Nelson Mandela  Day 152: Memorable Road Trips  Day 151: Great Neighbors  Day 150: Oscar Wilde’s quote about being yourself   Day 149:  Love Letters  Day 148:  The first day of Advent  Day 147: The Breakfast Club   Day 146: Marriage and Shared Anniversaries 145: JFK’s quote about gratitude  Day 144:  Watching My Dog Play   Day 143: Having my Family’s Basic Needs Met  Day 142:  When Our Children Become Role Models  Day 141: Random Acts of Kindness  Day 140; People Watching  Day 139: Sharing Interests with My Children  Day 138: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Advice  Day 137: Weird Human Behavior about Garbage  Day 136: Postcards from Heaven  Day 135: Mickey Mouse  Day 134: Generous Souls  Day 133: I’m Moving On  Day 132: A Family That is Really Family  Day 131:   A Personal Motto  Day 130:  Mork and Mindy  Day 129: The Bears’ House  Day 128:  Veterans  Day 127: Doppelgangers  Day 126: Letting Life Unfold as It Should  Day 125: The Constantly Changing Sky  Day 124: When History Repeats Itself   Day 123: The Love Scene in The Sound of Music Day 122:  Helen Keller  Day 121:  The Welcome Back Kotter Theme Song  Day 120: Sheldon Cooper  Day 119: Having Permission to Make Mistakes  Day 118: A Diverse Group of Friends  Day 117:  Family Traditions Day 116: The Haunting Season  Day 115; Life Experience Day 114:  Changes  Day 113:  The Wooly Bear Caterpillar  Day 112: The National Anthem  Day 111: Parents Who Care   Day 110: Good Friends Day 109:  My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss  Day 108:  A.A. Milne QuotesDay 107: Spending Time Wisely Day 106: Parades  Day 105:  The Peanuts Gang Dancing   Day 104:  Sharing a Secret Language   Day 103:  The Electric Company  Day 102:  Doing the Right Thing  Day 101:  When Siblings Agree  Day 100: Being Optimistic  Day 99: Trying Something New   Day 98:  The Sound of Children on a Playground  Day97: Good Advice  Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy  Day 95:  The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94:  Accepting Change    Day 93:  True Love     Day 92: Camera Phones   Day 91: Bicycle Brakes    Day 90:  HeroesDay 89: The Cricket in Times Square  Day 88:  The Grand Canyon  Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human  Day 84: Captain Underpants  Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank  Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  Day 80: The Outsiders   Day 79:  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day77: People Who Touch Our Lives   Day 76:  The Rewards of Parenting    Day 75:  Improvements   Day 74:  Family Traditions   Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes  Day 72: Live Music  Day 71:  Sleeping In  Day 70:  Grover  Day 69:  A Good Hair Day   Day 68:  A Sense of Community   Day 67: Kindness   Day 66: Living in a Place You Love   Day 65: Gifts from the Heart   Day 64: The Arrival of Fall  Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird   Day 62: Green LightsDay 61:  My Canine Friends  Day 60:  Differences   Day 59:  A New Box of Crayons   Day 58: Bookworms  Day 57: Being Oblivious  Day 56: Three-day Weekends  Day 55:  A Cat Purring  Day 54: Being a Unique Individual   Day 53: Children’s Artwork  Day 52: Lefties  Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer  Day 50: Campfires  Day 49: Childhood Crushes  Day  48: The Words “Miss You”  Day 47:  Birthday Stories   Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us  Day 45:  Play-Doh   Day 44: First Day of School Pictures  Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes  Day 42: Appreciative Readers  Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote   Day 40:  Being Silly  Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents  Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories  Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon  Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap  Day 31: Perspective  Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans  Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows  Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads  Day 25: When Harry Met Sally  Day 24: Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck  Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love  Day 20 Personal Theme Songs  Day 19:  Summer Clouds  Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s VictoryDay 17:  A Royal Birth    Day 16:  Creative Kids  Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His MasculinityDay 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of HayDay 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still RememberDay  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessonsDay 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment   Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles  Day   3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs  Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 144

I realized years ago that I would never be completely happy without a dog in my life, and I’ve been grateful for all my furry friends. Each was extremely special.

rodney smiling (2)My current dog, Rodney, has a vise-like grip on my heart  that strengthens every time he has an opportunity to play with a ball. Believe it or not, my previous two dogs had absolutely  no interest and would give me with a “you want me to do what?” look when I threw one

But Rodney compensates.rodney dribbling (2)

He loves to play catch and, believe it or not, even a bit of soccer.

