Capturing a Moment

Myakka GroveTrying to “capture a moment” is a lot like “saving time.” We frequently use these expressions but, honestly, neither can be done. The best we can hope for is the illusion of achievement.  Photography is perhaps the best tool in this art of illusion.  Pictures give us the sense of freezing moments in time and their evocative nature often succeeds in transporting us back in our memories and resurrecting “that feeling.”

There is a particular grove of oak trees at Myakka River State Park.  It is pictured here. I yearn to capture the beauty of it with my camera and have taken countless pictures there. It is simply magnificent, no matter the time of year or the time of day.  It seems particularly gorgeous in its spring glory.  So I share this illusion with you, this moment of time captured in bits and bytes.  Happy spring everyone. ☙

My Buddy

Tango I have a new buddy…that’s him to the left. His name is Tango and he is a six-year-old Australian Shepherd. He came into my life in the most unexpected way.  He’s a service dog and his primary job is to make me walk.  I have two medical conditions that can benefit from vigorous walking therapy hypercoaguable blood–I can develop clots easily–and herniated and bulging spinal discs.  When I asked my doctor if it might be good to have a service animal she was enthusiastic and agreed to authorize it.

So, the next question was: what kind of dog?  Ideally I should walk 3-5 miles a day.  So Yorkies were out of the running as were most other small dogs. I was drawn to Aussies and talked it over with a friend who has bred and shown dogs. She thought an Aussie — the right Aussie — would be great.  She found a breeder in Orlando who was expecting a litter in the spring with summer placement of the puppies. That sounded ideal (I was thinking I wanted a puppy…not the smartest thought but that’s where I was). It was then that I began to learn about the world of breeding dogs.  In this case the female dog was going to be inseminated with sperm from a top-notch Aussie who lives in California.  I quickly realized we were talking about royalty and I can’t afford royalty.

But wait! Turns out this same breeder has a 6-year old Aussie, an obedience champion, fully trained and certified as a service dog–Tango! According to the breeder, Tango is “over it” when it comes to competition. He goes through the paces and does it all very well but … he’s tired of it. She had been looking “to place” him in a good home, a place where he could leave behind the pressures of competition.  In a sense, retire.  Well, I’m retired and looking for a service dog.  A perfect match?

Well, yes, it is. Tango and I have a great time together and we are walking a lot. Each of us has lost weight since he arrived (which is a good thing) and there are times when I’ll take him out and say, “Okay, just a short walk.” but we end up walking much more than I expected.  It is absolutely more fun to walk with a dog than it is to walk alone.

And he a great help with other things.  My spinal problems can cause instability, especially upon bending.  Tango gives a good assist in those situations. And he can pickup any item I tell him to.

When I learned last December that I had this hypercoaguable blood disorder I was a little low but life is funny.  There’s that saying about a door shutting but a window will open. There is also the lovely expression, “When life hands you lemons make lemonade.” I love lemonade…and I really love Tango.☙

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