Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maggie Goes Hiking

MJ and Maggie
Yesterday was one of the 320+ days of sunshine that we get here in SW Colorado.  It was a glorious day.  We hiked the soon-to-be-opened seasonal cross country ski trail.  It is only 15 minutes from our house, but is a bit higher in altitude, so there was still plenty of snow on the ground for romping and stomping in. We ALL had a wonderful time.

As Maggie ages we go for hikes with her.  She takes us for these walks, we no longer take her.  We stop when she wants to stop.  We sniff when she wants to sniff.  We look for squirrels.  We sniff and pee.  We take our time.  It takes longer.  We see more than we ever did before.  It's a great pace.  You should try it some time ...  this old dog pace!

Enjoying Maggie's Pace

Friday, November 13, 2009

Function and Purpose

Setting Goals

We have rain that probably will be turning to snow as the temperature drops and we head on into the weekend. I can’t see the mountains, as they are blanketed in a gray mass that is slowly moving this way. It’s a good afternoon to snuggle up in the big stuffed chair by the wood stove, and do some relaxing. It’ll be a nice change of pace from my busy morning.

The old dog is already resting. She’s very smart when it comes to knowing when to relax and when to stress about something. I should take lessons from her. As we get a little older we sometimes forget that this “resting thing” becomes more important.

Before I settle into my big stuffed chair, and my resting mode, there is something that I want to bring up for discussion. Here it goes……

How much do you leave up to fate in regards to what your future holds for you? On the other hand, how much do you, or should you, influence your goals and take the proverbial “bull by the horns” to make that journey into your future happen?

I think that often opportunities are lost because too much is left up to fate. It makes me think of a rather laid-back family that we met while sailing in the South Pacific. These people lived each day to the fullest, they were fun loving almost to a fault, and they neglected the day to day maintenance of their sailboat. I can remember hearing them say that they were meant to be doing what they were doing, and that they would be taken care of because it just felt right. That is until they were shipwrecked, their boat sank, and they were stranded on a deserted island for 6 weeks without food and water. Alive, but was that really what fate had in mind for them?

All those who wander are not lost, but at some point in time they have to recognize that they have reached a destination. Making a new goal, striving towards it, and accomplishing it can be very rewarding. There is always something to look forward to, to strive toward, but I think that people need goals. Whether they are little short-term goals, or huge, life-altering goals it doesn’t really matter. Just make it something to plan for, work at, and keep your blood flowing!

Do you have any thoughts on fate vs. function and purpose?

The big stuffed chair is calling me. So here’s hoping that you have a fun-filled weekend packed with function and purpose!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Mancos Mule Team

Today was another good day, and I'd like to share it with you.  I haven't posted in a while.  We have a sick mule.  I guess you could say that I have a very unlucky mule.  I think that she has too much horse genetics and not enough jack.  I do not want to get into all the details, but Polly has once again been through several tests, been trailered to Albuquerque to visit veterinary specialists, and has been diagnosed with Sinusitis.  She has good days and bad days, and so do we.   
Let me introduce you to the the Mancos Mule Team that is working to keep her happy.   It is our belief that her quality of life is important to the very end. 

This is Toma riding Polly in Utah in 1988.  My new mule had just spent 60 days with a trainer.  That same trainer put Toma (who had never ridden before) on his 26 year old schooling horse and had given him a 60 minute lesson.  Toma may have become a bit over-confident and asked to ride our sweet young mule.  You guessed it, Polly did what any smart mule would do, she tested the rookie, concluded that he didn't know squat, and proceeded to rub his leg on the fence line for about ten feet.  This was the first of many lessons Polly was to teach us in the years to come.

Pictured  above are my two favorite riding buddies; Effie and  Polly  resting at Horse Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon in 1993. With over twenty years of memories it is hard to pick a photo and describe what we've been through together, but my fondest memories are of the miles and miles of trails.  We always had at least one dog in tow, and we most always had a good time.  Then there was the day that we ran head on into a back packer, running full speed, down hill, straight at us.  He had a big floppy, orange float tube tied to the top of his pack, and he was running so fast that he was not able to stop.  Polly has this talent for "Getting Out Of Dodge" when that sorta thing happens, and all that I had to do was tighten my seat belt! Yahoo!! 

Maggie May is Polly's 3rd dog and is our very watchful horse and mule herder.  She is both a friend and foe to Polly,  but then remember, a good dog's gotta do, what a good dog's gotta do! 

Rhettly  is a bit of an air-head, but he could get an A for effort.  He's been Polly's pasture mate now for about thirteen years.  I suspect that they are best friends.  Since this most recent diagnosis Rhett seems to be keeping a very close eye on his old girl friend.

With these older animals in our lives, we are committed to their health and their happiness.  It is hard to make choices for another living being.  To decide when they have been through enough trauma, or invasive procedures, and then deciding what is still a good quality of life.  I believe I will know when the time comes, and that I will make the right choice for our sweet Polly. 

How to make a sickly mule happy:
Antibiotics and Sunshine ...
Turned out on pasture with her Best Friend ...

Happy Mule