Life and Pets

A secret to happiness …

It came to me as I started grooming the first of four dogs that were on the schedule today (plus two “nails-only” appointments). I felt so happy, fulfilled, content, all that great stuff, and I pondered the meaning of life again … and still.

What came to me?

Quit trying to figure it all out!”

That’s all. I never promised to be profound in this blog, in fact, my disclaimer is that I am usually not profound.

Our friends and family keep getting older, and some quit getting older and die. This is always so concerning; it seems there was a period of time, maybe a decade or two or three, that I gave no thought to aging. That was something that was happening to others, and as the years flew by, I didn’t feel much older from one birthday to the next, through the seasons, graduations, marriages, children, divorce, single years, another marriage and another two decades. Also through the children’s graduations, single years and marriages.

Then *BAM* reality hit. It has hit. It has been fourty-five years past one of the first days that I thought aging was only for those other people. Aunts and uncles, parents, and their friends … those folks were worrying about retirement, old age, sometimes infirmity.

Our mom died at age 46. I remember thinking, “Well, she was sort of old, did a lot of what she wanted to do and had a pretty good life.”. How arrogant and ignorant! But I was 14 and need to forgive myself.

Most of us don’t see death lurking and getting ready to take us. I was thinking, “What if I don’t get this (or that) done … “. This is everything from the next crafty project to my taxes, to travel. What if I don’t get the back bedroom cleared out, decluttered and cleaned? What if I don’t witness Susan achieve her PhD? What if I don’t get this (or that) book read? What if I die while grooming a dog and it falls off the table or remains unfinished?

Who cares? Well, everyone will care more if I don’t actually make a Will … perhaps that should be a priority. But almost nothing means that much. Oh! I don’t mean that nothing means anything: many things mean a great deal. I mean … not much can be changed by agonizing.

What is the meaning of life? A young man who I dated while in high school used to blurt that out every once in awhile, probably wanting a deep philosophical discussion to ensue. I didn’t know then, and I don’t know now, but what I’m sure of is that I’m content and happy almost every day all day, and that fellow, as Gary succinctly put it, is sadly and seriously f*cked up.

So quit taking it all so seriously. Maybe we all have to stop trying to figure it all out. Some people lean on faith in a patriarchal deity or another stripe of spirituality. I can’t figure any of that out either.

But speaking of soul-fulfilling, which I sort of was, I saw one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my LIFE today. Right up there (almost) with seeing my own newborn daughters. Get where I’m going with this?

It was a piece of photographic art in our very own Whistle Stop Gallery in McBride, B.C..  I don’t know whether it’s legal or ethical to take a photo of artwork in a gallery, so I didn’t, and it’s not on their website.

The item was a huge picture of an iris grown in McBride, derived from thousands of images somehow superimposed on each other (“using advanced mathematics” read the caption). I don’t know how to describe it … breathtaking, luminous for starters. The photographer is the older (ailing) brother of a McBride resident who lives in Calgary. His art is probably priced at about half of what he would get in a city, but still, at $600, I didn’t feel justified in “treating” myself.

This is not a hint. Please don’t take up a collection. I don’t know where I’d put such a large photo, but don’t think I didn’t ponder this.

It was a lovely day here, for the most part spent with four of the dearest customers ever. These doggies are all related, but have their own personalities, all pleasant. Even their owner is sweet. I managed to groom the dogs in about a five hour stretch, without many breaks or interruptions.


Also, these two dear pugs, one young and one elderly, came for toenail clipping only. Young “Luna” (aka “Lunatic” to her owner) is a moving target for nails, but not mean. Like a little piggy who strongly resists being restrained, Luna ducked and dodged and twirled to avoid the nail clipping, panting and buggy-eyed. I was pouring sweat by the time I trimmed and dremeled every nail, but I never felt angry. I felt vindicated and relieved when the job was done. Then “Jersey”, who is 15 years old, just lay placidly while I did her nails, and I wished she was her feisty former younger self.

Hurray, I clipped 108 dog toenails today without drawing a drop of blood! In fact, no dog blood was shed, and that’s the norm, but I “snicked” the palm of my own hand with the scissors and bled a little.

I also ordered just a few more beads for my projects. Shoot me if you want … none of us live forever.

As if I didn’t have enough high points in my day … I won a draw for a CBC DAYBREAK mug! My name was in the draw because I donated to our local foodbank: I contributed cash and food several times but this is still super lucky and appreciated.



Bye for now! Take care!

Love, Ann

2 thoughts on “A secret to happiness …

  1. Ann, you are a fabulous writer!! I’d like to write more but my time is short this morning, but reading your blog brought both tears and laughter to my day! And those precious little doggie faces, OMGosh they’re just adorable.

    Susan is, as we speak, on her way to the airport and she’s bringing you a big holiday hug from me. Enjoy every moment of her visit . . . of course I know you will. Happy Holidays dear friend . . .

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