Thursday, July 24, 2008

thoughts on weather and dogs

Gloomy summer headed toward infamy
CHILLY: Anchorage could hit 65 degrees for fewest days on record.

Snow on the mountains this morning. I didn't actually see this because the skies were so overcast. But here is the Anchorage Daily News photo. With a long story about how this may set all records for the coldest and rainiest summer ever.

Everyone complains about the weather. But to put this in perspective, we had snow from early October through late April last winter.

Summers are usually brief but so glorious that no one is ungrateful enough to complain. This cold, overcast drizzle is hard to take.

Last night I watched a documentary on suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm not sure why - I think Netflix told me I would like it. In a way I did. The bridge was so gorgeous against the sky and the water. There were interviews with the families of some of those who died there. These were people with severe and long-standing mental illnesses, and the stories of their lives were more painful than the stories of their death.

One couple described the unbearable story of their son's life and death in a dozen different scenes. In each scene, they were sitting on a comfortable couch in a cozy living room with their dachshund.

The dog moved back and forth between them. Each person petted him, rubbed him, cuddled him. The dog sat quietly, or rolled over to show his belly, or carefully licked their hands. He never barked or made eye contact with camera.

I tear up thinking about the dog. He was a working lap dog, providing comfort to people who were suffering an intolerable loss. Working with tact and skill. A heroic little wiener dog.

I want a bumper sticker that says "lap dogs are working dogs too". Mine do their work with great dedication and sensitivity.

Rocky once gave me career advice. I was working a nursing management job with 24 hour call and lots of clinical time. (Except for working all the time and being paid less per hour than any of the people who worked for me, it was a wonderful job). One night I came home late as usaul. While I was making dinner, Rocky went into the closet and got up on his hind legs to get to my parka. He took the beeper out of my pocket. Then he hid under the bed and chewed it to pieces.

The next morning I went in to work and turned in the fragments of beeper and my resignation.

Everyone should have such a good dog.

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