"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring --- it was peace."
If you've followed me for even a few Sunday mornings, then you know I start each post the same. Molly the Wonder Dog is always part of the equation. She's always asleep at my feet as I start wandering through my creativity "warehouse" trying to figure out what to write about for Sunday Morning Reflections.
Well this morning the topic is Molly and in turn talking about the dogs in our lives. In one respect we take so much for granted about our furry partners - and on the other hand, we take nothing for granted. They're the purest and most consistent example of unconditional love we have in our lives.
I picked up Molly from a breeder in Modesto, California. I didn't want a puppy factory and found two sisters who had an almond farm and did a couple of litters a year of Labradoodles. I'd researched the breed and put in my order.
The litter came along, but I didn't have the first pick. Fortunately, the couple ahead of me didn't want a white dog - remember this is California where people have been known to give up their dogs when they don't match the new decorating! That was it - Molly was about to become a part of my life.
Her mother was a black standard poodle and father a big yellow lab. The litter was a rainbow, so the we-don't-want-a-white-dog couple had plenty to choose from. Molly was eight weeks old when we picked her up and drove home with her asleep, and later that day introduced her to her first tennis ball.
Well, that was thirteen years ago, and she's been by my side ever since. She went to work with me every day at Rangefinder/WPPI. She kept me company and often calm during the stress of a divorce, always knowing when I was down. She kept me company on the drive to Ohio when I left California, and it aggravated me that she had to stop to pee less often than I did! LOL She's chased tennis balls on the beaches of California, in the parks and snow of Ohio, on the beaches in Florida and up and down the driveway as recently as yesterday.
Her loyalty is unmatched as I believe is her understanding when I need a hug. She sleeps on her bed in my office all day when I'm working and will pick her head up out of the soundest sleep if I get up and leave the room. And, if I have to leave the house, she gets this look of disappointment over not joining me for a ride in the car - but if I say, "It's just too hot today," she tilts her head and understands.
So, this morning is a tribute to the puppy in my life, who at sixty pounds has carved out her exclusive piece of my heart. But, it's also a tribute to the pups in your lives because in their own strange, compelling and all-knowing way they help you stay focused. They remind us every day how important love is in our lives. Without ever speaking a word they talk and listen to us all the time.
Wishing you a weekend of peace, love and time to scratch behind the ears of the dog in your life. (It's so strange - as I wrote that last sentence, Molly got up off her bed and came over and just looked at me, waited for me to scratch her back and said, "Finish up already - I need to go out!")
As always go for those eleven-second hugs with the people most special in your life and hug that puppy! You don't need to have an official therapy dog, that pup in your life already has an inherent ability to know when you need support
Happy Sunday everybody!
Note: A big thanks to Nicole Begley from "Hair of the Dog." Together with Terran Bayer, they taught an outstanding workshop on pet photography here in Sarasota this past winter and Molly got to model. The images, where credited, are all from students in their class who captured a few of my favorites. Check out more about Nicole and her workshops at her blog. It's loaded with great content and in the hierarchy of why people hire professional photographers in the portrait/social categories the order is brides, babies and pets!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.