Yes, you read that post title right. And no, this isn’t an Onion article.
I love dogs. I mean, LOVE them. A guy’s lack of interest in canine parenting was the potential deal-breaker in any relationship. “You don’t see a dog in your future? Then we have no future. Buh-bye.”
But with dogs comes responsibility for their care and feeding. They need vet visits. Grooming. And sadly, unlike cats, they don’t do their business in a litter box. In our case, they do it in our backyard. (Dying lawn courtesy of seven-year drought and crummy sprinkler system. In the winter you can see mountains in the background. Okay, now I have to share a pic of the winter mountain view across our neighbor’s roof…)
At first, poop patrol was an onerous task. I’m not alone in feeling this way because there are companies nationwide dedicated to this job with great names like Doody Calls, DoodyDude, and DooCare. (Doggy parents, see how I provided links? You’re welcome.)
Then my life got complicated – a job, book deadlines, a sick mom, parental stress over the kid’s high school junior year and college prep. When I went out to the backyard to do doo due diligence (honestly, not even sure that makes sense but couldn’t resist!), something unexpected happened. I found the task calming. And immensely satisfying. As I spent the fifteen or twenty minutes needed to patrol the yard, I tapped into the zen of the simple effort. My mind could even wander in a way that it couldn’t during the rest of my waking hours, and I came up with ideas and fixes for various creative projects.
Oh, by the way, here are the mess makers:
(Pogo always wears Christmas sweaters because he’s cold 99% of the time and I buy them at Target during the holiday season for cheap. Wiley’s the white furbaby)
I now look forward to the zen of doggy waste management. In fact, sometimes I need this break so much that I’m disappointed when I’ve already done the hunt for that day, and try to come with excuses for another go at it.
I assume there are other, less fragrant ways of achieving a zen state. But as a workaholic, I just can’t give myself permission to sit for ten minutes with my legs folded and my eyes closed taking deep, calming breaths. However, I can allow myself to do a job that must be done and has an added zen side benefit.
I need to complete this post because Wiley just went outside and assumed the position. FYI, I considered posting a picture of today’s full-to-bursting bag of doggy business, but chose not to. So once again… you’re welcome.
Readers, is there some odd, mindless task that gives you a zen moment?