Saturday, October 31, 2009
Canine Kayak Hood Ornament
Two days ago I woke up grateful for not having to get in a car and drive to a job or sit in traffic or sit in a cubicle. I have had this freedom for most of my adult life, but finally realized how rare that is and had big gratitude. We are in South Carolina checking out the land that will be the future home of Bicycle City (www.bicyclecity.com). Our little home on wheels is parked on the edge of a 50 acre lake with no one else around. There is one vacant cabin here and two kayaks. It is one of three lakes/ponds on the Bicycle City land.
It is the rural South....so there is everything that goes along with that. I have an obvious bias....Honestly, maybe it is just anywhere USA..not specific to the rural South. But, it sure seems to crop up a lot when we are here. Within 12 hours of getting here I was talking to animal control about a mange covered mother dog and one of her litter who were trapped in a barbed wire topped locked chain link fence area (abandoned factory). The puppy also had mange. I gave them water and food and tried not to be too judgemental (I did not succeed in this) of the person I was told "owned" her. I found a neighbor who told me about the dog's "owner" . When this neighbor suggested the idea of getting her "fixed" to her "owner", the "owner" said "The bitch just keep getting pregnant" and he laughed.
Short soapbox glossary: They are not our property and we are not their owners. We are their guardians, their family, their caregivers....As soon as we call them property, we can do whatever we want to them....no matter how neglectful or violent. Men do not own women, no one owns children and no one owns any living being...not in a caring and awake world.
I told the neighbor that I wish that the dogs guardian understood what that responsibility entailed and that I wish the "owner's" parents had gotten "fixed" before they had him. This fella gave me that "uh oh, trouble maker who is about menopausal age and has out of state plates" look.
I could not get to the dogs in the fenced area.....they were stuck there in the hot sun on concrete. So began my relationship with the local animal control folks.
Other than the dog neglect, the atv noisely cruising through on the trails across the lake last night and the sound of the interstate during rush hour, this place is peaceful and sweet. Lots of great hiking trails for us and the dogs. This is just the ease we wanted after a hectic schedule of travel and leading programs. We have been kayaking here with the two dogs. Our preference would always be to leave them on the dock sitting peacefully and awaiting our return. That would be someone else's dogs. By now you know that we have one dog who is the Buddha (Tikvah) and one (Bean) who is the Anti-Buddha or the Devil as we call her for short. Even the Buddha Boy does not like being left on the dock and will howl like an ailing coyote until the kayaks bring us back to him. So he has to go with us. The Devil will swim miles after our boats, so even if we try to leave her behind, her little wet ass will show up and climb into the kayak. To make it all easier, we just take them. The Buddha, as you can see, just sits there or curls up and is content to just meditate on the scene around him.He is truly a dog you can take anywhere....well almost anywhere. He did roll in pig shit at the World Peace Yoga Conference and then slipped in the door of the largest group of Yoginis and got them all to pet him....But that was just his way of sharing.
The Devil, on the other hand, does not sit still and moves from the front of the kayak to the back. Here she is on the front being a hood ornament.
And here is how she gets from point A to point B:
And one of her more peaceful moments:
I can't help but compare the life of these two dogs to the dogs who have "owners"...people who treat them like property you can just ignore and let fall into total disrepair. My heart aches for these innocents who want nothing more than comfort. Some people tell me my dogs are spoiled. Some people tell me they would like to come back in their next life as my dog. These dogs of ours get Tofurky everyday with their veggie food. Tikvah eats up two whole heads of raw organic cabbage every week. Bean will not drink her favorite (unsweetened soymilk) unless one of us holds the bowl. She gets an organic dry mission fig everytime she just looks cute and we notice. They get hours of hiking everyday. They are never hungry for a minute and they are never too cold or too hot. JC will wrap Bean up in a blanket if she is cold...and she stretches out between us under the covers everynight. As my dear friend Lora says, "That is not spoiled, that is just having her needs met." Absolutely.