The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

July 28, 2012

Savor the moments and wonder of life

Inside Out

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published June 12, 2010. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

-----

My brother and his wife have been through their share of illness this year, and while both are on the mend, I’ve been helping out by walking my brother’s dog Rusty.

You gotta love this dog. He’s a medium-size mutt mix with long reddish brown hair. He has a small face and little triangular ears. However, Rusty doesn’t love everybody. We think he was abused somewhere along the line, but we don’t know exactly what triggers a vicious reaction to some folks. But if Rusty happens to like you, he’s a great walking companion.

Rusty loves his walks, and he’s off the porch like a shot. I’ve learned to be prepared for the sudden snap on the walking leash and to brace myself like a musher before his Iditarod team takes off.

It’s been a real education for me to find out what Rusty finds interesting.

As we head down a long paved driveway, he “marks” specific trees and shrubs along the way. We reach the paper box at the end. Rusty sniffs it, marks it, then alternately digs his back paws into the dirt around it. If he’s lucky, a car goes by. He lunges toward the road, barks furiously and lets it know who’s boss.

He turns back, snorts with satisfaction and heads me toward a creek bank that leads back to the house.

Weeds fascinate Rusty, and he plunges into them with reckless abandon, yanking me along with him. This troubles me. Weeds, especially those along a creek bank where there’s lots of rotten wood, can be home to a variety of snakes. Rusty would love nothing better than to encounter one or, better still, one of the big turtles that inhabit the bank. I’d be OK with the turtle. The snakes I can do without.

Anything in the grass fascinates him. He looks at it, smells it, paws at it, and if he’s not certain he’s seen it before, he pees on it.

Rusty believes it’s his sworn duty to go up and check on some kittens at my niece’s house. He’s not aggressive with them, but I think that’s only because he’s not really sure if they’re potential friends or foes. Yesterday, the softball-size babies fuzzed up, stretched to their full 6-inch heights, and pounced on all fours toward him, hissing and spitting. Rusty stared curiously, still wagging his tail. I saw the potential for trouble in paradise, yanked hard on the leash and directed the puzzled pooch to a patch of clover where he loves to roll on his back and mutter contentedly.

On the way back to the porch, Rusty stops by to say hello and get a pat or two from his owners. Back at his dog house, he guzzles half a container of water and settles in until our next adventure.

In addition to giving me some great exercise, Rusty has literally made me slow down and look more closely at things I would most likely miss. Honeybees on clover blooms, a hummingbird jetting toward a feeder, oddly shaped mushrooms and weeds with stunning blooms on them have all been pleasant surprises.

Rusty lives in the moment and appreciates every second of that walk. He explores everything and takes nothing for granted. He finds sheer joy in being a dog.

I’m glad Rusty likes me. He’s making me savor the moments, open doors for new relationships, appreciate the ability to walk in the sunshine and relax in the shade and enjoy the sheer wonder of being part of God’s glorious panorama of life.

As far as my pet affections go, Rusty is running a close second to my bunny.

 

1
Text Only
Life!
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.

     

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.

     

    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014