Turning On A Dime

by Cathy Arden on November 14, 2012

Starting to change my mind about Didion not rescuing me.   You all knew I would, right?   After an overwhelming week of setting up home hospice for my mother, I’m sick as, well, you know – a dog.   I’ve already got an oxygen tank in the closet, a “comfort kit” that includes morphine, and items are being delivered to my house right and left.  Is it any wonder I’m lying in bed with a box of tissues and a fever?  But – saving grace – I must walk the dog.  I keep to Didion’s routine – walking at the beach in the morning with his best buddy, Nicky, and my best buddy, Linda, and taking Didion to the dog park late afternoon, early evening, so he can run and run and run and tangle himself up with other dogs.   If not for Didion, I’d be out of the sun, wind and air.  We’ve got a rescue on our hands here.  I’m exhausted and feel like shit, but thanks to Didion, he’s not only with his friends, but I’m with mine.  And, yes, the people at the dog park – that includes the dog walkers I used to think were crazy – are all my friends now.  They are my new family.  I go there as much for myself as I do for Didion.  He’d be happy at any dog park.  I’m only happy at “my” dog park now.   I converse with them not just about our dogs, but about their lives as well.   And I’ve discovered two people in that dog park are amazing survivors, one from cancer, one from MS who had been crippled for 20 years of her life.  She’s not crippled anymore.  Not since her life with dogs.

There’s a play by A.R. Gurney called SYLVIA.  I played the dog-hating wife, Kate, in that play.  I was bitching about a dog onstage for a year of my life.  It was hard to do because the actress playing the dog, Tanna Frederick, was pretty damn lovable.  We fought, we wrestled – psychologically and physically – and, in the end, the dog, played by Tanna, brought me to my knees.  You might say Tanna was the first dog I ever fell in love with.   People say this was the beginning of my dog life.  It’s certainly when the notion of dogs entered the reality of my world, and the first time I started to ask the age-old question – Should I, or shouldn’t I?

We usually back into the biggest decisions of our lives.   We never intend to throw a wrench into our routine, into what we felt we had under control.  Life turns on a dime, my mother always said.  I had a childhood of rescuing strays.  I had an adulthood of rescuing men who were, honestly, like the stray cats of my childhood.  I grew weary of always finding the empty, dusty bowl at the end of it all.   Al-Anon taught me I have the Caretaking Disease.   (You can guess why I ended up at Al-Anon).  So the fact that I’ve now chosen the four-legged guy to rescue, love and take care of is probably the shiniest dime my life has turned on in many a year.

Here’s a picture of the first lovable dog I had the privilege of spending a year with – Tanna.

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vente de longchamp pas cher December 3, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Turning On A Dime – Cathy Arden — Cathy Arden


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