On the street where I live there is a young mother who goes for walks, pushing her baby in a stroller while keeping a firm grip on the leash of her happy dog. There is a little dog who guards his little porch, and a bigger dog who loves to run, given half a chance. Sometimes I see a Siamese cat slip under the fence to explore the back field, following the tracks of mice and deer and other cats who wander there. There is a young man who has a truck parked in his backyard just for parts, and a family who, I am told, keeps a few chickens in their basement so they can have fresh eggs. There is an old man who keeps his yard as neat as a pin, and an old lady who walks to church every day, her tall hair carefully wrapped in black lace. I think I will go for a walk down the street today, and say hello to my neighbours.
Photo taken on December 7, 2010
I don’t know who coined the term “retail therapy”, but sometimes I think shopping is an addiction. My partner frequently reminds me that I don’t have to buy something every day. If I go for a walk, I don’t need to take any money. I don’t have to buy a sweater or a closet organizer just because it’s on sale. Since I’ve been without work, I’ve found that staying home helps to keep me away from temptation.
So with the absence of spending money, I’m rediscovering the joy of dog. I love our two Cardigan Welsh Corgis, and when I was working full time I loved to be greeted when I returned home by happy tail-wagging dogs. Now that I’m home with them during the day, I’ve honed my tummy-scritching and ball-throwing techniques. And sometimes I’ll take energetic Fergus for a walk around the neighbourhood, and even take a few photos if I can persuade him to sit still for a moment or two. Having two furry friends who unconditionally love me — and are always ready to play and have fun — is one of the best kinds of therapy. No matter what kind of day I’m having, when I see their shining eyes and silly corgi grins, I starting grinning too.
Photo taken on November 11, 2010