Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Might As Well Jump!

Three summers ago, Morris the Bull Terror, went on a mission. Not content with ripping the laundry from my backyard clothesline, Morris set a goal of taking down the clothesline itself. (For anyone familiar with bull terriers, this isn't surprising. What makes these dogs so much fun is their boundless energy and sense of humour. What makes these dogs so exasperating is their boundless energy and sense of humour.)

All summer long, Morris would bounce out the back door.  Using the deck as a spring board, he launched himself at the line, attempting to grab it in his mouth.  We watched all this with great amusement. The deck is low and the clothesline fairly high - it was a stretch for me to reach it. No way could a 50 pound dog, even a determined bullie, pull that line down.  Sure, he was getting better at jumping.  Each attempt brought him a bit closer to the wire, but the line was always a foot or two out of reach.

On a sunny morning late that summer, Morrie flew out the door, leaped at the clothesline and, just like that, down it came.  A moment of triumph flashed in Morris's eye, then a realization.  He looked at me, looked at the tangle of wire on the ground and back at me.  Game over.

If ever a creature could register disappointment, that creature was Morris. He checked the sky a few times that day.  I swear he was hoping the line had reappeared. There was some moping, on his part and mine. (Don't tell me that dogs don't think.  If you think that, you haven't met a bull terrier.) 

When we believe that our goals are the prizes themselves, what do we do when we achieve the things we set out to do?  We can stagnate.  We can fill the space with "stuff" that only leaves us wanting more. We can set our goals so high that they are impossible to achieve, but that leads to frustration and depression.  We can tell ourselves that we have all the answers; apart from annoying everyone around us, at some level, we know this can't be true.

The trick is to understand that once we've accomplished our mission, we need to begin again.  If we've mastered using every spindle on the planet, resting on those laurels will likely leave us bored and perhaps a tad arrogant.  To counter that, we might then decide to master every existing spinning wheel.  An expert in knitting colourwork might set out to conquer cables.  There is always something else up that path to keep us contentedly seeking.

Morris recovered from the loss of his game and went back to being a dog. He's invented a few new games. (We shall not speak of the dark times involving Mom's knitting.)  Lately, he's been testing out shoe stealing, which is great fun when The People get excited, chase him and he can whack their shins while shaking the boot to death.

It may not be as satisfying as clothesline jumping, but Morris understands that he has to keep trying.  I just wish he'd find something that doesn't leave bruises up my legs. Maybe I should take up agility training.  Then again, maybe it's time to set up another clothesline.

What?  Me, trouble?

Shake Your Booty!

Morris thinks there's a gopher in the pipe on top of the truck.
(Original photographs courtesy of Richard M.)

All my love to family and friends!


  1. Yup, Morris is just being a good Bull Terrier, doing what he's been bred to do. I get frustrated when my shelties bark and herd me, nipping at my boots, until I remember that they were bred to do just that. Well, not just that exactly, nipping and barking at sheep rather than my feet, but you get the picture. If part of us wasn't charmed by these behaviors we would have bought different breeds. Which brings us to the stubborn little Dachshund...

  2. Oh, dogs definitely think and have the ability to feel remorse (and an array of other emotions). I refuse to believe otherwise. :-D