Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We have two dogs.

Our older dog, Scout, is a Border Collie mix.
Scout is an interesting animal because, although for a long time I complained that he was dumber than dirt, he's really not.  Actually, he's probably too smart.  He's just so fearful and nuerotic that he is his own worst enemy.

Take, for example, the game of Fetch.

Scout really loves the game of Fetch.  I mean, REALLY, REALLY loves it. I used to say he was the best dog I'd ever seen at bringing the ball back.

Then we got the puppy.  (Who, I guess, we will still call "The Puppy" after he is toothless and on a walker.  Really, he's no longer a puppy.  He is 18 months old.  His actual name is Austin.)

Austin just loves to play.  Anything.  Playing = GOOD in Austin's world.  Austin is smart but he is NOT neurotic.  He's a very simple creature and let me just say, the dog is Big "H" Happy.

He LOVES to play fetch.  When my husband is traveling for business and unable to take the dogs running, the way I  exercise the dogs is to use this thing called a "chuk it" to throw the ball to the far ends of our acre lot.  We do this a LOT.  I've gotten really good at throwing the ball.

Which is a good thing because I have to throw it now so that Scout doesn't get it.

I know, it's just...

If the puppy gets the ball he comes running right back to me and drops it at my feet so that I can throw it again.

If SCOUT gets the ball, he brings it back half way.
And then he just stands there, waiting for his engraved invitation to bring the ball all the way back.

No amount of cajoling will make him bring it back.  In fact, what I have to do is get all threatening and call him names.

Sometimes we just give up and go inside until he brings the darn ball back.
The thing that's so frustrating is that Scout really WANTS TO PLAY FETCH.  But he's so afraid that someone else (Austin) will grab the ball OR that maybe Austin will get credit for returning the ball, that his fear, confusion, neuroses stops him from doing the very thing he loves the most.

I feel like I am doing exactly the same thing with living mindfully. I want to be in the present and listen to my body and live healthily and fully. And yet, again and again, I find myself bringing the ball only half way back out of fear and uncertainty and habitual blindness.

(I'm posting this on my regular blog, too, because it was a lot of work to add text to the pictures and now I feel the need to show it to everyone!)

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