Kylie: My Gentle Friend.


No matter the worries on my heart,

simply by a hug around this big ole yellow dogs neck,

an understanding glance from her soulful eyes,

her soft body a pillow to rest my tired head,

her quiet presence a place to call home,

to let my worries gently wash away,

and on my way I go again,

my heart renewed and hope restored.

All this from my gentle friend.

The Power of the Pause.

wheelchair joie night

This past week I talked with a friend who is having a tough time, worried about her future as she is in transition. She is struggling with the fear of “what if.”

I think I can safely say that we’ve all found ourselves in this place at one time or another.

The struggle comes in when we buy into having to have everything figured out right now — and that there is no time to pause for fear of what could happen — which oftentimes never happens.

We are a society of doer’s, rushing from one thing to the next, and never sitting long enough to reflect, perhaps mourn what was, and never really listening to our heart whispers of what it is we may want next.

We want to get rid of the uneasy, scary, and uncomfortable feelings as fast as we can and return to a state of happiness. I raise my hand and say, “I’m very guilty of this.”

Joie, my Dachshund in a wheelchair, gone over a year now, taught me the power of the pause. I fought it at first, not wanting to deal with my feelings and so afraid of the unknown.

I recall one day having coffee with an older friend during this time. I shared with her how I felt so lost, wanting to know NOW the next leg of my journey.  She quietly said, “Sometimes it can take years to move through a transition. Try to embrace that.”

I was dumbfounded when she said this. I couldn’t imagine having to wait years. But it was what she had experienced and could say with all honesty, that in the end, it all worked out.

She still had a roof over her head, she had food to eat, she had good friends, she had family to lean on, and she moved through her days trusting this time of uncertainty would figure itself out if she allowed it.

So much can be gleaned in the power of the pause when we sit with all of our feelings. While we may not figure things out right away, owning our feelings, moving through them, and accepting them as a part of who we are — well, as I’ve experienced, there is power in that.

There is freedom in letting go and allowing life to unfold as it is meant to.

While I’m not always good at this and yes, do need to be reminded too, I’ve gotten better at forgiving myself, and understanding that I’m a work in progress.

Each time we embrace every part of ourselves, we then get the opportunity to blossom even more fully into who we are. And Joie’s lesson to me of pausing in times of uncertainty has been a gift of a path unfolding before me just as it is meant to be.

The Tail that Didn’t Wag.

kylie nov 2014

When we brought Kylie home as a young pup from a breeder over nine years ago, it wasn’t until several weeks later that John and I realized we had not seen her wag her tail.

It would take a few months before she would wag her tail. We really have no idea why this was.

I recall one day Kylie pushing her way through John’s legs while he was standing in the kitchen. We would come to realize over the months that this is a sign of affection from her. But as she grew and is so strong, you best be prepared when she pushes her way through at knee high level to make sure you hold your ground.

She would never mean to push anyone over, but her zealous way in which showing her love can have you toppling over if you are not careful.  I remember one day when she did this to John and we’d not yet seen her wag her tail. As she stood between John’s legs waiting for a butt rub, he picked up her back end and moved it back and forth encouraging her in a fun way saying, “This is how you wag your tail, Kylie.”

I don’t recall exactly when her tail finally did wag for the first time, but I do remember it happening as both John and I saw it and we excitedly said, “You wagged your tail, Kylie!”

Now it is a fun game with her. Just this morning as she lay on her bed in the kitchen I sat down next to her as my water was heating up for my tea. I pet her for awhile and then said what I’ve come to say often to her as a game, “Does your tail work today Kylie? Does it work?”

Just the tip of her tail will come slightly off the ground, wagging just a wee bit. Then the more I say, “Does your tail work today? Oh, I think I see it working!” it begins to wag bigger and faster.

It is such a sweet time with her and such a fun little game that we play and I relish in these precious moments with her.