Monday, May 19, 2008

What I've Learned From My Dog

horse by Lori Levin "Morning Horse"
Cows by Lori Levin "A Moment"
Barn by Lori Levin "Red Barn"

The three sketches above are all from my moleskine sketchbook. Each one was done early in the morning from lovely Salem County, especially around Pennsville. These were done back in April when I was still longing to be running in the park as the sun came up but just couldn't muster the strength. I would try and try but the more I pushed to do what my body didn't want the more my body won. Since I realized at that point that my mind was stronger than my body I used my morning hours
to draw.

These are some of my favorite sketches in my book. I feel they resemble what I see myself and how I want to be seen as an artist. They speak of solitude and quiet beauty as well as the universal need for companionship. Sure, this may not be earth shattering news to anyone but sometimes I think we overlook the most obvious things in life.

How is this all related to my dog? Well, during this time when I was unable to be as physically active as I wanted to be I noticed a change in my dog. If you remember Miss Gracie had ACL surgery back in 2006. Since that time she would limp on some days and be very lethargic on others. She gained weight. I figured this was how it was going to be and accepted her fate as being slightly disabled.

Then a miraculous thing happened. When I finally stopped lamenting over her disabilities and focused on other things she began to run around a little. Before I knew it she was making tracks in my backyard by running circles in a wild frenzy. She began once again waking me up early in the morning insisting on a jaunt to the park. I thought this dog was gone forever. After a few weeks of constant movement her girlish figure returned and she no longer had to diet. There was no real effort there; it was just nature taking its course.

I'm not always the sharpest tool in the shed but it didn't get past me that she allowed healing to happen and it did. It took about 18 months but she bounced back. I doubt she spent her healing time trying to push herself and worrying if she would ever recover. She focused on other things like finding the nicest part of the yard to sunbathe and how to swindle me out of a treat with the least amount of effort.

Then of course I had to take an honest look at myself. Only just recently have I been able to take her to the park without major effort. Actually, I am able to enjoy it once again. I notice I move around a lot more though I refrain from running in circles in the yard. My girlish figure is sure to follow suit. It has been about 13 months since my treatment ended. I can totally see myself as feeling 100% in 5-6 months. Understand, I don't think one can abandon good sense and healthy living but healing can't be a reusult of just will. This won't be a matter of effort or determination; it will be the natural course of things.

Why does that damn dog always have to be smarter than me?

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

What a GREAT story. Thank you for sharing this uplifting true-life drama. Sweet stuff, Lori. Healing is a beautiful thing... and dogs know best!