Sunday in the Park

Since the weather is getting better, we decided that in honor of Earth Day, we would start a weekend tradition of going to all the fabulous parks in our area. It’s not only good to get some exercise, but being in nature is both soothing to the soul and for this dog, there is the added excitement of new odors to sniff.

This week we started at Innis Woods Metro Garden and went on a hiking trail that was called Chipmunk Chatter. It wrapped around for a little more than 1.2 miles deep into the woods. Since it was early in the morning, there was no one on the trail, so I kept extra alert for any rogue, wild animals, like deer, fox or chipmunks that could possibly attack us. Someone had to be on alert, as Doc was walking down the trail oblivious to any danger that might be lurking near by. Isn’t she aware of all the BigFoot sightings in Ohio? No, she was too busy listening to the song birds singing and admiring all the wild flowers in bloom.

It was quiet beautiful and peaceful back in the woods as we walked past wetlands, streams and park land filled with large trees and greenery. It’s so uplifting to see everything coming to life after a long winter.

When we got back to the entrance of the trail, there were quite a few more people visiting the beautiful gardens in the other part of the park. Doc told me that dogs are not allowed in that part of the park, so we admired the flowers form afar. I bet you they made that rule after a few dogs tried to dig up the flower beds. There are always those few mutts that spoil it for everyone because they don’t know how to act in public.

After we got back home, we had a nice Sunday breakfast and then I got up on Doc’s bed to take a nap. I was already dreaming of where we would go next weekend. I think I am really going to enjoy these weekly adventures.

The King of Calm and Cool

It’s hard for most humans and even some dogs to stay calm under pressure and chaos. I don’t want to brag, but I have mastered staying chill in any circumstance and now I am going to pass my techniques on to you.

Let me just start by saying that I have observed that humans have a lot of opinions about all kinds of subjects. Not only do you have lots of opinions, but you like to express them out loud in person, in texts, on TV, pod casts and on every other type of social media. The chaos begins when other people then chime in and disagree. This leads to arguments, bruised egos and lots and lots of drama. Oy Vey! Theses opinions of course make it into counseling sessions where Doc has learned to listen quietly and then redirect the person to what is really bothering them. I assist by extending my paw, placing it on their leg or foot, to help calm them down. It can be difficult to get people to calm down sometimes, but hey, it’s my job.

So what do I do that helps me to stay calm? It starts with having your home be your sanctuary. Luckily, it’s quiet at Doc’s house and she has a very strict “no drama” rule. She even tells our patients the importance of having a place that is a sanctuary, even if it’s just one room in the house that you can go and have some peace and quiet. She also keeps our office at work a safe space not only for the patient’s but also so I can get a nap without being interrupted. Next, I don’t allow myself get involved in drama either with people or the dogs in the neighborhood. I have four dog friends I play with that are chill and the other ones that have that wild, aggressive energy and like to gossip are not on my friend list. I also get enough sleep, that’s important. You can’t make good choices when your brain is tired. As for social media, I only look at my own blog and have a strict rule that I don’t write about the negative. Only hearts, flowers and feel good stories on this page.

My advice to the humans is to take time and disengage sometimes. Turn off the tv, stop being pulled into the drama on social media and don’t allow yourself to be pulled into power struggles with those that don’t have any intention of listening to any point of view but their own. Life its too short. Be like a dog, spend some time outside on these beautiful spring days, rolling around in the grass without a care in the world.

Goodies from the Uptown Bakery

There is something comforting about going to the family owned corner bakery to get your goodies. In a world of corporate chains, it’s nice to see friendly familiar faces that take pride in what they sell and how they treat the neighbors that they serve. And besides, who doesn’t like the smell and taste of some delicious baked goods?

Scheneider’s Bakery opened in 1954 in the basement of a grocery store by two brothers and moved to its current location in 1957. In 1987, when Mr. Schneider was ready to retire, one of the employees, Jeff Hamler bought the bakery. Thirty years later, in 2017, when Mr. Hamler wanted to retire, a Westerville native and former professional basketball player Shaun Stonebrook purchased the bakery. You can go in the bakery today and see 6’7″ Shaun ducking to get through the doorways, hands covered with flour, working along side his other employees. The recipes remain the same and that is what keeps it such a special place to visit.

Doc and I recently made our own visit the Thursday before Easter to order some goodies for dessert. Boy oh boy were those a big hit with the family, eliciting oohs and ahhs along with memories about all the years they have been going to this same bakery. Doc always remembers to get everyone’s favorite pastries. Nephew Scott, while biting into his orange iced pastry roll, told the story about going to the bakery in the wee hours of the morning after delivering the morning newspaper as a kid. Saving up his paper route money for the weekly treat. Niece Debbie covets the cream horns that Doc would always stop and get for her because they were and still are her favorite. It’s interesting to this dog how food can illicit so many good memories.

In a world that can sometimes be filled with chaos, it’s nice to know that you can still go to the corner bakery where you have gone your whole life and buy a sweet treat filled with memories.

April Showers, Baths and Spring Cleaning

It’s been so rainy and windy lately where we live, I though Doc and I were going to have to build an Ark. It’s so wet that just the other day I was sitting in the driveway, minding my own business when I swore I saw a worm floating on a big leaf in a puddle just to stay dry. With more thunder storms in the forecast today we decided to enjoy the one day of sunshine that we got on Tuesday. What I wasn’t expecting was that Doc’s idea of enjoyment was to give me a bath.

Have I told you how much I hate baths? Why are humans so obsessed with cleaning everything including their pets? Don’t they know that animals like their stink? Once again I got tricked into thinking Doc was taking me for a walk, but as soon as we went through the garage I spotted the hose, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a blow dryer and a big towel. It was too late to escape so I just hung my head in shame, as the dogs in the neighborhood watched me being hosed down. Luckily she is quick about it, so when she was done I slunk into the back yard where I could be alone with my bruised ego. The only bright spot was that she let me continue to dry out in the yard where at least I could admire the tulips, daffodils and our big pear tree blooming.

While I was outside dying off, Doc went inside and started cleaning out her home office. When I was finally dry and allowed to come back in, she had a big box of paper work to be shredded and a bag of trash to be recycled. She loves spring cleaning saying that it makes her feel good to get things in order and clear out the clutter. I guess I understand. Spring makes us all want to start anew as the winter subsides and nature blooms again in all its glory.

Today we will hunker down for more storms later in the day. In the afternoon Doc will take me to the veterinarian’s office to have my nails clipped. I hope that is the last beauty regiment I have to endure for awhile.