To see my dogs in action today, even I might be convinced that I am a neglectful dog-parent! With the excitement of the prior night I was sleepily surprised at the energy-level of the critters this morning while I dressed. When they piled out of the dog-car at the park, I was chuckling at their even greater excitement. Their response to the each of the other four guys in our hiking group this morning, was pure dog-hair covered happiness. And after our favored dog-walk at the park, the dogs, one of my hiking buddies and our two wives met for breakfast at a dog-friendly cafe we like. A great place to chat with like-minded folks, I spent part of breakfast chatting with folks at neighboring tables; both dogs were swooning from the attention. I was just glad that they were not underfoot for the waitresses and the patrons passing back and forth.
Later, I started to think about this complex ballet (managing dogs, leashes, the hot weather, and a host of distractions) when I was invited to play JENGA, the stacked block game. My wife and I joined a group of friends – several of whom I hike with – and their wives tonight for a Game Night. While I am not really sure what the girls were doing for Game Night, the guys really got into stacking these blocks, in an ever more unstable manner. (We apparently have a bit of a competitive nature.) We had The Engineer, The Chief, The Builder, The Teacher, and The Comedian around the table talking a little good-natured ribbing with each other. Of course, it was all designed to distract the other guy in turn. In the end the blocks fall down, everyone laughs and we start another round.
It’s just a great metaphor for life, especially a life with two energetic dogs. If pets reflect the environment they live in, my furry pals are living a good life. For my part, the fact that I am doing well emotionally and spiritually, is a credit to my temporary circumstances not diminishing the quality of life, friends and strong support system. And my canine pals reflect that. Life at times is a game of JENGA, with situations and people always trying to pull the blocks out from under you; life is an ever more complex balancing act. When you have support, whether dogs or Man, everything is going to be Okay. Enjoy the game.