Mona Lisa Smile

We tend to celebrate youth and beauty, and fear wrinkles and old age.

I’ve noticed however, that as Michelle gets older, her lashes get longer and more lovely, her face gets whiter and softer, and her frailness makes her more endearing. Her beauty grows, not diminishes with time.

If she had laugh lines, they would measure how joyful this life has been.

If she had gray hairs, they would mark all the worries and obstacles she’s had in life and overcame.

If she had wrinkles, they would trace the journey of her life with each line telling a different story.

There is a definite beauty in getting older if only we viewed aging with wiser eyes.

Here is our lovely girl, going on 13, in all her loveliness and giving her Mona Lisa smile. =)

Michelle's mona lisa smile
Michelle’s mona lisa smile

Cherry Blossom Season

Every springtime, the plum tree in our front yard sprouts beautiful little pink and white flowers that last only a few days before the red leaves start coming in. The flowers remind me of the cherry blossom trees that are so famous in Japan. This year, we were able to catch a photo before they disappeared.

M&M in cherry blossom season
M&M in cherry blossom season

For those who have ever known the difficulty of taking doggie photos, you’ll be able to relate to this picture… of doggie butts!

Doggie butts!
Rear end views!

 

 

I’m Going to Miss Las Vegas

Michelle: ah. This is the perfect weather for a nice afternoon nap.

Michelle Sunbathing in the backyard
Michelle Sunbathing in the backyard

Ickey: I’ll sunbath as well.

Ickey & Michelle Sunbathing
Ickey & Michelle Sunbathing

Orderly: oh Ickey, you are lying on the rocks. Sometimes you can be so homeless.

Ickey & Michelle cuddling together for comfort.
Ickey & Michelle cuddling together for comfort.

The last couple of weeks have been tough on Ickey and Michelle. We didn’t spent much time with them since we were busy packing for our move to California.

Ickey & Michelle in Sunny California
Ickey & Michelle in Sunny California

We still have a lot of unpacking to do but we made time to take the dogs to walk around the neighborhood.

As I stand there watching the dogs, Las Vegas feels like a dream. I still can’t believed that there was a year where we had 4 dogs in our house [Ickey, Michelle, Heidi, and Bruce (our foster)].

And we walked in fields of gold…

We re-visited our secret park  today for possibly the last time. As I looked over the stretches of gently rolling grass dappled with patches of shade and sunshine, I felt as if I was travelling through time.

I saw P doing his bunny hop romp as his tail spiraled in a crazy circle of happiness. I saw P and me sitting under a shady tree eating apple snacks. I saw myself smiling into his bright eyes as I stroked his soft fur.

Fast forward in time, and I saw the same lovely scene, but with Heidi, Ickey, and Michelle romping ahead of me, and Bruce walking beside me. How Ickey and Michelle loved chasing balls, and how fast they were. Ickey ran like a horse, and Michelle like a mountain lion. I saw Heidi rolling happily on the grass and leisurely trotting after a ball if it wasn’t thrown too far for her arthritic little legs. I saw Bruce happy to be part of our family.

Today, Ickey ran ahead as Michelle trotted more slowly behind. Our old girl walks with a pronounced limp nowadays, but still enjoys our family walks together, just at a slower pace. As I like to say, we only walk as fast as our slowest family member so no one gets left behind.

There was some sadness intertwined with the happiness. For M&M however, all they felt was sunshine and joy as we walked in fields of gold…

M&M revisit our secret park
M&M revisit our secret park
Ickey: "I like this place a lot Michelle."
Ickey: “I like this place a lot Michelle.”
Michelle: "Take it all in fat boy. =)"
Michelle: “Take it all in fat boy. =) Since we may not be back, I better pee all over the place so people will remember us – the MM&H gang!”

A Golden Moment in Time

Anyone who’s loved and lost a dog knows that our time with them is always much too short. It seems as if we only have them for a “Golden Moment in Time” – a time when they are young and healthy; a time when there is only happiness and sunshine.

I’ve been incredibly blessed to have two such golden moments in my life. The first was with P, who gave us eight wonderful years together before he passed away from cancer.

The second golden moment was with P’s family, who grew ever larger and included the sunshine boys Joy & Sunny, and the three musketeers (Ickey, Michelle, and Heidi). These five dogs formed an unlikely family that forever connected their hearts to P, and to each other.

This winter, our sweet Heidi girl and our sunshine boy Joy both passed away.

The heartache has at times been overwhelming.

Yet through the sea of grief and pain, I am also reminded of how lucky I’ve been to have known and loved two beautiful souls, and how lucky I am STILL to have Sunny, Ickey, and Michelle.

As I write this, I realize that there have not been just two golden moments in time. Rather, that each moment in life is a golden moment if only I’d see the present for what it is: a gift, which is all the more precious because it is so fleeting.

Take the time to appreciate your own golden moments, and never forget that each day is it’s own golden moment in time.

Romping Around In The Secret Park
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BONZAI!!!!
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A sea of goldens
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Heidi: Lifeguard on deck
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DOUBLE BONZAII!!!!