July 31, 2017

Pop Your Pup Helps Fuel My Unapologetic Dog Obsession

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with dogs - any and all dogs, to a point, but more specifically, my dogs. I could look at Ruby's adorable face all day, and since she's on my phone, computer, office bulletin board, and oh yeah, on my arm, I can and do! Boca's antics entertain me endlessly and I have no less than thirty photos of her in my favorite potcake posture, the street dog slouch. I jump at the chance to brag about Ruby's smarts and Boca's sweetness, and pity the unsuspecting person who innocently asks "what kind of dogs do you have?" since Boca's breed/rescue story alone is another tale in itself.

I still felt there was potential to level up my passion and Pop Your Pup was the key. I previously reviewed their customized t-shirts and when they approached me for another partnership I gladly agreed. They've changed their look and now offer even more options for proudly wearing the cutest dogs in the world (your own, of course) or turning them into home-gallery-ready works of art in the way of wrapped read canvases!  I mean, how awesome are these? Just in case it wasn't clear, this post has been sponsored by Pop Your Pup. 

July 26, 2017

Summer Wonder

red and white dog in the mountains

A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing. . .
Mary Oliver

July 19, 2017


"Look! A trickle of water running through some dirt! 
I'd say our afternoon just got booked solid!"
Bill Watterson

July 12, 2017

The Tonic of Wildness

hiking dog colorado

We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. 
We can never have enough of nature.
Henry David Thoreau

July 10, 2017

On (Im)permanence

As promised, I'm back to share my Ruby tattoo, and to start writing more regularly. This has been the most amazing summer of a most amazing year, and I've been doing a great deal of reflecting on luck, love, loss and gratitude. For perhaps the first time in my life, all that I've experienced seems strung together on the same thread - seemingly unrelated things echo back to each other and sadness and joy nestle inextricably together.

Four years ago in July, I lost both of my fourteen-year-old dogs within ten days of each other. That same year was defined by other losses, but July's hit the hardest and/or compounded all that came before because I had also lost my mother - the person I loved most in the world - in July of 2010. Summer seemed especially cruel for so many years. I believe my reaction to all this loss was delayed, with the year following being particularly dark. At times it seemed that the best parts of my life were in the past. How to allow brightness to glimmer at the edges of absence again? How to love deeply knowing that all you love will eventually leave?

What I've come to know is that is exactly how and why to love deeply. I have always had a close relationship with mortality - I grew up with so many animals that it was unavoidable. Losing was the price of loving. I have never over-sentimentalized this reality when it comes to animals, but more recently it has taken on new characteristics. A preciousness. I have had a few people assume, when they see my Ruby tattoo, that it is a memorial. Ruby will be five this winter and I hope we have at least a decade more together, but I already recognize what she means to me and how she's changed my life. I already know that she is my forever - or my little piece of forever, since forever doesn't really exist for any of us.

Sometimes looking at Ruby's amber grey eyes, or at my ancient little cat Nina's bedraggled frame, or at the beautiful faces of any of the people I hold dearest in my life, I feel my heart could burst. How lucky, to share this space in time with them. There are so many metaphors about loss and heartbreak, about the capacity or strength of that organ being diminished by trauma. The opposite can be true. The heart's chambers can be sprung wider, like the windows thrown open on a perfect summer day. Gratitude has infinite square footage.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that everything will always change. We can count on that. We will experience devastating loss. We will wonder how happiness will ever appear on the horizon again. And then it will. In the form of a brilliant and complicated red and white dog who gazes into your very soul. In the form of a new relationship that takes you on incredible adventures and brings back forgotten wonders. In the form of peace and wisdom that can only come from time and experience, and recognizing that, in the words of Mary Oliver, this is what we get...this one wild and precious life.