Every day I wake up hopefully to the welcome sound of my dad saying “Come on, Joey, let’s get up!” I know that we’re going to get our run! Once I hear those words, it doesn’t take long to get me out of my daze and to get my tail wagging.
Running with my dad in the early morning hours has been my life! I used to run with him for over an hour. Since I was hit by the car, even after I’ve been running every day or every other day, I am pretty tired after 20 minutes. And my Dad knows this. After we go around the pond and are heading back up the big hill, I can hear him saying “Joey, you can do it. Come on. You can do it!“ Before I was hit by the car, he never had to say that to me. I would go and go and go. So once we get to the top of the hill, we turn off of the carriage path and Dad runs me back home. But still, I love running and I love my dad and I love running with my dad – any amount of time. Nothing could be better!
After our run, I wait and see what gems my mom is going to offer me on this day. Will I be able to go outside for walks? Will I spend time in the glow of the sunlight in the back yard while my mom does things outside that I don’t understand? Will I ride in the back seat of the car as she goes from place to place?
Sometimes the day unfolds to a place way beyond my imagination – to some land so close to my heart that I can just sing a song of nature. Today was such a day.
As my mom and I walked down the path in this blessed woodland, I could almost hear the call of my father and his father and his father, champion hunters all.
A babbling stream called to me. My mom didn’t remind me that I’m supposed to be afraid of water. Instead, she said “Joey, gogogo” and sort of nudged me toward the water’s edge. I walked right down and into the water, pulling her behind me. She followed. I kept going and she stopped.
She watched me fearlessly go into the water. She was a little nervous: She was wondering how my broken leg and broken foot were going to fare in this new untested and rocky ground, where the bottom wasn’t always visible. She wanted to encourage me to feel free and comfortable and happy in the water – but didn’t want to encourage me to do something if it was going to be harmful. I jumped from rock to rock, making sure I was stable on one before I scouted out where to go next. My mom stopped and just watched me. I was absorbed in my own world. My world.
I went from rock to rock, across the knee-deep stream toward the other side and then across the rushing waters to the other side – and then felt the tug of my lead telling me I couldn’t go any further. My mom called. Then I went back across the water and from rock to rock again to where my mom stood and waited. Then suddenly we were crossing the rushing waters of the stream again, me first, and my mom following me every step of the way.
It’s hard to say what captivated me about the water. Were there smells in there that I could smell but she could not? Was it the sounds of the rushing water itself, hurrying to get somewhere?
I was still in the water but about to climb up the other bank and my mom was in the middle, struggling to get to my side, when a wonderful dog and his very nice master came walking along the path, and crossing the little bridge!
I couldn’t figure out how to get to Cody fast enough. Cody was on his lead and I was on mine and this was it, but still, I’m not complaining.
Once my mom gets out of the stream, Cody and I get nose to nose – and then it’s time to move on. I’m okay with that. There are jewels in every step of this park and my mom is happy to just let me wander, explore, stop, smell, and delight. Maybe the memories of my father, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, champion hunters all, are visiting her, too.
More to come!