nomeatbarefeet

a vegan couple: eating; running; living–minimally.

National Dog Day Post

So apparently yesterday was National Dog Day……who knew? Well, our friends Sheila and Eric certainly did. With their helpful post in mind I thought I do a quick post in tribute to our little man.

Arlo: Keepin it cool.

Katie and I moved away from Albany for a year so that she could do her student teaching. When we returned we lived in the ground floor of a brownstone—a cute but small apartment. I think we had talked about a dog, but at some point we got serious and looked into adopting from Homeward Bound. They are a great organization, with one of the perks being home visits of potential adoptee dogs.

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We had been looking at another dog and after the home visit things seemed certain. But when we went to the adoption clinic we weren’t sure anymore—the fit didn’t seem right. Well, as we were there this other little dog just kept following us, sitting next to us, licking us, giving us all his attention. He seemed so sweet. We were head over heels for him. So we gave him a home.

When our computer crashed we lost all of our photos including the ones of when we brought Arlo home. I found this one on Facebook. Look out little he looks!

His original name was……McLovin’. Yup. That’s right. McLovin’. Clearly he was named by a 14 year old boy. He needed a new name.

He was, and is, an Arlo.

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It is an amazing feeling to take care of another living thing, and to know, to really have a sense that they are connected to you and care for you. It is easy to anthropomorphize everything a dog does, but there is no doubt about the love that has been established between us and Arlo. We are members of the same pack, and packs look out for each other. At almost 7 Arlo is about to hit the “senior” status according to the chart at the veterinarian’s office, but he is just as spry and feisty as ever.

Wrestling with “Bad Bird”

In spite of his incessant licking, barking at random noises and, I swear, nothing at all, it would never be the same with out our little man. Right now he is curled up next to me in his little fox ball, and there are few things as comforting as that.

Self-imposed Social (Media) Exile

One day it happens——You find yourself checking your Facebook or Twitter feed while sitting next to a friend or family member while they talk and you don’t hear a word they are saying. Or you wind up looking back and forth at the movie you are watching and the computer on your lap. You inability to go without updating your status feels too compelling, too difficult to resist, even as you say out loud “Nothing exciting happened.”

This is where I was about a month ago. I would bring my rather useless iPhone to work and check feeds on my break; I’d check them when I got home; I’d check them in the morning, and so on ad infinitum. Why? Who cares? So I took a break for just about 2 weeks and it was refreshing to not care about more than what was going on in my immediate life. Not that I didn’t think about or care about those friends who I wasn’t able to see, but did I not care about them or think about them before Facebook or before the internet?

There is a story about a French general named Jean Baptiste Antoine du Leon who during the French Revolution was on the outs with the people of Paris and so he opted for self-imposed exile from Paris and the surrounding area. When he eventually was able to return months later he looked out across the streets of the city he had left and bluntly stated, “Il est exactement le même. Rien n’a changé.” It is exactly the same. Nothing has changed.

I find the French general’s exclamation (a person and name I just made up) to be a perfect example of what we each need to acknowledge, because in acknowledging it we can each aim to take a much needed self-imposed exile from the repetitious emptiness of the social media world:

It is exactly the same. Nothing has changed. 

In acknowledging this we will come to see that there can be a benefit and pleasurable purpose to social media: keeping in touch with distanced friends and family, hearing about the daily lives of those we care about, offering humorously entertaining remarks on a friend’s outfit. It can also allow us to recognize that the inane and tiresome details of the world get played out every second of every day, but we don’t have to be tethered to them.

So next time you find yourself feeling compelled to check your feeds thing about Jean Baptiste Antoine du Leon’s self-imposed exile and yell out his storied exclamation: “Il est exactement le même. Rien n’a changé!”

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