Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back from the Lake: The Joy of Design

It was so good to get away.

As I think about it, though, it wasn't the "getting away" that did my soul good: it was being and doing that for which I'm best suited.

Kinda like the canine crew.  Take Chessie, for example.

This was Chessie's first visit to the cottage, and her first exposure to entering the water from a dock.  After only a day at the lake (well, more like only after a jump or two), it became obvious to us that Chessie is designed to leap: she's a born dock-jumper.

Take a look:

Yup, that's puppy Chessie!  And this is Chessie's first time even seeing a dock, let alone jumping from one. To boot, it's only her second time swimming in deep water. At just a year old, she's still a clutzy adolescent, but you'd never know it when she takes flight. 

With Kenya and Ridge for her parents, we knew she'd love the water and have no fear of jumping, but I never imagined she'd take to it so quickly and so strongly (she easily doubles Kenya's jumping distances).

And her joy.... oh my!  

All of the dogs thrive at the lake.  It's part of their natures. Each blossoms there in ways unique to their characters (more on that in another post).

And the funny thing is, I do, too.

For good or bad, I'm a country girl. Being in the woods, lifting my face to the rain, allowing the sun to warm my face or the breeze to tickle my nose, listening to the wind whisper or the rain thunder on our tin roof, enjoying the water (pond, lake, river, stream, in, by, or on -- doesn't matter) -- it all makes me feel whole and alive. It's how I was raised; it's part of my nature and history; it's who I am every bit as much as my blue eyes, round countenance, and now-graying blonde hair.

I'm finally discovering how I'm wired and realizing I don't need to apologize for being who I'm designed to be.

When Chessie met the dock last week, it seemed she finally found out who she's designed to be, too.

It warmed my heart to see her find her niche, especially so young.  After fifty-plus years, I'm only just finding mine.

Oh, but when we find it, we know, as does everyone around us! Chessie sure knew it; it's the joy of our design.

Now the question becomes: how do we allow her to pursue her niche and reach her potential? 

Any of our dock-jumping readers out there have any ideas? We'd welcome your input.

In the meantime, we'll just keep doing what we're doing and hoping to taste more joy along the way.

'til next time,


Anonymous said...

My goodness, look at her BOING!!!! That is one happy dog!

Mango said...

Well, there are dock diving competitions, at least in these parts. What a joy to see her leaping like that. She is in her zone... totally!

Mango Momma

sarah said...

Awesome! Look at that girl go. I had really hoped my chocolate labbie would be interested in dock diving, because she loves to swim, but she just never took to it so I let her go beach entry and she's happier. Something about jumping off the dock made her really nervous. Chessie sure knows how to fly!! Around here in Texas there are a lot of dock diving groups and everything from back yard competitions to championships. I am sure there are groups in your area. Either that or Chessie could come out and visit me in Texas and learn to fly!

Stormy said...

Great shots!

(Please accept my FB friend request!)

Dave Teachout said...

Becky here...We so enjoyed watching the dogs enjoy the water! They sounded full of life! :-)

Anonymous said...

Joan - hi! this is Mr. Lime's mom - Cori. Wanted to let you know that Zeke is doin wonderfully and today is his (and his litter-mates') 3rd birthday! Although off to a not-so-healthy start, my Zeke is doing wonderfully. He's spoiled rotten and is the light of my life. I friend requested you on FB. If you accept, you can click through quite a few pix of my blonde beast. And you know what? He HATES water and can't swim. How did that happen? :)

Nancy Akin said...

Remember me? I'm the gal with the team of dock diving Labrador Retrievers. I still check in on your blog from time to time. We have 4 Labs now and still dock dive. There are two clubs in Pennsylvania. Here are the links to their websites. Choose whichever you like; both have some wonderful people who can help get you and your jumping dogs off to a good start in dock diving.

labradors said...

My goodness, look at her BOING!!!! That is one happy dog!