I’m not sure how this is possible, but Willie turns twelve years old today (July 3rd). Wasn’t it just last month that he was a seven-week old fuzz ball? Or just yesterday when he finally stopped being terrified of unfamiliar dogs after years of conditioning and training?
Time is indeed relative. It’s been no time at all since Willie came into our lives. And yet it’s been an eternity, because I can barely imagine life without him. Those of you who have read my memoir, The Education of Will, know that our story together is a complicated one. His fears as a puppy set off my own, and things got a lot worse before they got better. But they never would have gotten better at all if Willie hadn’t forced me to dig deeper in my own recovery efforts than I had in the past. Every dog we have is special, but dogs who allow you to “reclaim your life,” as stated in the subtitle of the book, are special indeed.
Happy Birthday Willie, my Willie Billie Boy, my lunkhead, my muse, my tough love therapist, and the dog who changed my life. I love you.
In other news, it’s July and time for my traditional “summer slow down”. I’ll still be posting, but there will be a few more throwbacks and ‘nothing-but-photos’ than usual. However, I am already working on a post for later in July related to training that is tentatively titled “The Pause That Refreshes,” so my brain has not completely turned to mush.
Speaking of brain mush, it’s been so freaking hot that I can barely think when I’m outside. (That is not the adjective I am using when conversing with my friends.) Like Border Collies, my genes are deeply embedded in the cool, misty mornings of Scotland and Wales, and this kind of heat flattens me. But, the garden still needs tending, the sheep still need moving from pasture to pasture, and the dogs still need exercise. I’ve been working Maggie in the mornings, but even by 8 AM it’s a hot, sticky mess. We don’t work long but we still both come back dripping with sweat or saliva. Actually, it’s been better the last day or two, and thank heavens for that. (Please don’t suggest that I’ll be longing for this weather in winter, as many people have lately. No, I won’t. I absolutely adore it when it’s 20 degrees outside.) I know I should get up at 5 AM when we are all wide awake, but oh how I love lying in bed, drinking tea and reading something wonderful. Translation: I’m getting lazy in my dotage.
Lots going on in the garden–early July is a Lily extravaganza and joining the party is my tiny patch of roses, along with some astilbe that seems to think our nasty clay soil is the perfect growing medium. Of course, in true social media fashion, I am not showing you photos of the Bleeding Heart plants that have turned yellow and grey-brown and are covered in mold, or the daisy leaves chewed into submission by flea beetles. Someday I think I’ll take photos of the ugliest parts of the yard and just post those. Believe me, I’ll have a lot to choose from. But til then, enjoy?