Posts Tagged ‘Fred’


It’s not as early as yesterday. The sky is already starting to lighten up, though it is not readily apparent whether today will be blue or gray. I am listening to the start of the day.

I’ve mentioned before that I like to write in the morning, but often times I’ve already been awake for at least an hour before I get started. There’s no specific reason for me to get up well before I need to do anything at all, except that once upon a time it started with a 5:30AM bootcamp and then it evolved into just liking the quiet.

Listening to the early time is like sharing a great secret with everything around you. I do not think anything is capable of denying it’s true nature in the first moments of waking up.

There are the normal routines of waking and tending dogs which occur. Every single morning I spare a second for tadasana about as soon as my feet hit the floor after the last snooze. I open my palms wide and sweep my hands up with a giant breath that looks like a yawn and stretch – but I feel it more deeply than that. It calibrates me somehow.

Eventually, though, on as many days as possible (there are still some days I run off to the gym at crazy-ass-early), all paths lead to a cup of coffee and staring out into space.

It’s my morning meditation.

Once upon a time, I used to watch the news before work. Catch glimpses of stories and traffic between putting on pants and putting on eyeliner. I felt very well informed when I picked up my carpool buddy. At some point the news no longer served me well and so I stopped watching it some time after 9/11. I’m not sure when or how related that is, but my brain keeps making that connection.

Now, I tuck my feet up under me, not in any formal meditation posture, but just a way I am comfortable, I cup my hands around my coffee mug, and I let my mind wander. It feels like a rebellion against the noise. Sometimes my thoughts go through the upcoming day. Sometimes a specific thing comes up, sometimes nothing at all. Today I observed that Fred already smells like feet again even though she just had a bath – courtesy of the deluge of rain in the past week. I don’t make pretense that my meditations are profound. Then I switched into thinking about some upcoming yoga studies and picked up a book. Which led me to thinking about meditation and the meditation which I chose for an online yoga group this week – “An Introduction to Sitting”.

As I sit and begin writing.*


*Afterword: When I picked up writing the blog again, it was after a period of realizing that I wasn’t writing the way I like. I had tried to be formulaic and clearly define a more narrow focus on running & race recaps. I really don’t know what end purpose that was trying to serve – but it was an experimental failure in that it made me not want to write what I needed to write for the structure (as an example, I never wrote about Mohican 25k, which was one of my best running lessons in all of 2015), and it constrained me away from writing what I wanted to write about – which is essentially, whatever the hell I want. So, in picking this back up, expect more randomness and just as much running stuff, probably more yoga stuff, and my waxing philosophic about my coffee here and there.

Yesterday, after a long day – one of those where you spend the whole day repeating the mantra “It’s Wednesday, not Thursday. Wednesday. NOT Thursday.” – the call came in that Eric had swept our dogs off to the dog park and I should come join them.

Across town.

When I was already yawning.

Except that the sky was blue, and there was still at least an hour to sunset.

The only thing to do in that situation is drive across town. Watching the dogs play never fails to lift me up. Screw the yawning.

I arrived to a muddy mess of whirling wet fur, tongues & tails waggling around. Seriously, how can a pair of ridiculously happy dogs not make you smile? They are chaos on four legs when they play.

Then Eric tells me – “She’s a diver.”  What?

“We were on the bridge, I tossed her stick over. She took a look at it and psssshh! jumped right in.”

“She jumped off the bridge?”

“Right over the edge. All 4 off. Barely even thought about it.”

We’ve been trying to get Jack, our lab to do that exact thing for about 10 years. He has never humored us on the subject.

Friends, I’ve got a dog that dives! How cool is that?! Fearless. Crazy, but fearless, she is.

The Summer quest: Getting a picture of her going off the edge. Going all 4 in. Telling the world that she dares.


In case you didn’t know, I have an extraordinary ability to take pictures of my thumb. Okay, so maybe there’s a weird toy and a dog in there too, but still. Thumb.

