J is For Just a Dog

From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. Some of my saddest moments were brought about with “Just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog,” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you too think it’s “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “Just a friend,” or “Just a sunrise,” or “Just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “Just a dog,” I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future.

For me, and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It is the embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand that it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man or just a woman.”

So the next time you hear the phrase, it’s “Just a dog,” smile, because they “Just don’t understand.”

Author Unknown

The above photo is of my beloved Sweetpea, who passed away on April 21, 2009.

G is For Glass Frog

This is the glass frog of the Amazon. As you can see it’s transparent. All of its organs are visible. A wonderful amazing design of nature. But the thing is I love all frogs. If I were to carry around a lucky charm, the frog would be it, except I don’t believe in luck. I believe you make your own.

I’m not sure when this love affair with the frog began. Perhaps there’s a greater meaning to my attraction to them. They are after all, the symbol of transformation, joy and luck. The fairy tale about the frog who’s transformed back into his original self, a prince, or the fact that the creature is born as a tadpole and then turns into a frog. This is all quite meaningful to me, spiritually and creatively. And then there’s a sound the frog makes, a croak, ascribed to witches, the sick and the dying, but I don’t hear anything other the joyful sound of nature, a sound that seems to come from deep down within the belly of the creature, unadulterated and true.

And then sometimes, I’ll hear one of these glorious designs of nature croak from the bottom of one the many ceramic pots I have throughout the yard, that big gentian blue one by the bougainvillea. And it sounds as if it’s Godzilla come for a visit. I peer into the jar and see a little creature not much larger than a jelly bean and I smile hoping he’ll stay a while.