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Not in Kansas anymore…or…AND, OR , BUT.

My running season goals of 2017 were:

  1. To be social and branch out of solely running Ppark (Prospect Park)
  2. Graduate from the 5k’s with the tee shirt award to the 10k’s with the tee shirts AND medal awards

Guess what?

Achieved, done, concluded, fulfilled, ended, over and done with!!IMG_2078

Goals are the wish lists we formulate and attempt to complete… OR…fail while doing so.

Failure…

At times, staying in ‘Kansas’ may be the road block which caused the goal failure to begin with. Comfort-ability does have its snags… BUT… so does taking that initial step to ‘make it happen’ and tripping,  falling flat on your face and ending up in a hospital bed, thinking , ‘How the hell did that happen?’

Well, as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

And so it does…life happens.

The running goals for 2017 were not going to happen if I continued to run alone in Ppark doing the same thing, the same way, everyday. IMG_2079

Change.

It had to come so I joined a running group, paid the joiner’s fee with money borrowed and not paid back. This major shift gave the best results as my running goals were met as well as having social running buddies. Aspirations and new goals are up a notch for 2018 (God willing because we know he can be tricksy sometimes).

So…

There are no AND, OR ,BUT to change. No excuses.

Just do it.IMG_2075

 

 

 

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Gus…

Yesterday, I saved a dog on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

He was running across a busy street known as Prospect Park West, adjacent  to Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I was on my way to work at the clinic about to cross this street to walk on the side of the park when a dog ran into the middle of traffic.

Well…

I ran out into the middle of traffic to stop the cars from potentially running over the dog.

Well…

The dog and myself were lucky enough to not meet HIM, our maker that day. I was able to hold back traffic but not the dog,  now running down a block. The Farmers Market was taking place at the time so lots of humans were roaming the area. I called out to a jogger, “Please grab the dog”. He did so, hesitantly.

I made my way towards the dog and slowed down my pace as I approached it with my hand extended. The dog sat down, tail wagging and the jogger released his hold on the harness.

I wrapped my fingers around the metal link and did not let go.

The dog had tags on the collar…!

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

I sat on the curb, with Gus leaning on me, as a small crowd of witnesses gathered. I called the owners, balancing the tag with the info and punching the numbers into my cell. Others from the crowd volunteered to hold Gus.

I declined.

I was not going to let this angel out of my fingers.

A voice responded to my call and the wife of the husband who was walking the dog in Prospect Park was hysterical. She was at work and had no idea this transpired. I told her our location and promised to wait until her husband arrived.

Meanwhile the crowd slowly dispersed as I relayed the information about the owner coming.

Boy…was I gonna be late for work.

I’ve worked at PPAC for over a year now and cannot recall a time I was late.

It was hard to move with him as he was too big for me to carry with my bags and I had no leash to guide him but we made our way over to a nearby bench.

I heard the husband-owner  calling to Gus before seeing him as my back was turned to the side. He ran up to us and Gus was so excited to see his owner. He thanked me profusely, saying I saved his kids’ lives because if he returned home without Gus, they would be devastated. He apologized and admitted while in the park with Gus, he took his eyes off him for a moment, and he was gone. He wanted my address, to send flowers, to drop off a gift. I declined and I stretched out my hand. He grasped it firmly and we shook. He had tears in his eyes and I almost broke down crying.

Well…

Prior to this happening I was making my way to work was feeling discouraged and experiencing serious second doubts about my career choice. It can be frustrating and confusing at times when doubt seeps in the alma.

I love climbing mountains, and I love challenges and I feel stuck in a rut right now-a rut caused by my own psyche and wanting to know everything all at once.

Gus was a sign, in a strange way. Meeting him on that Saturday morning was a wake-up call.

I am, where I am supposed to be right here and now.

When I made it to work, I was deemed a hero. I saved Gus’ life. The owner (wife) phoned and asked for my info to send a gift.

I declined…again.

I told her I was a vet tech and she laughed and said Gus was lucky to have run into me. She asked where I worked and I told her.  Hopefully, we’ll get another client.

In the meantime, thank you Gus.

Yesterday, a dog named Gus saved me on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

 

Park Slope Dogs

There are many types of dog breeds and sizes (owners as well) in Park Slope. One can observe how the two species cohabitate and relate to one another from daily walks throughout the neighbourhood, (Not the ‘hood’but the neighbourhood).

