Every morning I take my dogs, Bronco and Tux, for a walk across the street through an enchanted little forest which leads to a secluded town park. Today I was hoping for some inspiration to help me write this blog – and I got it. A basic principle of the art of living happy is to live in the moment and not worry or fear what may happen – because if you worry or fear what might happen, then most likely you’re going to ruin the current moment for no good reason. That’s exactly what happened to me today.
Most days we don’t run into anyone. Only twice in the last three years have we run into kids doing drugs – the park is across the street from the high school – so you would think we would come across students more often, fortunately we don’t. The minute they see me they drop their bong and go tearing through the woods back to school. More often – and again maybe once every two weeks or so – we run into neighbors walking their dogs. Java, a scrappy little Cairn Terrier, is a friendly little guy and my small dogs love to greet him and then go on sniffing and running around. The problem is with Ginger, a 50 pound Pit Bull/Doberman mix.
Ginger was rescued by some very nice people. The problem is these very nice people don’t know how to handle a Pit Bull/Doberman mix. Ginger has been very aggressive toward my dog, Bronco. Tux is smart enough to stay away and usually stands between my legs when Ginger comes bounding up. Bronco, however; is overly friendly and races up to Ginger and the next thing you know Bronco is on his back and Ginger is barking, growling, and snapping. This confrontation in the park has happened three or four times.
Well, then it gets better. Ginger’s owners allow her to run around off leash – and in fairness I allow my dogs, all 16 and 12 pounds of them, to run off leash too. The issue is the fact that Ginger will run through the forest, cross the road and dart into our yard – when we are sitting on our front porch minding our own business. The three times that I’ve seen it happen – God only knows how many other times it’s occurred – I was able to get my dogs inside before Ginger got up to our door, frothing at the mouth.
The whole point of this involved story is that this morning, as the dogs and I cleared the forest path, I saw a parked car. I immediately feared that it was Ginger’s owner’s car. I started to look around and worry. I kept my dogs close and was concerned and terrified that Ginger may be on the loose. I wasn’t sure if the owner would keep her on the leash or if she would suddenly appear around the corner and leap on Bronco. So for the entire 20 minute walk I was consumed with these horrible feelings. When we finally rounded the last corner to the summit of the park, I realized that Ginger was no where to be seen. Sigh…
The problem was, I had just ruined my tranquil morning walk, because I feared the unknown. Granted, I had very good reasons to worry – as past events had proven. However; in order to create more happiness in your life, you must not react to events that aren’t occurring. In retrospect, I should have noticed the car and just kept on walking and breathing in the luscious green colors and observing the small bits of blue sky peeking through the clouds. If Ginger had shown up, I could have dealt with it then. Tomorrow I’m going to practice the art of living happy, and stay in the moment.