I am dyed in the wool cat person. It’s not that I don’t like dogs, I really do. Some of them have really won their way into my heart. At the end of the day, though, I am all about felines and can think of nothing better than a cat to curl up to. That’s why I am amazed at how much fun a little puppy love can be and how good it can be for the soul.
The other day when I was up at Columcille, I was hiking up the hill toward the circle of stones when I saw the founder Bill standing in the middle of the circle seemingly preoccupied with something on the ground. As I got closer I realized it was the cutest little puppy I ever did see. Immediately my mood shifted from contemplative and a little down to instant joy, silliness, and fun. The little guy whose name is Lochae (pronounced Lock-a with a long “ay”) is the new canine on the land. He is a white and gray Border collie mix. You see the land has always had border collies but I only knew them as adults. And, while I loved Lance and Duke, I never got to know them from their first arrival only after they already made the place and its stones their own. This little guy, however….
I can’t tell you what great medicine for the spirit and a big smile inducer hanging out with this little guy was as we walked around. He is in that 8 week old puppy stage where he runs and frolics but has issues with his rear chassis fishtailing like a sports car in a snowstorm. He digs, he nips, and everything is a glorious new world. He loved me and the smell of my 2 cats on my hiking boots for sure.
What I loved most about the experience is the knowing that as humans we can be youthful at any age. Bill recently turned 80 but he looked about ten years old as he played with the puppy and gave his new furry companion a tour of the land. I had to laugh at the irony of it all especially because he would often tease me that – “once you get to be my age even green bananas are a long-term commitment”. Of course anyone who spends time with him knows that age is only a number when you have a youthful spirit, love, and a vision.
So, if you’re in a slump or just need a little pick me up – go pet a cat, a dog or another critter of your liking. If you can’t take on the responsibility of owning one, borrow neighbors’, volunteer at a shelter, or go dog watching in your local park. I guarantee you’ll feel better and learn something new from these great furry teachers.