Happy Birthday, Petra!

It doesn’t seem possible, but my sweet Petra is eleven today. She doesn’t act her age, but she has settled down a little. I haven’t seen her leaping up trees recently, and she hasn’t soared off any cliffs as she once did with her friend Lucy (really a rock outcropping about six feet high, but it seemed like a cliff when the two dogs were midair and we were watching them fly from over our heads) , but she is still always up for action, always ready to charge across the yard, always eager for a walk or hike. She also loves to snuggle on my lap while I have my first cup of tea in the morning, and she sings her happy songs to Stephen every day. I’ve never had a dog who sings quite so eloquently as Petra does, and we enjoy her whole variety of songs that express emotions from sad to contented to overcome with joy.

Happy Birthday, Petra Sweetie! I love the combination of energy, joy, and love you add to our home, and I am thankful for you every day.

Here are a few pictures I took today of my happy birthday girl.

Petra, Come! :)
Milo, Petra, and Rowan

Moonlight Bright…

I opened my eyes to see moonlight splashed bright across my warm comforter, then turned to see the clock – 3:00AM . I snuggled into my pillow, pulled up the comforter crisscrossed by clear lines of light and shadow from windowpanes and mullions, and closed my eyes, but it was no use. The brightness of the moon had danced into my mind and now called to me, insisting I join her.

I slipped quietly from bed, slid into muck shoes and a fleece, and, taking Petra with me, stepped silently out into the light of night. Frosty grass sparkled, bright beside deep shadows of trees crossing the yard. The moon, full round and white, hung in the southern sky, obscuring nearly all stars around her. To the north I could make out the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, but most stars had yielded to the brilliance of the moon.

All was still. Not a sound, not a breath of wind. Just the world in black and white and shades of gray, with the fresh tang of frost fully awakening my spirit. Alert, I thought to walk, but I sensed that, like all nature around, I had to be still. And so I stood, Petra silent beside me, moonlight falling bright on us, shadows long behind us, filling my soul, calming my being.

Full Moon Over Pond

This painting, “Full Moon,” is currently featured in my Etsy shop.

Nine years ago today…

Nine years ago, a little red puppy was born. I didn’t meet her until three weeks later, when I fell in love with a small, sweet puppy who snuggled into my arms and fell asleep.

That may have been a ploy on her part, as that was the last time we saw her asleep until several years had passed.

 Years full of running…

playing with friends…


jumping for joy…

leaping up trees…

 watching for us to come home

being a little sister to Rowan…


snuggling on laps…

and being a faithful shadow..

I can’t imagine life without this little red dog. She is my companion whenever I slip out at night to savor the starlight or walk under the full moon. She curls quietly beside my chair whenever I sit to read. She has a contagious way of living fully in the moment that helps me see and experience the fullness of life. With all her idiosyncrasies and quirks, she occupies a unique spot in our home, and with all her devotion and love, she fills our hearts.

Happy Birthday, Petra, and may you have many more years of exuberance and joy!

Happy Birthday, Petra!

We started out the day as we do most days, with Petra snuggling on my lap while I read and had my morning tea. Then the games began; Petra has her friends Roark and Tallulah visiting for her birthday, so today is full of Aussie fun.

Rowan, Roark, Tallulah, Petra (back to front)

Petra does everything fast, so birthday fun for her means running (almost too fast to be seen)…
(If you click the photos, you can see them bigger.)

and playing chase…

and leaping in the air…

That was a fun party with friends!

Tallulah, Petra, Roark, Rowan

Happy Birthday, Petra Sweetie! You bring me joy and love every day, and I adore you.

Petra’s Peregrinations

Petra is my live wire. Rarely tired, Petra could be on the go all day long and still look for more to do. As I type, she’s dribbling a tennis ball by bouncing it on the floor, catching it, bouncing it again, and so on. Sometimes she lies flat on her side, looking calm, but rolling a tennis ball in circles with a front paw, all the time staring at it, until apparently it suddenly needs to be grabbed, at which point she leaps to her feet and takes the ball captive.

All three of my dogs are enthusiastic about their meal times, and I love the different ways they express their eagerness for me to finish dishing out their kibble, each in a way that reflects their own personality. Rowan sits close to my right side, his nose under my elbow, as I reach into the bin to scoop up the food. His front paws dance slightly up and down and he trembles with contained energy, but he doesn’t otherwise move or make a sound. Milo dances with his whole body, leaping into the air, flipping his head and ears, and baying with uncontained excitement.

Petra peregrinates. As soon as I reach into the bin, while Rowan quivers and Milo bays, Petra trots off in the opposite direction, heading down the hall, through the living room, through the kitchen and back to me. She pauses, surveys the situation, then sets off on her circling again. In the past few weeks I’ve been saying, “Petra peregrinate!” as she starts off, and now she is starting to peregrinate on cue if I tell her to at other times during the day. There’s no good reason for the command “Peregrinate,” except that it is fun for Petra and makes me laugh. It fascinates me to see how, like Milo, Petra turns her excitement into motion, but unlike Milo, her enthusiasm is expressed in a calm and contained manner.

Petra has finished her dribbling and has moved on to practice her back spin, something she has begun working on recently. She places a front paw firmly on the ball, grabs at it with her nails, then pulls her paw back and down hard and fast, causing the ball to shoot out from under her paw, but with a strong back spin so it quickly moves back toward her, at which point she pounces on it and repeats the game.

Petra is a fun, fun dog to have around, always thinking, always ready and eager to work with me, always willing to do some problem-solving.