The Dog Dance

A few weeks ago my husband and I took our beloved Winston to Jacobs Pillow for some serious boogeying!  Winston is our Mexican refugee dog who came back with us from Ajijic a year and a half ago.  We adopted him quite unexpectedly after falling in love with him at an adoption day in our little village of Ajijic.  This is the place we winter, escaping the severe cold of upstate New York.

My daughter had seen an ad for dog dancing at the world renowned Jacobs Pillow, a mecca in The Berkshires for serious dancing since the 1930’s. It is the oldest internationally acclaimed Summer dance festival in the United States.  220 acres in size and gorgeous, The Pillow, for those of us in the know, was listed as a National Historic Landmark District in 2003.

Apparently, The Pillow hosts a canine dancing event every Summer to celebrate National Dog Day.  The dance is choreographed by resident dancers and the caregivers accompanying their canine friends.  (the dance belongs to the dogs though, not the people!  We just serve as props!)

“Partnering is fundamental to many dance genres and the partnership between dogs and their companions is unlike any other,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. How right she is!  We do not think we look silly jumping around and pirouetting with our four legged friends on the great lawn in the Berkshires.  It is pure silliness, fun, and downright love for the one living thing that gives it’s owner unconditional love.

This event will now become a part of my cultural summers in the Berkshires, weather permitting.  I will look forward to dancing barefoot in the grass with my agile Winston and paying homage to my senior citizen Colby.  If only life could remain this simple!

A short post today before Barclay and I take a much needed rest from our blog publishing.  We have published 60 posts since the end of January when we began.  We are so proud of what we have accomplished and the response from our family and friends.  We will be writing our little hearts out so that we have posts in the queue with no interruptions.  We figured if Maria Shriver (our heroine and role model) could take off the whole month of August, we were entitled to at least two weeks!

Today’s Takeaway…

Don’t be afraid to act silly, laugh, run through the grass with your dog!  Who cares who’s watching?!! Don’t be afraid to let loose.  If not now, when?

. Our 4 legged friends are special.  Love them with all your heart.  Talk to them, cry on their backs, tell them secrets. They are on this earth for one reason only, to give pleasure. Never forget that DOG is GOD spelled backwards.

 

Enjoy the Ride!

xox

Barclay and Joy

 

 

 

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Bravo Winston!!

Codie’s Self-Help Book: Lessons from a Golden Retriever

Look people in the eye.

Each person is special. Listen more.  Love always.

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When things go wrong, hang in there.

Try to see the positive in all circumstances.  You can choose gratitude. Dinner will come soon. Love always.

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Always try your best.

Just because you failed every class you took, keep giving it your best.   Love always.

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Love is patient.

When you come face to face with crankiness, bear with it.  Try not to get jealous. Love always.

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Lend a paw.

Check in with people.  Think of a gift to bring them. A sock will do just fine. Love always.

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Spread joy.

Find people who are lonely.  Visit them often. Bring a friend.  Love always.

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Laugh more.

When you’re in the car, be sure to look out the window.  You may see something that makes you laugh.   Love always.

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Sleep is VERY important.

Get your full compliment of 15 to 20 hours a day.  If you can sleep on someone’s head, that’s even better.  Dream about loving always.

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Accept love graciously.

When you’re cute, you’re cute.  What can I say?   Love always.

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Live in the now.

All you have is the present moment.  Enjoy it!  Love always.

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Today’s Takeaway:

-Now that we’re retired, we can listen more to our doggie friends.

-Codie’s book will be on the shelves soon. Watch for it!

Enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay and Joy

and Codie, Winston, and Colby

Sophie says…

photo of Jessica and Sophie

Homage to Sophie

This post is written for my dear friend Jessica, whom I have known since we were 14 years old.  I am blessed to have several very long term friendships. I treasure them for one cannot duplicate the experiences a person shares when going from child to teenager to young adult, to 3rd chapter Boomer. Jessica and I have shared many memorable experiences together, but this is not about us, but rather her dog  Sophie.

Sadly Sophie was diagnosed with an aggressive tumor, quite out of the blue and at the tender age of 8. She was this little mop of a dog – furry, sweet, lovable, and adored by neighbors and kids on the UWS of New York City. In Jessica’s own words, “She was a puppy at heart until the end-bouncing around, behaving silly and making everyone laugh.  She was the mascot of her building-loved hanging out in the lobby to greet everyone.”

Sophie was trained to be a therapy dog and participated in an amazing program teaching empathy and building self esteem for middle school kids-a fair shake for youth.  She flirted with the other therapy dogs, used every opportunity to inch her way over to them and nuzzle.  It made everyone around her laugh.

What better role can a dog play (besides giving their owners unqualified love) but to bring joy to others who have so little, whether emotionally or physically impaired?  This was Sophie’s gift, her special talent and she did it with humor, tenderness, and compassion.

She came into Jessica’s life when she needed it most, having gone through a very difficult time. I truly believe dogs (cats too, if you are a cat person) are little people in fur suits who know us better than we sometimes know ourselves.  (metaphorically speaking of course)  They snuggle when we need a hug, nuzzle up to us when we need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.  They are there for joy, as well as sorrow and are never too busy to be there for you.  No dog has said, “Sorry, can I call you back later, I’m in the midst of something.”

To add a bit of levity to what is a very sad story, I must include the animal communicator tale. What’s that you said, “animal communicator?” “Put simply, animal communication is a silent, telepathic language that functions via deepened intuition.” (SheKnows)

 

An animal communicator was contacted (Jessica’s sister had suggested this in her hour of need) and a conversation took place via phone. The communicator informed Jessica that Sophie was stressed out and that she, Jessica, needed to lighten up.  “Too much negative energy!” Now this animal communicator was not told anything beforehand about Sophie’s tumor or that Jessica was faced with this life or death decision.  STRESSING HER OUT!!!  Really?

As Jessica told me this story over lunch at Barney Greengrass on the UWS, I was ready to fall off my chair laughing. Jessica knew that  out of all her friends, I would be the one to appreciate this the most.  I, who have always been superstitious, a believer in astrology, psychics, reincarnation, etc.  (We once went to Staten Island on a bus for an incredible reading by a woman that occasionally would be hired by the NYPD to help find missing children!  I digress…)

The animal communicator was then told about Sophie’s diagnosis to explain why there was stress and she proceeded to take a different approach.  She couldn’t make the decision for Jessica, but she did assure her that all Sophie wanted was to be near family and to feel loved.

Reiki was administered to both dog and human.  Jessica reported that suddenly Sophie started running around like the puppy she had always been.

Jessica knew that she had done everything she could and that Sophie understood and felt loved.

Todays Takeaway- 

.. Dogs (cats) are special.  They bring us joy and comfort.  As we age, perhaps, ever more importantly, they give us a reason to keep to a regimen, to let them out in the morning, to feed them, to walk them,to provide company, solace.  Never underestimate the power of a pet! Who knows, it might be someone’s soul inhabiting the body?  But that we will save for another post!

-Kacie and Colby (Barclay’s and my senior citizen dogs) are respectively 14 and 17.  We know their time with us on earth is limited.  Love them with all your heart and be sensitive to their needs, as you would want someone to understand yours.

Enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay and Joy

 

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