This feeling of teetering on a ledge has been strong these past few weeks. I realized that it might help to assuage that feeling if I had more of a plan in place so I went to the campering forum of folks who also have truck campers like mine, where I’ve made a number of friends over the past few years. I wanted to look for ideas of places to go on this trip, and I glanced at my profile picture. The image was one of my old doggie, Pugsly.
Pugsly was a pug, if you couldn’t tell, and she was one of those special critters. I’ve loved all the dogs and cats, and even a few snakes, that have come through my life, but on a rare occasion I’ve been lucky to have one that wiggled inside my heart in a different and more meaningful way than the others. I had a kitty that was special, and I had Pugsly.
I thought I should change my profile picture to one with my current pups – it has been a couple of years, after all. I was trying out different images, but decided I wasn’t ready to change her picture away, and thought I’d cancelled out. Apparently, the last one I looked at stayed. It was one of my now dogs and looked strange there on the webpage. I posted up a new thread about how it seems the forum gremlins had made a decision for me, that it was time to move on. Right away, a number of friends commented. They also miss her from my photos and writings, and some of the folks actually got to meet her! They liked the old picture, and a discussion about missing our old pups ensued. I changed the picture back to Puglsy, and wrote part of the below to one friend on that forum.
When my old doggie Alyosha died in 2013, I scattered his ashes in a then dry creek where he used to romp on a favorite hike. In a few months from then, the creek would flow with water, and his ashes would be mixed in with the silt. I miss him, but he was an often difficult dog, and after 14 years there was some relief. I feel a bit guilty admitting that, but it is the case.
With Pugsly, she was such a shadow to me – a little velcro doggie – I couldn’t bear to scatter her ashes and have ‘her’ scattered all alone out there. It seemed so silly to me, since I’m pretty much agnostic and wasn’t raised with a belief in an afterlife. But I didn’t want to let her go, my little velcro dog.
So, I carry around this lovely little wooden box, and am actually comforted by the idea that her ashes were mixed in with other doggie ashes at the crematorium and so ‘she’ isn’t alone.
I was thinking today about how interesting it is the things we learn, and the choices we make, years prior that help us later. Random stuff like I decided to go visit friends in Chicago, but I hate driving there, so I’m staying with a friend in Homewood, IL. There’s an easy Metra train from Homewood to Chicago – about 45 minutes. I know this because I had a (different) friend in Homewood when I lived in Chicago in the early 2000’s. I didn’t know of this city before that. Now I know, and this other friend happens to live there.
While I was living in Prescott, AZ., when I wanted to weigh my rig, someone told me that the city dump had a scale for people bringing in loads to get rid of (they pay per pound or ton or somesuch) and that they’d weigh me for a couplea bucks. Today I wanted to weigh my truck + camper, so I looked up the city dump and called them to ask if they also do this. Sure enough. And it was free!
There was a day in 2013 when I decided to wait a week before moving into a new house rental. That new move-in date, and the time I was at the new house, happened to be when a stray pug was walking down my new street in front of this house. Had I stayed with my original date, I might have missed her. Because of that decision, my life was altered in a wonderful way. I gained a companion, and many choices were changed because Pugsly was in my life.
Which brings me back to the heading for this post. I seem to often live on a precipice – the steep part, not the far seeing part. I’ve been calling this the “No Destination: Finding Home Tour” because I’ve been missing having community and a place to locate myself. I truly love exploring, and I’ll never lose my wanderlust, but it would be nice to have a home-base, and a community to look forward to seeing again when I return from an adventure. I’m hoping I can find a home at some point where I feel comfortable enough to scatter Pugsly’s ashes. I’d much rather that than holding onto a symbolic box. I tend not to hold onto things so much as to ideas.