Life flies by. Seasons change to quickly, day turns to night earlier, the landscape’s color turns from bright to muted shades and the universe is telling us to keep going, keep turning. Yet for many it seems like change is hard to do. For instance, a new haircut takes years off of my life. (Probably the reason why I’ve had the same hairdo since birth.) The mere thought of someone other than my regular hairdresser putting scissors to my locks sends me into the twilight zone, another dimension, usually a faux depression until I figure out how to handle it. Falling out of my daily routine also sends me to the crazy house, and having things out of place in my home is hard for me to deal with without immediately re-arranging and making sure order is present. And yes, I do arrange my spice jars in alphabetical order. My point, we all have our quarks. For me clutter is my nemesis. I can’t work with clutter on my desk as it gives me anxiety. Enough said – I like order, I guess that’s the controlling part of my brain, but I don’t burden family or friends with my shortcomings, it’s my own personal war. Like my dad always said; “Caroline, adapt, improvise and overcome.” I try dad, I really do.
Recently I was sitting at my desk writing while my three little Jack Russell Terriers cozied around my feet. All were sleeping so soundly. I looked at them and thought, man if I could sleep like that life would be great. Truth of the matter I sleep 6 hours max, my brain doesn’t like to stop for too long as it may forget my next project, my next thing that I have on my always growing to do. Back to the dogs. If you’re not familiar with the Jack Russell Breed, let me give you a little insight. They’re funny, protective, tenacious little dogs. I love them for their smarts, their agility and their antics. My oldest – Jack (I know, I could have been a bit more original when I adopted him) thinks nothing of running across the street to say hi to his greyhound buddy Austin. Jack has been known to escape the back yard and take a walk around the neighborhood. He doesn’t run away, he goes on visits. Last summer he went on a 3 hour tour, while the entire neighborhood was distraught looking for him. Jack is a bit of a celebrity in the hood. He’s been in commercials for print and television and knows how to play it or you. That day many were looking for Jack. In fact, Jack had a representative on every block within a 5 block radius. I was actually away and my man-friend (at 53 boyfriend sounds stupid doesn’t it?) was watching the dogs for me. Not only did he call me to tell me of Jack’s disappearance, but 3 of my neighbors called too. Knowing how Jack operates, I really wasn’t worried, (you see he has done this before to me). However, my man-friend wasn’t aware of this quark of Jack. Finally a neighbor 2 doors down heard someone calling Jack’s name and walked to the front of his house. Jack was hanging out with him. Thankfully he was safe and sound. Immediately he was picked up and brought back home. My Jack is a lover. As a matter of fact, Jack loves unconditionally. While Honey, my middle child is always standing next to me trying to please she never lets me out of her sight. Last year we were walking and a Pit Bull charged at us, Honey got between me and the Pit -the Pit stopped dead in his tracks and she held her ground, sneering and snarling, back hairs standing straight up she did her job and protected all of us. (Typical woman I say!) Rudy, well Rudy is my youngest and puts the capital on the letter H in the word Happy. The happiest go lucky kind of soul. He has a sad story, you see Rudy was left at the side of a road for 3 days. Neighbors thought he was road kill, but when the county crew street cleaners came to scoop him up, Rudy was still hanging on, still alive. The county crew rushed him to a nearby animal hospital and the vet on duty put Rudy back together again. She believes Rudy was hit by a truck and left for dead, yet this little guy who is half Jack Russell Terrier and half Welsh Corgi suffered a broken pelvis, 2 broken back legs, broken ribs, his penis was severed and only God knows what type of neurological damage he sustained but he had spirit and was a little fighter. Unfortunately throughout his ordeal no one claimed him missing. No one wanted Rudy. During his recovery he was in a foster home being cared for by a kind woman. When I saw his little face, I knew he had finally found his forever home. Rudy was coming home with me and there were no ifs, ands or buts. Having a dog with disabilities is a challenge, yet Rudy is sweet, kind and always happy. His positive attitude has taught a friend of mine, that had cancer to never give up. Rudy’s joyful little soul keeps on going even when I know his little legs ache, or he needs help going up or down the back deck steps. Sometimes he doesn’t have the best control of his bladder but I know he tries. As all of my animals have taught me different lessons about life and love seeing Rudy running in the yard with his big ears flopping trying to chase after Honey and Jack warms my soul. He has taught me that being imperfect is actually a perfect way to be and while he is never first to catch the ball the lesson learned is that it’s ok as long as you have the passion anything you do in life is fun. Rudy is in for the fun and not the chase.
We can all learn a lesson from Rudy, never give up and while he isn’t the brightest bulb in the box he has a gift, a special gift that reminds me everyday of my dad’s words, “Caroline, life is simple Adapt, Improvise and Overcome.” Semper fi Dad!