I have the fondest memory…plucked from my memory archive…of our morning walks together…when our golden, Whitman, was alive.


I loved how, though we walked together every day, each walk would seem brand new…and how we each approached our walk from a different point of view.


My eyes were drawn to the sky and the wonders that up there abound…Whitman’s eyes and concentration were riveted to the ground.


I loved to discover the different aromas that wafted on the breeze…Whitman was content with sniffing grass…and bushes…and trees.


I was happy listening to the wind and whatever birdsongs would catch my ear…but when Whitman lifted his head and smiled…I knew he was listening to sounds I could not hear.


We were never in a hurry…there was no need for speed…sometimes we’d walk where I wanted to walk…other times Whitman took the lead.


It’s obvious the view I had on two legs was different that what Whitman saw on four…still…I never could determine…which one of us enjoyed it more.


I still take those morning walks…and though it’s been years since Whitman died…there is still many a morning I can feel him by my side.


Sometimes I feel him as I begin to walk…other times along the way he will arrive…and then the two of us will walk together…

just like when Whitman was alive.

View joy's Full Portfolio


We’ve been dog sitting for two weeks now…it’s been amazing I might add

but it has also stirred up memories of the dog that we once had.


He was a Golden Retriever, his name was Whitman 

He was as gentle as can be

We spent a good twelve years together

(I wish we had 83).


Why did you name him Whitman, people would ask?

Was it because you loved Walt Whitman’s poetry?

If only…we would answer…

he was named after a bakery.


If you think naming Whitman after a bakery was crazy…allow me to elaborate…

Whitman’s made the best better cream donuts…our family ever ate!


An amazing feature of memories is how they seem to fly in on their own wings.

They pop into our heads when we least expect them…triggered by the simplest things.


Taking Bella and Matti for a walk…watching them unwind

Throwing a ball for them to retrieve…and Whitman come’s to mind.


Sitting with Bella on the couch…before she goes to bed

thinking that’s exactly the same spot Whitman used to lay his head…


I guess it is inevitable…and certainly no reason to be dismayed

that as we make new memories…we’re reminded of old ones we have made.


It gives us a chance to think back…to be thankful…to remember with a smile

a person, or in this case a dog, who was in our life a while…


Whitman’s bakery and Whitman are long gone now but we still remember their mystique

for a dog to be named after a donut…he must have been unique!


So as we sit with these two wonderful dogs…and try to get them to behave us….


It’s nice to remember our Whitman…and all the memories he gave us.

View joy's Full Portfolio


While our friend and neighbor is spending a week away

we’ve been sitting her dog Angus…and walking him every day.


He and I awaken early…before the sun comes up

and when he sees me getting ready…he greets me like a pup.


My understanding of beauty is personal…I know what’s beautiful to me

but on our morning walks I’ve come to realize…we see the world differently.


While I find beauty in the moon, in the stars, in how the clouds move in the breeze

Angus finds his beauty in the the grass, in the bushes…in the trees.


Every now and then we pause together…you will find us standing there

enjoying the beauty of the jasmine as its aroma fills the air.


We may linger a moment and listen…to what sounds the morning brings

how the trees will whistle in the wind…how the night owl or mockingbird sings.


And though we briefly share this beauty…the aromas and the sounds

I still find most of my beauty in the heavens…while his is mostly on the ground.


Our relationship is symbiotic…Angus, the dog, and I

for when he stops to sniff the ground…I stop to view the sky.


Perhaps that’s why we’re both excited as we’re heading out the door

anticipating some beauty we’ve not seen or smelled before…


I used to think beauty was in the eye of the beholder…as that old saying goes

but Angus has happily shown me…



 is also in the nose.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Yesterday I was walking in the early morning fog

When I stopped at the edge of a field to watch a man and his Frisbee dog.


The man would throw his Frisbee east, west, north or south

the dog would chase it, jump up in the air and catch it in his mouth.


Next that dog would trot that Frisbee back and lay it at the man’s feet

The man would pick it up…toss it again…and this scenario would repeat.


After each chase the dog would wait as excitedly as he did the chase before 

and I couldn’t tell by looking at their faces which one enjoyed it more…


I noticed the more I stood there watching them…seeing how that Frisbee flew

seeing how that dog would jump…I was smiling too.


I watched until they finished…until the final chase was done

and marveled at how dog and man were having so much fun.


My thoughts drifted back to our dog- he couldn’t catch a Frisbee at all

but he would act just like that Frisbee dog when we threw a tennis ball.


And I remembered when we played fetch…how I loved to watch him run

how just like this man and his Frisbee dog…we too had so much fun.


Our pets will pass away too soon…before us…this is true

and now I wonder if there isn’t an explanation…a rationale for why they do…


To remind us life is short and to get the most from our life span

perhaps we should be chasing as many frisbees as we can…


Perhaps we should be running in the fields…jumping over logs


and having as much fun living…as that man and his Frisbee dog.

View joy's Full Portfolio


He showed up unannounced…this dog we’d never seen

He stood there, tail wagging…his faced pressed against our screen.


We opened the door to say hello…to, perhaps, pat him on his head

but he had other plans for us and slipped inside instead.


He followed me out to the porch…the scenario unfolding…

Was it my wonderful personality attracting him…or the cracker I was holding?


He finished my cracker, every bit…he did not leave a trace

He sat there while I petted him…and occasionally licked my face.


We discovered that name is Chance…that he loves nothing better than to roam

when his owner stopped in to say hello…and take his companion home.


He said Chance likes to wander but an internal GPS he lacks

Because sometimes in his roaming he can’t find his way back.


And it is no use trying to call him…as he traverses new frontiers

there’s no chance he can hear me…’cause he’s deaf in his left ear.


But when he can’t find his way back…he’ll stop wherever he has roamed

And howl until I find him…then together we’ll walk home.


And as they walked together down our driveway…it was a wonderful epilogue

to see the love a dog has for his owner…and an owner for his dog.


And that night we bought dog biscuits…because here’s something that we learn:

There’s a good chance Chance will roam again…

a good chance Chance will return.




View joy's Full Portfolio