The relationships between the two are complex, dependent and co-dependent, smothering and domineering to name a few, but there are certainly types that stand out throughout Park Slope:

The wrong dog for an athletic owner

Roller-skating with a Yorkie stuffed in a black bag, its head peeking out through a top opening while hung across the back in 90-degree weather. Abuse. Get a pit bull or a greyhound that can keep up with the roller blading and leave the Yorkie at home!

The lazy, multi-tasking, irresponsible owner

The “Oh, I have to pick up milk for my coffee” or the “I have to get my coffee now” or whatever I have to pick up owner, who will take the dog for a walk and on the way home tie it a tree, hydrant, gate, pole, while stopping at a convenience store or supermarket. Left to the elements with no protection and subjected to a possible kidnapping, the dog is defenseless. Would these owners leave their
kids tied to a pole? Neglect. Bring the dog home, than do your errands!

The foodie, whose stomach leads while their poor dog must follow

The restaurant patron sitting in a booth, near the window, in air conditioning while their dog is tied to a nearby  hydrant, in the sun, as they dine on fine cuisine. Stupid. Drop the dog off at home then go out to the restaurant.

The Fashionista/Fashionisto

The owner whose dog is a fashion accessory will have the designer pocketbook and dog that fits into it likely chosen from the headlines in which a celebrity has the breed styling in their Louis Vuitton tote. These dogs are subjected to a method of travel that is questionable and lacking in exercise or doggy socialization. Dumb. What then happens to this year’s designer pooch when next year fashion tabloid dog rolls in? Moreover, heavens forbid the cost of that new designer tote!

The ‘I DON’T SCOOP WHEN MY DOG POOPS’ owner

You know who you are, pretending to be on a cell call, deep in conversation, while your dog does its business on the sidewalk. Of course, the
conversation is so engrossing and consumes all your attention that as the business gets done and the rear end rises from the squat position, you are on your way, oblivious to what was left behind. SHAME ON YOU!

Congregators and Strollers

The congregators and the strollers are two of the common types of dog/owner relationships seen at Prospect Park. During these special off leash hours, dogs have run of the entire park (no gated enclosures)everyday, starting as early as 5am and ending at 9am and again at 9pm and ending at 1am. For most, the decision to own a dog becomes a reality after spending time there.

The congregators will form packs on the vast lawn with coffee in tow and conversation of nothingness flowing while their dogs run around in packs. The owners absorbed in the conversations and coffees often neglect their dogs. The dogs in turn, big and small and sometimes puppies,  engage in dominance struggles, which usually leads to a small dog under the attack of the domineering dog mob. Meanwhile the owner, whose attention awakens to their dog’s scream, is of no use, because their dog was running with the pack and is far off.

The strollers will walk the length of the park, giving themselves and their dogs time to sniff and mark (the dog not the human, although some dogs may mark a human,) play and run at their leisure, while avoiding the dog packs. The bond between owner and dog strengthens and while training is reinforced and rewarded.

The ‘my dog is my child’ owner

A category I know too well for I am that dog owner.  Toby and Pi Patel are treated as children and that is not an understatement-just ask mom, my mom, and she will confirm it.

I do not have kids nor chose to. As I have mentioned before,“I chose dogs”. My dogs, the boys.

The boys eat kibble with vegetables, cottage cheese, eggs and carrots. They have a home cooked meal of brown rice, beans and assorted
organic meats for dinner. While both have winter sweaters, booties and raincoats, Pi Patel has pajamas. And, yes, both are Mulberry’s NY Press Show models for 2011.

Toby and Pi Patel do not go to groomers. For them groomers represent pain, fluorescent lighting and metal cages. The stress and separation (not on their part but mine) was not worth the $140.00 cost with a finishing cologne spray. Not having money due to unemployment was the initial excuse and after countless tries with clippers, super sharp scissors, doggie treats, bribery, I now comfortably groom them better (at least in my opinion).

My dogs, pampered, even had their own room in our former apartment. I make no excuse or apologize for the way I treat my dogs for whatthey offer me in return outweighs any criticisms or looks (Yes, they get looks of wonder when wearing their winter booties).

For some, the title of ‘owner and dog’ is exactly what itis. I am the owner, you are the dog, and therefore you revolve around me. For
others, a dog is a companion, with needs of its own that we as responsible owners take care of. Unconditional love in return for security, comfort, exercise and food-where else can you find a better deal?

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