It was just an old Sydney Swans cap, bought at a stand outside the SCG sometime in the 1990’s, where I was attending a Sydney Swans game. I liked it because it had a sort of vintage feel to it, a canvas fabric look rather than the bright red and white caps supplied by the Swans as part of the membership pack. It was also in the days when I was regularly buying Swans kit like shirts and jackets. My need to be identified by this paraphernalia has long gone, the attachment broken, in a process I have written about elsewhere.
The cap had become my cap of choice when I started walking for exercise around the time when I first met Molly in the early 2000’s. Molly’s two daughters were still living at home although there were plans for them to be moving in the near future to Queensland to attend university. Each of the girls had a dog and they had decided that Mum should also have a dog to keep her company when they left home. There was Astro Boy, a beautiful large Border Collie dog; Jack, a Maltese Shih Tzu cross dog and Dolly, a small long-haired Chihuahua-Terrier cross bitch, ostensibly Molly’s pet. That’s right, Dolly, Molly, get it? Continue reading
I am always joined for meditation at home by our two cavoodle dogs, Daisy and Rosie. They seem to love it and are always keen to sit on the mat and then the zabuton and then the zafu as I put them down and I have to chide them out of the way so that I can get them all setup for my meditation practice. I sit and as soon as the gong goes on my timer to start, both dogs settle down on the smaller zabuton I set for them in front of me and mostly just go to sleep. Or what appears to be sleep. Their presence is not as you might think a distraction but provides me with a number of lessons.
Dogs I think are permanently in the “here and now” that we humans strive for in just periods of meditation. I don’t think dogs spend much time, if any, thinking about the bones they might have got in the past, or planning for what they might do later in the day, or week, or month. They are just living for what happens now. They have conditioning that comes into play but no regrets and no planning, it is just what is happening now that matters. Even in the midst of what appears to be deep sleep the dogs will immediately react to any noise that might need to be attended to or indicate a threat. Continue reading
Hurrah! Hallelujah! I have started my daily walk again after a four-month layoff waiting for the wound on my foot to heal enough to allow it. And are my faithful walking companions, Daisy and Rosie our beautiful cavoodle dogs, ecstatic about it as well? You bet they are. The mere mention of the word “walk” accompanied by me putting my sneakers on is enough to drive Daisy into a high alert state and she follows me anywhere I might go as if connected by some string to my heels.
They both take to the walk quite differently. For Daisy I use an extending reel lead which allows her to bounce out in front as far as the lead will allow, then stop to sniff some important treasure that presents itself until the lead reaches its limit again behind us and then she bounces past us again to as far in front as she can go and the pattern repeats itself. I say “bounce” because that is the best way I can describe her “run” with two front feet together and her large cavalier ears flapping up and down. And the whole effect just exudes such pure joy that it brings a tear of deep pleasure to me when recalling it. Sometimes Daisy stops and looks back at me and I swear she has a look on her little face that can only be a big happy smile.