Wags n Words Healthy Dogs & Happy Tales

Tag Archives: Swim And Massage Therapy

November 3. 2017


Yes, it’s been awhile. Too long of a while, but here I am, with my paws back on the keyboard, pounding out another round of Rubinations.

I could spend this time telling you about all that has transpired since the last time I wrote, but everyone keeps telling me that dogs live in the now, which means, I suppose, that I shouldn’t dwell on the past. So I won’t, except to say that I lost two of my best friends since I last visited this page and those losses gutted me.

If you want to see how important these two fellas were to me, I invite you to watch their musical slideshows (if you haven’t already).

First loss was of my dearest friend, Monty…click here

And the second loss was of my first and dearest brother, Dezi…click here

Each loss was devastating for all of us. Monty, because he was my first true friend who taught me so much about life that I will forever be indebted to him. And Dezi, because he was my first true brother who was as patient with me as he was kind.

Perhaps their losses are what staggered me, are what kept me from writing, but I think it was more a combination of my life spinning in several different directions in addition to their crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

We’ve been busy in ways that are too numerous to count. There’s Oscar, my newest brother, who has now been with us for over a year. I have had to switch from being the youngest in the crowd to now being the oldest and let me tell you, being an older brother is a whole lot more work than being the younger one.

Gretchen’s work has meant more time away, though we have had many wonderful adventures and gone on a million different outings so I can’t complain. Still, there are times when I miss my dog walking days — days where I’d spend hours with new doggie friends, showing them all the trails and neighborhoods to explore. But I’ve even had a chance to do that as we’ve helped out Eileen of Paws With Wonder on occasion.



And there have been family visits as well — trips to Oregon to visit Uncle Paul and Aunt Patti, trips to Grandma’s house, and even a trip to the Oregon Coast with just our own little family.

And it was there, at the ocean, where I started thinking a lot about my life and beyond life, as I like to call it. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older — I’ll be 11 years old in February– or maybe it’s because I have said goodbye to some very important members of my family recently — dogs and human. Whatever the reason, I have been in deep contemplation of late and I think all of that has kept me from writing.

But alas, here I am again — paws clicking away at the keyboard and my thoughts racing ahead of me.

While on vacation at the coast, I enjoyed the beauty, but I also enjoyed the time to just be. No real responsibilities except to eat, sleep, walk, rest, explore. 

There are waves — each one coming then going — pounding the shore or, on quieter days, rolling gently up the stretches of sand like fog. And there is sky — endless and in a state of constant transformation, white clouds then blue pockets then the grayness of fog or the green-grey of rain. And there is air — fresh and clean and salty — so much air that my lungs can’t resist expanding and opening way beyond their day-to-day capacity.

But there is something else as well. Scientists say that bodies of water, like the ocean, have more negative ions, which apparently is good for you. In fact, negative ions have healing properties, none of which I can begin to explain, but I can certainly feel them.

But I think there’s something bigger than science or maybe it’s just science I don’t understand. When I stand at the edge of the ocean, with my sensitive nose in the wind, I feel something ancient. Something so profound and large that it almost feels mystical.

Needless to say, it made me realize that my role in this family has changed. No longer a dog dog walker, I am, in essence, retired and I’m learning every day how to embrace that retired-ness. Gretchen’s still working, Momma Ann too and I do my best to assist them every day. While on vacation, Gretchen and I discussed shifting this blog to something more useful and less contemplative, so in the coming weeks, watch for more blog posts, but posts more attuned with the work Gretchen does now — massage, acupressure, cranial/sacral, and swim therapies — and less about me. Yes, I’ll make a guest appearance now and then, but for now, our work is less about adventures and more about healing.

Looking forward to the changes…I hope you are too!








Did you like this? Share it:

September 10, 2016

World. Spin. Forward.

Hey Gretchen.IMG_4310


Which direction does the earth spin?

Wow, that’s a big question and I’m afraid I don’t have an answer. And I’m not sure how you’d answer it because direction is all relative.

What does that mean?

Well, if I’m looking down from space onto the North Pole the earth is spinning in a different direction than if I look down from space onto the South Pole of the earth, right?


Look. I have a basketball. From your position beneath the basketball, which direction is it spin — clockwise or counter clockwise?

IMG_4372Um, clockwise?

Yep, but now look from the top of the ball.


So my point is, what direction are we looking from when we ask the question, which direction does the earth spin?

Good Dog! I thought this would be a simple answer. Give me a minute…I’m going to look it up.

(Long Pause)

According to my sources on the internet, the earth spins west to east.

So just like my basketball example!

Technically, yes, but you never really answered the question. You just gave me more questions to answer.

But you figured it out, didn’t you?IMG_4397

Stop already!

Why were you asking?

Now I’m totally befuddled. I’ve lost my train of thought… Let me think a minute…

(Short Pause)

I guess I was pondering time and I started thinking about how time always moves forward. And then I started thinking about “forward” being an interesting term and what direction “forward” actually was and if that direction was determined by anything, like the spinning of the earth.

Wow, those are some deep and heavy contemplations, Rubin.

I know! And they weren’t made any easier by your “perspective” comments.

IMG_4409Sorry. I just didn’t know the answer and when I thought about it, all these other questions came into my head. But what spurred on your original thought — your thought about forward time?

