200-600 octillion microbes live a mile underground and thrive in 250°F water. Some breathe rocks, specifically uranium. Others eat leftover plants that are hundreds of millions of years old. And they can wait to reproduce for thousands of years when conditions are favorable. Add up all these wild subterranean microbes and they weigh as much as 200 million blue whales, much more than all 7.5 billion humans. And you know what? They’re related to us far less immutable surface dwellers. Bats hear shapes. Songbirds see UV light. Most animals are bioluminescent (including us!) but our eyes are too weak to see it without visual aids. Wonder is everywhere, a gift for all of us. Stay curious, friends. We have so many discoveries to look forward to.
My Year of Yes in 2018 is translating into lifelong travel dreams come true. Looks like I’m destined to visit the Galápagos Islands in the Fall. Ideas, suggestions, recommendations for my itinerary? Don’t be shy! Come at me!
I’m managing through Phineas’s adjustment to our new apartment. While it’s stressful at the moment thanks to the worst neighbor we’ve ever had, last night as I drifted off to sleep I started to wonder what could be the very positive flip side to this story.
Maybe Phin and I are meant to rescue a second pup who needs a home and will be Phin’s BFF for the rest of his life. Maybe this situation is prompting me to step up my job search even more so that I can *finally* stop renting and buy my very first home. Maybe this journey to help Phin through his anxiety is leading me to someone I’m supposed to meet who will have a positive impact on my life. Or maybe it’s just meant to give me more compassion, empathy, and concern for those who are also going through stressful times.
I’m not sure if any of those narratives are true, but their possibility is helping me rest a little easier and encouraging me to keep moving forward.
I met a man in the park this weekend who was riding his skateboard while his collie mix dog was trotting along beside him. They stopped at the water fountain where Phin was grabbing a drink and he wanted to say hello to them. The man bent down and stroked Phin’s ears.
“I had a dog exactly like him when I was a child. They are such precious little things…” and then he stopped as he got choked up. His eyes got teary, said thank you, and went on his way. Phin watched him for a minute or so until the man and his dog were out of sight.
It was so clear that despite the many years since this man’s dachshund had passed away, he still loved and missed him. It’s something everyone who’s ever loved an animal can relate to—these furry, cuddly pals wiggle their way into our hearts, take up residence, and never leave. We remember them long after they’re gone, grateful that they spent the short amount of time they had on this plane with us. We’re lucky to have known and loved them.
Phineas had surgery to remove a small mass on his gum and several teeth along with it. It turned out to be a bigger mass than the veterinarian thought it was during the exam. Whether it grew in size between the exam and the surgery or if they underestimated it, I don’t know. I had a hard time holding it together at work. On my way to pick him up I had myself a good, long cry on the metro. He’s in a lot of pain and on heavy medication during this two-week healing process. The lab will biopsy the mass and let me know if it is benign or malignant, and then we will go from there. Obviously, I hope it’s benign. If it is malignant, then he will get the very best care that money can buy so long as he can have a high quality of life. Again, I’m immensely grateful that I got him pet insurance when I adopted him.
I get choked up when I think about it; I know someday I will have to let go of Phineas. I made that deal with the devil, and I accept it. I’m just not ready yet. Not now while it seems that the country (and maybe the world) is falling apart and my future feels so much in flux. I understand that there is no good time to lose an animal you love, and especially not one as dear as Phineas is to me and so many others who know him. But Universe, really, now is not a good time. And it won’t be a good time for a good long while. So if by chance you could help this little guy maintain his unsinkable nature for a while longer (maybe 20 years or so, just until I get my general sense of anxiety under control) then I would really appreciate it. Thanks for your consideration.
“Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” ~Job 12:7—10
Phineas and I went to the Blessing of the Animals at Washington National Cathedral on Sunday. It’s been on my list to visit (the Gothic architecture reminds me of Hogwarts) and this ceremony seemed like the perfect opportunity. With Phin’s penchant for chicken bones, he needs all the blessings he can get! At the end of the ceremony, two of the Reverends bent down to bless Phineas because they both love dachshunds. He wasn’t a big fan of the holy water (to be fair he’s not a fan of any water be it from the sky or in the bathtub!) but he appreciated the blessing. “Phineas, may your life with your human family be long and the treats be many. And may your life be an expression of pure joy and love.” Amen to that!
I am so inspired by the company Eddie’s Wheels. Ed Grinnell started Eddie’s Wheels in retirement. A mechanical engineer, Ed’s companion Doberman needed wheels so he built a set for him. That was 1989. He never looked back. Today Ed and his family has designed and built over 21,000 carts for all kinds of animals meant to walk on four legs. He has restored dignity, mobility, health, and peace of mind to these 21,000 animals and the people who love them. As a product person by professional and mom to Phineas who has in the past had back surgery, I am so inspired by what we can build with compassion, love, and know-how. Check out Eddie’s Wheels at http://eddieswheels.com.
I saw an advanced screening of Zootopia last night. I hope every child, and every adult who’s a child at heart, gets a chance to see it. The message of the film—with determination and a desire to build a better world, anyone can be anything—is a message that the entire world needs now more than ever.
Too often, people are defined by their past when what counts is how we want to use our past to move forward. That gumption and passion to do something good with our lives is more powerful than we realize. Intention, backed up with a lot of elbow grease and a good heart, moves mountains. So the next time you catch yourself in a moment of self-doubt, or when someone else is doubting you, I hope you’ll pause and say these words – “I never know when to quit.” Those six words can change a life – yours.
(And just for fun, here are 20 incredible fun facts about the making of Zootopia, courtesy of our friends at Collider.com: click here.)