Monday, March 17, 2014

Making the most of life changes

I've heard it said before, and its true: everything changes once you've lost a parent. Even more so once you begin taking care of a surviving parent.

No more weekends off in the mountains camping and spacing out with the dogs, gotta spend time with Georgeo. Fortunately Dad and Florian love spending time together; its a chance to drive around, go to convenience stores, and eat really nasty sausages. Too bad they don't bring the dogs; a car ride and some icky sausages is right up their alley.

A few weeks ago, Dad seems to have had another small stroke. Everything is fine, and all that was strained was my dad's patience waiting to be released from the hospital. The least we could do was cheer him up by bringing Florian along to pick him up, so he didn't suffer a relapse being nagged by his daughter on the way home. 

He wasn't due to be released until the afternoon, so we decided to load up all the dogs and find a place to hike near the hospital so we could be ready when Dad was.

We generally take the Honda for hikes because it is a pretty fuel efficient way to transport a family of furballs.

But with my dad's height, the Fit is not such a good fit. So we threw all the dogs in Dad's real mini van, and headed to a lake we've enjoyed on many occasions in the warmer months.

Covered in ice, it was beautiful. 

And it was deserted enough, on a cold weekday, that we felt good about letting all our little furry lunatics run free. They needed that. And so did we. 

Why is it so enjoyable to watch dogs run free? 

Somehow it just redeems everything else. A tedious drive and a wait for the hospital to say my dad could go, empathizing with his mounting frustration through repeated delays. 

Yes it was frustrating, but somehow less so knowing that the dogs got to feel that freedom and joy and get some really good exercise, 

running through the snow and sloshing through the slush, 

feeling the bright sun and letting their ears flap in the wind, 

and humoring their humans as we got some sun and fresh air too, 

not doing much hiking but just enjoying, breathing, smiling, 

and regressing. 

Fine with us, to just get some time outside and end up with a bunch of really tired dogs, 

content to ride home and pick up Dad. 

In agreement that the slight loss in freedom is well worth the satisfaction of being there for family. 


  1. I'm glad your Dad is okay. When I saw the title I admit a little drop in my stomach. :-(

  2. A family member recently echoed my thoughts "When patients are impatient, they are improving!" Good to hear your Dad is home again.
    I'm increasingly impatient myself with restricted areas for my dogs. I know I need to keep them safe but when they are able to run free, even on my acre, it's much better than needing to leash walk them (I have 4 jumpers including my new Bloodhound). Ted Kerasote and Merle had an ideal situation in "Merle's Door," but unfortunately, it's not reality for most of us. What a great time you had letting them all run, zoom, and tire in a lovely day.

  3. Such beautiful pictures on a surely memorable day. We are so sorry to hear about your Dad but glad everything seems to be better.

  4. Dogs do know how to get the most out of the present moment. There's so much we can learn from them!


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