I get up and take Sherman for his morning walk. He is totally mesmerized by squirrels. Rabbits are good. Cats are good. Birds are good. But squirrels are the best.
fullsizeoutput_1dceThe squirrel’s playground…
I think I’ve found a place for him to run that’s fenced in behind the Montessori School than has taken over a prior public elementary school. But, as Sherman and I walk the perimeter of the fence I find two open places. One is the actual entrance about 3 feet wide. The other is the space under a double gate about 8 feet wide. Too much to cover. Mr. Sherman would definitely find these during his own fence inspection. This is not an issue today as Beth and I are going to a beach about an hour away on Winnipeg Lake. A lake as big as the Great Lakes. It has tides. You can’t see across it.

We return to the house and I keep him on the leash to contain and manage some of his “gotta get the squirrel” energy. At the dining room table, I attach his leash to a chair. He can get up on a table by the window and watch the critters. There are trees and bushes right outside the window. So he gets to see birds and squirrels come right outside the window. He goes nuts. Standing on his hind legs and pawing at the window as if he can move the window out of the way like he would a piece of clear paper. He does this occasionally with the cats too.
I go sit at the table in the back room with Dan. This table is by the window overlooking the bird feeders, butterfly garden and vegetable garden. Some of the best activity around!
Dan and I talk about his project, about my work, about kids and grandkids, about dogs, about our pasts and where ever else we are lead. I’m liking him more and more. Feeling truly welcomed more and more.
Beth comes downstairs into the kitchen and breakfast is created with venison sausage from a deer Dan shot. I almost didn’t eat them as I’m not much of a meat eater. But… these were good!
Dan asks what podcasts I like. I look through my subscriptions and mention a group of my favorites. I mention Hard Core History and he says, “You mean, Dan Carlin?!” “Yes!” I say. And we three say simultaneously how much we like his shows. We all listen to RadioLab. Dan asks if I listen to Revisionist History. I haven’t heard of it. It’s a fairly new one by Malcom Gladwell. OMG! I love Malcom Gladwell. Beth asks if I’ve heard of Think Again? I haven’t. She tells me about it. I’ll try it. I ask if they know of On Being, with Krista Tippett? They haven’t heard of it. One of my favorites after being turned on to it by my friend Karen. The whole conversation was another big intersecting arena of interest. Yea!
Beth leaves and comes into the room with a book of photos from their wedding in Mexico. As we’re looking at the photos and the stories are being told, Dan tell his story about the wedding. In the telling he drops into his heart and shows such a sweet, loving vulnerableness that I love and appreciate him even more. I’m so happy that life has brought he and Beth together.
Dan has to continue working on his project. Beth and I get ready to go to Winnipeg Lake. We have an easy conversation about more of life’s happenings on the way to the lake. We’re going to a relatively unused beach north of the public beach. When we get there, there are 6 other people on the beach. Grandparents and their 2 grandkids and a couple. All together there are 8 of us on miles of beach. I thought beach as in the sandy beaches Sherman and I had visited along the west coast so had only brought my flip flops. I was envisioning running in the sand with Sherman. I’d forgotten about north eastern lake beaches. They are a mixture of sand and small rocks. Not comfortable for my feet to walk on. Forget about running. Then Beth said she’d brought Dan’s water shoes. They fit! So, I took off up the beach with Sherman. Walking and running for about 1.5 miles, then back. Sherman loved the beach. Loved the fresh water. I think he’d really only been at the ocean before.
When we got back, Beth was in the water swimming. Sherman and I sat down to rest. I went into the water up to my knees and Sherman was at the shore looking at me a bit disturbed, walking into and out of the water. On his own, he started to walk toward me in the water, then it got deep enough he had to swim. He swam out to me, around me, and went back to shore. A few minutes later he did it again. I tried to encourage him to do it again, but he said that was enough.
I went into the water to swim and Beth and Sherman started hiking up the beach. At first, I was nervous. He’d never gone for a walk with someone he’d just met before. Would he run or stay pretty close? I knew they really liked each other. So… I let it go. It would be fine.
fullsizeoutput_1dd2Way down the lake is this arrow… pointing to… nothing!
fullsizeoutput_1dc9Amazing water. Amazing sky.
When I came in from the lake, I started to walk up the beach and met them on their way back. Sherman saw a person at first when I was far away and didn’t realize it was me. He was acting like he does when he sees strangers coming his way. Then there was a moment when it went “click!” and he ran and ran to meet me. When we got back to the chairs, he was hot from the sun and for the first time I’ve seen him, dug a hole down to the wet sand to lay in and cool off.
I keep learning all the ways he knows to take care of himself. And how frequently I try to second guess him, then pause and watch, then see that he’s acting with perfect dog intelligence.
Beth had heard from friends who lived near the beach and had just gotten home from a trip. We went by to visit. Wonderful people. Love dogs so Sherman was a hit. She was really tickled that Beth and I dated in high school and were meeting for the first time in 45 years.
We hung out a while, took a walk down to the lake and a pier that gets taken down each winter and put up each spring., then around their neighborhood.
We got home about 8. Dan had already eaten and was very pleased with the work he’d done that day. He talked us through the campaigns. Nice work. Clever without being gimmicky. Acknowledged the team camaraderie, accomplishments and the company’s history of innovation.
We talked awhile. Then bed.