What New Year’s Day is all about: new hope. New life. The chance to begin again. On any day, but especially after a long, cold winter or a life of darkness. Doxie Doodle's rescue story.Read More
As I look back and think about what stands out most on the ride of life….
...about what gave me hope that dogs and people will continue to evolve as a species - into one caring community across the world....
... taking better care of each other and our wild kingdom...
...about where I put my energy and tried to make a difference…
It’s in listening to my nose, trusting my gut, simply doing - not overthinking.
It’s in showing basset hound solidarity.
Showing up, for life, for each other - in being present and steady and trusted.
Occasionally offering profound thoughts and guidance, via loving looks and long, please stop that stares - to my human, who flaps around on a meteoric shift from high to low, with wild racing thoughts that sometimes conflict and who talks waaaay too much.
Frankly, it’s a good thing I can tune her out sometimes. Now of course, I say that with love in my heart. She’s only human.
Bassets don’t work that way. We don’t drag around rambling thoughts that have no beginning or end.
Eat. Play. Pee.
We begin and end our days the same. We sleep, crap, sniff, snuggle. Eat. Play. Pee. We sprawl on the sofa. We don't multitask. We don’t over dramatize like primates and people do.
That’s where I think I’ve helped – in rescuing my mom - supporting her with my strong male presence - a loving, solid base of unquestioning support. I am always there – grounded, profounder - in an ungrounded world - that flaps around on a meteoric shift from high to low. Mom welcomed me into her jagged but purposeful life.
The least I can do is give back - sound basset hound advice.
I know my dog bros Dude and Doodle feel the same way.
If you're a rescue dog yourself, you know how much they need us.
Meeting kids at parades and on dog walks - you look right into their eyes (in our case, eye level, from a surfboard viewpoint) - and you see all that puppy energy in there, so much love and wonder - I hope they never lose that.
Don't grow up. Ever. Period.
Just showing up - being present – that’s what it’s all about.
Sharing the ride of life.
I don’t get hung up on the what ifs, where-to’s and whereas's. You shouldn’t either.
Thoughts from heaven, Surf Dog Diaries
I could see for many years. But now that I'm blind, I see better than ever. Tips for better living. For people, of course. Dogs get it.
Advice for humans:
Take time to smell "the roses" (your words, not mine)... you know what I really mean.
1. Get right in there with your snout, and breath it in - deeply.
Life is Good - with smell. Oh yeeaaaahhhh.
Scent is the strongest of senses, triggering more emotions and memories than vision, hearing and touch. It sounds weird, but ask any dog - any day. Blind dogs in particular - we are scent hounds.
For navigation, I zeroed in on my seeing eye dog brother Elvis. In particular, his stinky basset butt. Who needs eyes when you've got that super charged GPS unit guiding your way?
Your human author friends know the importance of smell, too - they heard about it in writer's classes.
2. More Heart. Less Head. (Humans, repeat after me....)
Don't worry about all that dumb stuff. You know, the irritating small stuff you obsess over? Note to people: almost everything you think about is dumb.
Let it go. Be free. This is the most important point.
Don't worry about how you look.
3. Jump all in. Give your whole heart. Don't hold back. If you have baggage, get over It.
Learn to trust.
Learn to give.
Me and my dog brothers are rescue dogs. We all had at least two moms before finding the third, the keeper. We wasted too much time worrying, running away and being bad dogs. Don't do that.
Listen. (Selective dog listening counts)
4. Surfing is life. The ups and downs - they ARE the ride.
Without downs, the ups aren't up.
I was in a lot of pain - glaucoma. Not treatable in dogs like it is in humans. I lost one eye several years ago. A year later, the other one went to heaven. So then I was totally blind.
It didn't change a thing. I'm a surfer, through and through.
Step up to the nose, walk the board, adjust your weight.
5. Showing up is 99% of life.
Don't stay home.
Don't be a no show.
6. SHOW don't TELL. Show you care. Life is short!
With a ratio of 1:7 human:dog years, there is not a moment to waste.
Life is short. Tell them you love them.
Speak. If you can't speak, use what you've got. Dogs are all about body language. Use your body. Your language.
Make your move.
Now get out there and ride the waves of life. There's room on board with me!
Dude (the Dudester)
Surf Dog Diaries reporter