I don’t know. I’m just been feeling a bit like time has run away from me or with me or past me or some such thing. So much has happened in the past few months and I can’t seem to catch up with it all.

Yes, there have been a lot of changes in our lives — good ones and bad ones…

And sad ones, too.

Yep. IMG_4344

Do you think it’s been more so these past few months than any time in our lives?

I don’t know. I do know that as I grow older, it feels like there’s a lot more happening all around me and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it all. And sometimes, I feel like, as I grow older, there are more sad things that happen. 

Like death.

Yes, like death…and frankly, it sucks.

IMG_4398It truly does. Sometimes I start thinking about all those friends who are no longer in my life and my heart gets really heavy. I will never see them again and sometimes I have a hard time catching my breath with the weight of those thoughts.

The same happens to me, buddy.

Is that why you were crying at the vet clinic the other day?

Yes, I really miss Dr. Cindy. She was such an amazing veterinarian, mentor, and friend to us and when I think about all those people and animals who miss her as much as we do, I get really sad.

Me too. And I get really sad when I think about her husband and IMG_4352her sweet old dog, Colima feeling that loss every day. They must really really miss her.

I think they do.

But it’s not just Dr. Cindy I miss. I miss my dog friends who have passed and sometimes, especially at night, I start counting off all the dogs I’ve known in my life and how many of them have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and my heart gets really heavy.

I’m sorry, Rubin. I know it’s hard. But there are good things too are there?

(pause and deep sigh)

IMG_4307Yes, there are good things, but I guess that’s why I was thinking about time and the idea of “forward”…I’m worried that I’ll forget all those dogs and people who have meant so much to me if I keep moving forward. Sometimes, I just want time to stop so I don’t lose anybody else or forget about all those who have passed.

I understand. I suppose it would be good to just stop and not have to face anymore sadness in our lives, but then we wouldn’t be able to welcome any new happiness in our lives. We’ve had some happy moments haven’t we?

You’re talking about Oscar aren’t you.

Well, yes Oscar, but Dezi too. They both came into our lives at times of great sadness, remember?

When Grandpaw and our friend Ann crossed the Rainbow Bridge…that’s when Dezi came, right?

Yep. He needed us right at a very dark time when Ann L. was really sick and Grandpaw IMG_4391was getting really sick and then Michael, Dezi’s dad, was getting sicker and sicker. That was a rough time and yet Dezi was a such an unexpected addition of love to our family.

I didn’t think so at first.

I know you didn’t. You wanted to be an only dog in an only dog family.

Yes, I did, but Dezi grew on me and he was polite and understood that I had rules. And he followed them. He still follows them and is very respectful.

Unlike Oscar.

IMG_4317Well, I don’t want to complain, but Oscar was a big surprise and on top of the fact that he couldn’t speak English…

…because he came from Costa Rica…

…and he was used to living on the street and fending for himself…it was hard to train him to behave.

Well, you have some pretty strict rules.

It’s not just me! You didn’t like it when he jumped on Grandma’s dining room table!

True, but I guess I’m talking about teaching him that you don’t like to share much…

…I’m trying.

I know you are, but still, it’s hard to share sometimes and sometimes he thinks it’s okay to bug you when really you’d just like to relax.IMG_4356

I have to admit he is getting better.

Which is my point…sometimes you really enjoy each other and if we didn’t move forward, we never would have had the chance to enjoy Oscar.

But now we’re a three dog family and while I know it’s okay, it reminds me that at some point in the near future, we’re going to be a two dog family again.

You mean when Dezi crosses the Rainbow Bridge…

Yes, and that’s going to really hurt, which I guess is surprising because I never thought I’d grow to love him and depend on him the way I do.

I know. I think about it too.

IMG_4304How do you make it through those thoughts?

I take a deep breath, cry a little bit, but then realize that Dezi is still here and he brings joy to my life every day and I need to soak that up so I feel full and not heavy-hearted.

It’s not easy.

No, it is not easy, but look at him. He’s doing really well and is living longer than we ever thought he would.

His birthday is coming up, isn’t it?

Yep, September 15! And he’s going to be 15!! 

His Golden Birthday!

See! Sometimes moving forward is cause for celebration!

Will you make pup-cakes?

You bet I will!IMG_4375

You know, they say dogs live in the NOW and most of the time I do, but as I get older, I notice I spend a bit more time reflecting on the past and dreaming about the future. Right now, in fact, I’m dreaming about those pup-cakes!

It’s important to do all three…to remember the past and all of those amazing people and animals who’ve touched our lives, to dream about the future, which will include new friends, new adventures, and yes, PUP-CAKES!, and it’s important to live in the NOW, to enjoy all the beauty of the world and all the gifts we have in our lives.

Still, it’s hard when things seem to be speeding up.

I know. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? The older I get, the faster my life seems to go. I IMG_4413guess that’s why it’s important to appreciate every moment you have.

Even though we’re rapidly moving from West to East!

Ha! Yes! 1,042 miles per hour!!

Did you just look that up?

Yep! And now my head is really spinning!

And here comes Dezi because he knows it’s time for dinner!

And Oscar right behind him. You have taught them well, Rubin.

Well, I am pretty exceptional.

Yes…yes you are!

Until next time!





Did you like this? Share it: