For my wonderful Acadia, now departed for seven years but never far from my heart. I spotted these flowers on the day of her death and thought that they were heralding her passage into heaven. 'Til we meet again...
Thank goodness, since that sad day, more dogs have filled my heart with love. Our current pack, K and R, make me smile every single day. In the photo below, they did a recall from across our wildflower-packed meadow. K followed so closely on R's heels that they appear to be a black lab with a chocolate tail!
Today has been dubbed a "Be a change for animals" day. I think that my contribution, however small, to this cause is to encourage people to train their dogs, using happy and humane methods, so that their dogs can have full and interesting lives. If dogs are trained, they won't be banished to the back yard or the basement but can be an integral part of their humans' lives. I hope that this notion is apparent in the stories that I tell in this blog.
I know for a fact that many dogs who have "good homes" in fact sit in the yard all day every day and get fed daily. While those dogs don't need to be "rescued" in the traditional sense, I always feel my heart sink when I see them, wishing that someone would coax them to their full potential so that they could have more fun in life. Just like us, they have only one life to live and deserve the chance to live it to the fullest. I think that my regular readership doesn't need to hear this... but maybe someone else will stumble across my blog and be inspired by my stories of adventures with my dogs.
Today, K and I went for a morning mountain bike ride, enjoying blue skies, warm sun, and stunning wildflowers while the runners, including R, had their own adventure. K and I stopped to bask in the glory of summertime!
As I thought about Acadia today, I was struck by how unique each dog is. K is so different from any dog I've ever had in my life. She's easily scared, very sensitive, and needs frequent confidence boosts. I can see these traits in her body language in the photo below. She seems to be asking "What do you want me to do? Just tell me, and I'll gladly comply." I've never before had such a eager-to-please dog as K.
Upon arriving home from our ride, I checked on our flycatcher family under the deck. Last night, the quartet of nestlings snuggled in the cup nest sitting on a tray under our deck. I peeked through the deck boards to capture an instant when a parent arrived with a fly in his/her beak and offered it to the young ones.
Last night, I heard the whir of the nestlings practicing flapping their wings from below the deck boards, and I thought that they'd fly soon, perhaps today. So, this morning, when K and I returned from our mountain bike ride, I initially felt a little sad when I saw the nest itself empty. Then, I realized that the babies had moved to a different section of the tray, where they weren't in the nest itself. Below, a parent perched on the nest and fed the little ones who sat on the bare tray behind the nest.
I think that these youngsters will depart in the next day or two. Every year, I have bittersweet feelings when I see them flutter away. I miss watching the family when they're gone but I know that the fledglings have made a huge step toward surviving to adulthood. In that spirit, I cheer them on!