The youngest canine is Brandy Bojangles, a year and a half old Cocker Spaniel -- recently spayed -- which is why she could finally go to the park. Brandy usually barks fearfully and incessantly at the mere sight of another dog or human. Yet, once in the park, she took it all in without a sound.
But this writing is not about Brandy.
The second dog is my husband's three year old, female, Dalmatian/Aussie mix named Zephyr. That afternoon Zephyr did something I had never seen her do before. She jumped up on someone, resting her paws on their chest, then quickly got down as I verbally directed her. But she did it again...and again...and again!...and...to more than one person.
Zephyr had caught me so off guard that I never even had the thought to physically restrain her from doing it again. Why hadn't I simply taken her by the collar, apologized, and walked away?
Everyone involved appeared both surprised and almost entertained by her behavior. It was obvious, that for some very uncomfortable moments in time, I did not have control of my dog.
But this is actually not about Zephyr either.
Laying there awake in the wee hours of the morning, I became immensely disconcerted about Zephyr. That's when I realized the urgency of how much I truly need to regain control of a lot more than a dog.
This is really about me, I thought.
Just like that warm engulfing sensation you feel when you step into a hot tub and slowly immerse yourself, I felt strangely comforted and even inspired by yesterday's episode. My mental muscles rejuvenated as I lay there pondering the benefits of a more controlled, more disciplined life.
It was time to get up and lay out a plan.
To have reasonable control of things around me (including a dog), I must first take control of myself. And, control over the physical body begins with mental discipline, because the body won't quit until the mind gives in.
What a person thinks about -- considers, ponders and focuses on -- is what they become. That is a law. So I will tend to my moment by moment ponderings by giving greater heed to the kind of nutrition I'm feeding my mind with. That's fair and simple.
Diligently disciplining the mind will enable my physical body to attain the desired results I seek, for I cannot function well without significant physical endurance and vitality. This will also mean a balanced diet and exercise.
I may have the good food and great cooking part of it under control, but there remains a very pressing need for me to concentrate on the exercise side of that equation. I am encouraged by knowing I am fully equipped for success.
Next, I can begin to branch out into my environment, to have better control of my surroundings. This will include my/our dogs, my home and yard, the care of my mother, and...even taxes.
All these things have one essential aspect when it comes to control -- the element of time.
Well, you know what I say? I say, I will need to be more assertive in how I utilize my time, because time is an irreplaceable commodity that requires stewardship.Time~~ (as defined by Juilius O'Hara -- Peter Lorre in Beat the Devil, 1953)Time. Time. What is time?
Swiss manufacture it.
French hoard it.
Italians squander it.
Americans say it is money.
Hindus say it does not exist.
You know what I say?
I say, time is a crook!
There it is...all laid out. I cannot -- I will not -- fail. I can only succeed. I will regain the control I desire and need in my life.
I will have the presence of mind to simply take Zephyr by the collar, apologize, and walk away.