Doggyness

Last week before all this icy weather locked us in, my buddy Walker had an opportunity to go do some painting with Mrs K’s 2nd graders. Every year they read a story about an elephant that paints and invite Walker to come demonstrate how dogs can paint too! This is the 3rd year that Walker has visited them and he sure has a fun time!

We also went to the library last week and came home with the perfect go-along book.

IMG_4234Rabbityness is written and illustrated by Jo Empson. It was published in 2012 by Child’s Play. (Please click on Ms Empson’s name and visit her lovely website!)

The artwork in this book is extraordinary! The story is reminiscent of the Heart and the Bottle. It begins “Rabbit liked doing rabbity things.” Like hopping and jumping and washing his ears. Each of these pages shows a black rabbit on a white page in sparse green grass doing rabbity things. Then we see “Rabbit also liked doing unrabbity things.” “He liked painting …”

IMG_4235And there suddenly is a BURST of color like fireworks. Painting and music made Rabbit very happy and he filled the woods with both. This made all the other rabbits happy too. But one day Rabbit disappeared. Now the book is back to black and gray. The other rabbits were very sad and didn’t know what to do. They bottled up their hearts. Then they found that Rabbit had left a deep, dark hole and in the hole were some gifts — paints and musical instruments. The rabbits unbottled their hearts and started filling the woods with color and music and discovered that this let them remember Rabbit and they were all happy again.

Rabbityness is about individuality and knowing your own heart. Like the Heart and the Bottle, Rabbityness is also about loss and finding your heart again. The two books are so alike and yet so different. This one is very “Walker” with his splashes of color everywhere. He likes doing undoggy things like painting. And eating bark off of trees. But he sure spreads JOY along with paint splatters with his happy tail.

walker painting 4I wish you a Doggyness day full of laughter and color and music. Dance and be creative and Joyful!

Tis the season!

Your friend
Rhythm

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The Heart and the Bottle

img449I grew up as a guide dog in training. My 1st year of life was pure bliss living and loving with my family at the 7 Acre Wood. I went EVERYWHERE and did EVERYTHING with my Mom Person. She taught me about the world – the good and the bad. I was a curious pup and she encouraged my curiosity about the world and how best to relate to it. She opened my eyes and my heart to all the wonder and love that the world contained.

img450Then one day we got on a plane and flew far away to Florida. We took my best girl, Brenna, and stayed in a hotel with a whole bunch of other dogs. All my Guide Dog Puppy friends were there. We visited the beach and played in the park and went on a really long walk through town. Then we went off to visit the place where I was born. Southeastern Guide Dogs. My Mom Person had been telling me for some time that I was going off to college to learn how to be a Guide Dog, but I didn’t really get it until I saw the campus. And the next thing I knew, I was being led away by some stranger. I looked back at my Mom Person and she was crying. What was going on?

img338I didn’t see her again for a year. At least that’s what she says. For me it was infinity and beyond. I watched for her everyday. I tried to be a good college student. I did all I was supposed to do, but my heart was locked away.

We have a book by Oliver Jeffers called The Heart and the Bottle that seems to be all about what that year was like for me.

IMG_4094This book was published in 2010 by Philomel Books.

It is the tale of a girl whose life was filled with all the wonders of the world. She shared it all with a man who must be her Dad. They went EVERYWHERE and did EVERYTHING together. But one day he wasn’t there. And he wasn’t ever there again. She wasn’t sure what to do with her heart so she put it in a bottle to keep it safe and hung it around her neck. She was no longer filled with curiosity and the bottle was heavy around her neck. She went through infinity. Then one day she met a little girl who was still curious about the world, and she decided it was time to take her heart out of the bottle. But she didn’t know how. The little girl did know and showed her how. The big girl put her heart back where it belonged and all the wonders of the world came back to her.

You just can’t lock your heart away forever.

After my infinity time (a year) I was brought out of my kennel one day and there was a familiar scent in the air and then a familiar voice calling my name and then I saw her — My Mom Person had come back!  And this is what it was like for me —

Nobody thought to take a video of our reunion, but this is exactly how it was. JOY!!!

And now I spend my days with the Mom Person and we share the wonders of the world together again. Life is Bliss. And my heart is where it is meant to be.

I am truly blessed to have had the life that I have been given. I hope you have found your bliss this Thanksgiving weekend.

Open up your Heart

Rhythm

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