His complete joy when playing with a ball always makes me smile. 

rodney shaking (2)

Day 144:  Watching My Dog Play

 Day 143: Having my Family’s Basic Needs Met  Day 142:  When Our Children Become Role Models  Day 141: Random Acts of Kindness  Day 140; People Watching  Day 139: Sharing Interests with My Children  Day 138: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Advice  Day 137: Weird Human Behavior about Garbage  Day 136: Postcards from Heaven  Day 135: Mickey Mouse  Day 134: Generous Souls  Day 133: I’m Moving On  Day 132: A Family That is Really Family  Day 131:   A Personal Motto  Day 130:  Mork and Mindy  Day 129: The Bears’ House  Day 128:  Veterans  Day 127: Doppelgangers  Day 126: Letting Life Unfold as It Should  Day 125: The Constantly Changing Sky  Day 124: When History Repeats Itself   Day 123: The Love Scene in The Sound of Music Day 122:  Helen Keller  Day 121:  The Welcome Back Kotter Theme Song  Day 120: Sheldon Cooper  Day 119: Having Permission to Make Mistakes  Day 118: A Diverse Group of Friends  Day 117:  Family Traditions Day 116: The Haunting Season  Day 115; Life Experience Day 114:  Changes  Day 113:  The Wooly Bear Caterpillar  Day 112: The National Anthem  Day 111: Parents Who Care   Day 110: Good Friends Day 109:  My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss  Day 108:  A.A. Milne QuotesDay 107: Spending Time Wisely Day 106: Parades  Day 105:  The Peanuts Gang Dancing   Day 104:  Sharing a Secret Language   Day 103:  The Electric Company  Day 102:  Doing the Right Thing  Day 101:  When Siblings Agree  Day 100: Being Optimistic  Day 99: Trying Something New   Day 98:  The Sound of Children on a Playground  Day97: Good Advice  Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy  Day 95:  The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94:  Accepting Change    Day 93:  True Love     Day 92: Camera Phones   Day 91: Bicycle Brakes    Day 90:  HeroesDay 89: The Cricket in Times Square  Day 88:  The Grand Canyon  Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human  Day 84: Captain Underpants  Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank  Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  Day 80: The Outsiders   Day 79:  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day77: People Who Touch Our Lives   Day 76:  The Rewards of Parenting    Day 75:  Improvements   Day 74:  Family Traditions   Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes  Day 72: Live Music  Day 71:  Sleeping In  Day 70:  Grover  Day 69:  A Good Hair Day   Day 68:  A Sense of Community   Day 67: Kindness   Day 66: Living in a Place You Love   Day 65: Gifts from the Heart   Day 64: The Arrival of Fall  Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird   Day 62: Green LightsDay 61:  My Canine Friends  Day 60:  Differences   Day 59:  A New Box of Crayons   Day 58: Bookworms  Day 57: Being Oblivious  Day 56: Three-day Weekends  Day 55:  A Cat Purring  Day 54: Being a Unique Individual   Day 53: Children’s Artwork  Day 52: Lefties  Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer  Day 50: Campfires  Day 49: Childhood Crushes  Day  48: The Words “Miss You”  Day 47:  Birthday Stories   Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us  Day 45:  Play-Doh   Day 44: First Day of School Pictures  Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes  Day 42: Appreciative Readers  Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote   Day 40:  Being Silly  Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents  Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories  Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon  Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap  Day 31: Perspective  Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans  Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows  Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads  Day 25: When Harry Met Sally  Day 24: Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck  Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love  Day 20 Personal Theme Songs  Day 19:  Summer Clouds  Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s VictoryDay 17:  A Royal Birth    Day 16:  Creative Kids  Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His MasculinityDay 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of HayDay 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still RememberDay  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessonsDay 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment   Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles  Day   3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs  Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 61

I admit it.

There are days when I’m frustrated or depressed or just plain confused, and I don’t even feel like looking for something to smile about.

But then I hook my dog up to his leash or I put on my bike helmet, and my attitude changes.

Exercising may have something to do with my improving mood, but “all my  canine friends” are the real reason I look forward to exercising.

I may forget my neighbors’ names, but I have come to adore their dogs.