We’re having one of those weeks in our house where Fred has been simultaneously amped up and bored out of her mind. Mischief ensues. The kind of mischief where I chase her through the house 3-4 times in the same morning following the sound of my shoe being chomped on while she runs. *sigh* She is having a Shakespearean love affair with my favorite fleece-lined Merrells.  So I stop and ask her ‘where are all your toys?’, then I realize they’re in shreds all about the place. My living room floor looks like a squeak toy massacre.  Fred *NEEDS* toys to keep her focused on not-destructing things.

Apparently, to a puppy, all it takes to make Xmas happen is to tie a knot in an old toy. Or in this case – tie knots in the shreds of 3 old toys. That there masterpiece is part ‘squeak skunk’, ‘braided bear’ and fleece tug toy. Isn’t it lovely? At least it’ll buy me 5-10 minutes to hide my Merrells. Better. Hide them better. Or maybe pee without a creature biting my toes.

Sooooo, I’ve gotten some interesting responses to my first 2 questions about mediation and they gave rise to a 3rd quandry. Which, since I posted it on FB, I’m going to bring it over here –

At what point does an activity that is simply relaxing become meditative? Are there specific factors that make it cross the line from being one to the other? 

Again, meditation is unique, so there are no wrong answers here and I’m not grading these. Even if you don’t meditate, I’m interested in gathering perceptions of meditation, so please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

From her first week in our house, all 5.6 little pounds of fluff and snugglery.


The feet and nose and ears have all gotten much bigger in 2 1/2 months, but those eyes – just the same.


…seeing as how the puppy has taken to defending me from the vacuum cleaner and the mop.

Smart, smart girl.

Love –

I think she’s about to get frightened by the dust rag handpuppets too but let’s not ask questions, ‘kay?


Fred. Around 13 weeks.

Along came Fred

Posted: 12/19/2013 in Fred Files, Photos, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Winifred, actually. But we call her Fred. 

After 3-4 months of talking and looking around, we drove more than an hour South on a Monday night back in November just to look at her and one other puppy, and after 20+ minutes of watching them play on a grassy knoll in the back of CVS parking lot – she had to come home with me.

5.2 lbs of fluff and shivering and burying her head in my arm. A whimper that sounds like a bird chirp every once in awhile. It took me less than an hour to fall head over heels in love with her, and the next two days to name her. I decided on Fred, Eric dressed it up fancy and made her a Winifred.

For the next 2 weeks, she didn’t want to fall asleep unless it was on one of our chests. Listening to our heartbeats and the sound of our breathing.

6 weeks later, she’s all long legs and teeth and pee and enthusiasm. Lots of enthusiasm! She’s more than tripled in size, and odds are she’ll more than triple again – though the vet can’t give me an estimate on how big she’ll get just yet. “Good sized” is what he says.  There’s a spot on her back that is changing to a lighter brown than the rest of her body. Her markings are fantastic. She wakes me up sometime between 4-5:00AM almost every day. Sometimes once before that. I haven’t heard my alarm clock in weeks. Which is good – I guess – for a dog that I want to be able to run with me in the early mornings. Be careful what you wish for.

She is definitely her mother’s dog.

Of the updates that I mentioned, she is the biggest one.

It is 4:37am and I have come to realize I am out of coffee. Well – *almost* out of coffee.

And I have concocted some – thing – to drink in it’s stead out of the few precious remaining coffee grounds, and other ingredients.

It is NOT. GOOD.


I have had to chase ONE of my slippers up and down the stairs twice already.

And found myself standing out in the side yard – in only one slipper and my bathrobe – asking a whirring ball of fur – ‘have you peed yet?’ – repeatedly.

Friends, I think Wednesday is mad at me. And it’s my turn to drive carpool to the office.

Got 3 posts sitting  in draft to get y’all up to speed with the latelies –  but need a bit more caffeine in my world first.

And I should probably find my slipper.