a mixture of gravity and waggery

On Monday, I said goodbye (for now) to my sweet dog Hayden.  He was the purest of souls, made entirely of love.  I will miss him terribly, but know he is happy and at peace.  I saw a cloud yesterday that reminded me of him (albeit with an extra-long tail!).   I want to share some pictures from my time with that precious dog.  I blogged quite a bit about him, as you might remember. DSCF2760 This picture was taken right after a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law that I would adopt Hayden from them.  Such a happy moment for me. DSCF6176Soaking up the sunshine. DSCF2956 DSCF2960   I LOVE these pictures of him.  This is how I picture him now, running fast and joyfully.  When I would jog around my parents’ backyard in Texas, he would frolic about with me. DSCF6771 Soaking up that sunshine again, this time on the move to North Carolina. 528219_10101811152128494_8359053_79826943_473105945_n Being such a wonderful work companion, too.  He brought comfort to an awful lot of my church folk on pastoral visits.   10430820_10104966037552814_1785823598051356176_n I took this picture of him his last day when, after feeling so rough, he stood up for just a moment and fluffed up his ears and looked at me with such amazing love. photo-146Here is the last picture I took with my little guy before heading to the vet to say goodbye (for now).  What an angel. I’ve always loved Mary Oliver, and she had a bichon named Percy, whom she wrote a poem for when he died.  I needed to read that today.

For I Will Consider My Dog Percy

For I will consider my dog Percy.

For he was made small but brave of heart.

For if he met another dog he would kiss her in kindness.

For when he slept he snored only a little.

For he could be silly and noble in the same moment.

For when he spoke he remembered the trumpet and when he scratched he struck the floor like a drum.

For he ate only the finest food and drank only the purest of water, yet he would nibble of the dead fish also.

For he came to me impaired and therefore certain of short life, yet thoroughly rejoiced in each day.

For he took his medicines without argument.

For he played easily with the neighbor’s Bull Mastiff.

For when he came upon mud he splashed through it.

For he was an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For he listened to poems as well as love-talk.

For when he sniffed it was as if he were being pleased by every part of the world.

For when he sickened he rallied as many times as he could.

For he was a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For we humans can seek self-destruction in ways he never dreamed of.

For he took actions both cunning and reckless, yet refused always to offer himself to be admonished.

For his sadness though without words was understandable.

For there was nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there was nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he was of the tribe of Wolf.

For when I went away he would watch for me at the window.

For he loved me.

For he suffered before I found him, and never forgot it.

For he loved Anne.

For when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue about whether or not God made him.

For he could fling himself upside down and laugh a true laugh.

For he loved his friend Ricky.

For he would dig holes in the sand and then let Ricky lie in them.

For I often see his shape in the clouds and this is a continual blessing.

photo-145 Love you, Hayden.  Always.

delicious durham

It’s been a long while since I last took you dear blog readers (you are there, right? hello? is this thing on?) on a little walk with me.  Today’s adventure features a recent trek through the beautiful American Tobacco Campus in Durham, and other amblings in that area.  So get yourself a wee cuppa, and let’s trundle* along, shall we?

*verb: Belfast speak for taking a wee walk. See also: “a wee dander”. IMG_6096 IMG_6099 I know I’m, er, well-grounded height-wise, but that be a right tall structure, y’all. IMG_6102 I am oh-so-fond of crumbling things (especially apple crumbly things with ice cream), and this wee dander had plenty of that to enjoy (the crumbling things, sadly not the apple crumble). IMG_6104 Two things about this picture: 1) whoever you send out of that door is not your friend (or won’t be after you tell them to “just head out that door.”  2) I’m intensely curious about what those pigeons are saying to one another.  Probably something along the lines of, “Silly paparazzi…sigh.  We can’t go anywhere.” IMG_6106 Multicolored peeling paint!  Rust!  Swoon. IMG_6108 IMG_6110 Rusty steps. IMG_6112 I like railroad tracks.  I also like the person standing on the other side of them. IMG_6114 IMG_6116   The golden hour. IMG_6117 I loved the woodgrain of these railroad ties. IMG_6120 And here is the cuddliest plant you’ll ever meet.  Really.  You’ll want to just stop for several moments and rub your face on it.  Go ahead, take a minute… Ready to move on?  Okay. IMG_6122 An awesomely teeny door.  (Which we hobbit-like people appreciate). IMG_6121 This felt very much like Austin to me.  We complete our little tour with a coffee cup, just as we began it.  I hope your explorations today take you somewhere delightful, where there’s coffee.  And crumbling things (of the beautifully dilapidated and apple varieties).