Monthly Archives: March 2009

Pixie’s Spirit

pixie-pink-collar4Pixie died today. She was not my dog, but I loved her as if she was my dog. She belonged to my friend, Chris, but in a way she belonged to everyone who met her. She had a spirit so happy and huge that it was impossible to meet Pixie and not feel lighter and brighter for it. Pixie exuded joy. She was “Princess of Meet and Greets”, introducing hundreds of people to the magic of retired racing greyhounds. Chris knew Pixie was a very special dog, a greyhound ambassador supreme, and she so generously shared her with others.

I’ll never forget the first time I met Pixie. Chris had enrolled her in a dog training class and Pixie pranced her way in with her long slender tail helicopter-wagging behind – a sign of a truly happy dog. We taught her to bow and she would stretch her long steely blue body out as if she was born to be a ballerina. Her little sister dressed her in pink, and Pixie sported beautiful collars and accessories, right down to the gorgeous handmade tag that adorned her collar. Pixie was truly beautiful in shape and soul.

When I received Chris’ message, I cried – for Chris, and Pixie, and every dog I’ve lost and every person who has felt the pain that Chris felt today when she let Pixie go. The solace is knowing that greyhound heaven is a little brighter for my beloved Zorro now that Pixie has arrived.

To return to Sarah Richardson’s Canine Connection web site, go to:
www.thecanineconnection.com

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With Dogs, We Play

Dogs Play at the Canine Connection's Day Care

Dogs Play at the Canine Connection's Day Care

My life is full of dogs — really, really full. I live with my own energetic pack of five dogs and interact with dozens more each week through dog classes and day care at the Canine Connection. When I don’t have a dog in front of me (or beside me or draped around me) I have dogs on the brain. I am responding to emails about dogs, reading about dogs, speaking about dogs, and thinking about dogs. Indeed, my life is so full of dogs that on those extremely rare occasions when I go a day or two without dog contact I feel disconnected, sort of like I’m in a foreign country without my familiar landmarks–the thump of tail wags here, a splash of dog fur and slobber there.

So much has been written and said about our love affair with dogs. Perhaps the most often cited reason for our love of dogs is that these innocent creatures who are so forgiving of our imperfections provide us with unconditional love. They, in turn, allow–no, require us to care for them and this nurturing seems to make us more human.

But I believe there is another reason we love and need our dogs so. They help us play. And in play we are our most natural, creative, and spontaneous selves. Play is truly a universal activity that all species need, enjoy, and understand and play comes so naturally to dogs. Just watch the dance of play bows, wiggles, and happy faces that is part of their language of play. But play comes less naturally to humans as we leave our childhood behind and engage in the serious business of adulthood. True play becomes elusive in our busy, over-stressed lives.

Dogs open the doors to spontaneity, laughter, and fun. We experience that when we watch our dogs play, vicariously entering their world of total engagement with a toy, playmate or environment. So many people tell me how much they love to watch their dogs play! It’s as if we are observing pure, concentrated joy. And when we play with our dogs, it’s as if we hit the pause button on the everyday stresses of life. We and our dogs are partners in that which is intrinsically joyful and rewarding to all species.

An activity I love is to dance with my dog. No, we don’t tango or salsa, we just move to the music with circles and spins. My dogs love music with a happy beat and so do I. For you, it might be a Frisbee or ball that brings on the play. Whatever your style, play with your dog. For in play, we become more human, our dogs become more canine, and together we become more connected.

To return to Sarah Richardson’s Canine Connection web site, go to:
www.thecanineconnection.com