There is Bonnie, the St. Bernard mix who drools and sheds too much. There are Toby (short for  Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Chewy (short for Chewbaka), who squeal with joy when they see me coming. There’s Buckwheat, the neighborhood puggle, and Max, the German Shepherd who receives very little attention from his own family. But most of all, there are the dogs that have no collars, no name tags and no people who show any concern that a strange woman is on their property and hugging their dogs.

when all else fails

And I am grateful, because canine hugs always make me smile.

Day 61:  My Canine Friends

Day 60:  Differences   Day 59:  A New Box of Crayons   Day 58: Bookworms  Day 57: Being Oblivious   Day 56: Three-day Weekends  Day 55:  A Cat Purring  Day 54: Being a Unique Individual   Day 53: Children’s Artwork  Day 52: Lefties  Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer   Day 50: Campfires  Day 49: Childhood Crushes  Day  48: The Words “Miss You”  Day 47:  Birthday Stories   Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us  Day 45:  Play-Doh   Day 44: First Day of School Pictures  Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes  Day 42: Appreciative Readers  Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote   Day 40:  Being Silly  Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents  Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories  Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon  Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap  Day 31: Perspective  Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans  Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows  Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads  Day 25: When Harry Met Sally  Day 24: Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck  Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love  Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds  Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17:  A Royal Birth    Day 16:  Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles   Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 51

deer

The deer in my neighborhood are always hiding behind something, but my dog Rodney always spots them before I do.

As I get older, I know I should do more exercises for my upper body, but they just aren’t as fun as ones involving my legs. My legs take me places, and since I never mastered the hand stand or cartwheels, my arms don’t.

So instead of doing arm exercises, I convince myself that walking my German Shepherd, Rodney, twice a day is just as good.

He’s strong and he pulls, so there’s plenty of resistance.

He also lunges when he sees a rabbit, a squirrel or a cat. Generally, I’m prepared and can react.

What I’m never prepared for are the deer that silently hide in the trees and behind bushes.

But Rodney knows they are there, and I have to use all my strength to hold him back whenever he senses them.

I might be better able to control him if I did arm exercises, but I doubt I ever will. Instead, I’ll just appreciate the deer for their small contribution to my exercise regimen.

And thinking about that always makes me smile.

Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer  Day 50: Campfires

Day 49: Childhood Crushes  Day  48: The Words “Miss You

Day 47:  Birthday Stories   Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us

Day 45:  Play-Doh   Day 44: First Day of School Pictures

Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes  Day 42: Appreciative Readers

Day 41: : Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote   Day 40:  Being Silly

Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents

Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories

Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon

Day 32:

The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap

Day 31: Perspective

Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans

Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows

Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads

Day 25: When Harry Met Sally

Day 24:  Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck

Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love

Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds

Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17:  A Royal Birth        Day 16:  Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles   Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 39

rodneyMy German Shepherd, Rodney, has unbounded enthusiasm for life, and he get particularly excited when he thinks he’s going for a ride in the car. He starts whining as soon as I pick up my car keys, and when I grab the leash, he can no longer contain himself.

He jumps into the Jeep, sits up expectantly and takes great pleasure in sticking his nose out the window.

He acts just as enthusiastic when I pull back into our driveway.

As soon as the engine turns off, he starts barking. When his door opens, he leaps out and jumps in circles.

No matter where he is, he is happy as long he is with someone he loves.

There’s a great deal to be said for always being content with where you are and always excited about where you are going.

And that always makes me smile.

Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents

Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories

Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon

Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap

Day 31: Perspective

Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans

Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows

Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads

Day 25: When Harry Met Sally

Day 24:  Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck

Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love

Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds

Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17:  A Royal Birth        Day 16:  Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles   Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 30

photoMy neighbor Judy is old enough to be my mother, but I have more in common with her than many people my own age. We both love to tell stories and we find humor in the same type of situations. She doesn’t like tattoos and neither do. We may disagree about politics, but we certainly don’t disagree about dogs.

Judy is the ultimate dog lover and spent years rescuing them.

In a way, she rescued me too.

When we lost our beloved 16 -year-old mutt only a couple of years after losing our 14-year-old dog, I was also lost.

Judy understood. She also let me know about a German Shepherd that had recently been rescued and was currently being cared for at a foster home.

Within a week, Rodney was the newest member of my family.

For that, I will always be grateful to Judy. But I am also grateful for the friendship she has offered me.

Our conversations always make me smile.

Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships     Day 29:  Good Samaritans

Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows

Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads

Day 25: When Harry Met Sally

Day 24:  Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck

Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love

Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds

Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory

Day 17:  A Royal Birth        Day 16:  Creative Kids

Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity

Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay

Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial

Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember

Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons

Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles  

Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs

Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 21

Ikcandrodneyf someone were to ask me what is needed to live a happy life, having a dog would be at the top of my list.

Even when I was young, I knew I could never marry a man who didn’t love dogs and consider them important family members.

But that never guaranteed I would have children who love dogs.

Thank goodness they do, and that always makes me smile.

Day 21:  Puppy Love

Day 20: Personal Theme Songs   Day 19:  Summer Clouds

Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory

Day 17:  A Royal Birth        Day 16:  Creative Kids

Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity

Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay

Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial

Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember

Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons

Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles  

Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs

Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 11

Rodney at Water Fountain

Rodney at Water Fountain

One of the benefits of having children is that they literally look at the world through different eyes. That’s why my daughter had to point out that the water fountain at our local park is designed for dogs.

I’ve walked by the fountain hundreds of times and even used it on occasion. Yet I never noticed that particularly amenity until my daughter instructed me to let our dog use the lower fountain while we humans drank from the two higher ones.

The concept is brilliant, and watching my dog take advantage of it always makes me smile.

Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs

Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial

Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers

Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember

Day  7:  Finding the missing sock

Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons

Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment

Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles

Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill

Day 2: Old Photographs

Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

Where Fear Comes From

As I sat in my driveway Thursday night watching fireworks, I was transported back to a July evening more than 40 years ago.

My family and I were sitting in lawn chairs in front of our small rental house on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon watching an amateur fireworks show. As a very young girl, I didn’t know the pyrotechnics were less than impressive. All I knew was that my parents were complaining about the long delays between explosions and that Charlie Brown was scared. And I was worried about Charlie.

Trina and Charlie Brown 1971

Trina and Charlie Brown 1971

From the day my parents adopted Charlie Brown, they should have known I would fall deeply in love. I was born to be a dog lover the way some people are born to be athletes or musicians. According to my baby book, one of my first words was “doggie,” and, as a toddler, I would search out dog books at the local library.

But until Charlie Brown arrived, my family never had a dog.

Since then, my family has never been complete without a dog.

charlie brown

Charlie Brown

And even though we loved Charlie, his early years weren’t easy. He came into our lives at a time when dogs were allowed to roam, and roam he did. When he strayed onto a cattle ranch and started chasing the cows, the rancher shot him. He barely survived, and my parents always blamed his fear of thunder and fireworks on that incident.

Their explanation was reasonable, and I always believed them until I discovered that other dogs, those who have never been shot, also fear thunder and fireworks.

That’s when I began to wonder where the fear comes from. I just couldn’t understand why so many dogs would be afraid of the same thing when their experiences were so varied.

The concept of fear has always fascinated me, especially since I’ve spent my own life overcoming unjustified ones. When I was young, I was afraid to swim in water that was over my head even though I could swim perfectly well when I could touch the bottom. I was afraid to slide down a fireman’s pole, even when all the other kids were expressing sheer joy during the descent. And I’ve always been afraid of rejection and failure to the extent that I avoided potential relationships and challenges.

Then, at one point in my life, I thought I had finally figured out the fear factor.

In college, a Psychology professor discussed the theory of collective memory, and the concept clicked. I might not have experienced an event that would provoke fear, but one of more of my ancestors had. They would have then passed those fears down to me.

That made sense for the dogs as well. They may not have experienced the danger associated with loud noises, but their ancestors had.

For years, as I’ve slowly overcome my fears one by one, I’ve held on to that theory.

Then Rodney entered my life.

Rodney watching the fireworks.

Rodney watching the fireworks.

Rodney is the current canine member of my family. He’s a giant German Shepherd with a lot of energy and very little fear. That is, very little fear unless you count his inability to be left alone.

When we first adopted Rodney from a rescue group, he wouldn’t even go into our backyard without someone accompanying him. Over the past three years, he’s improved, but he still hates to be separated from the family, and, yes, particularly from me.

On Thursday night, as the human members of the family sat in the driveway watching fireworks, Rodney sat in the house watching us. He whined, he whimpered and he cried until I brought him out to join us.

And then he was content. While the city fireworks boomed overhead and the neighbors shot off their firecrackers, he simply watched. And my theory about the roots of fear was forgotten.

Because, at that moment, I realized that no matter where fear comes from, there will always be an even greater force.

It’s called love.