We kinda like dogs around here. If you’ve poked around our social media, that’s no surprise to you. And for some of us (i.e., me), it’s a little more than “kinda like” (as in, I’m not sure how people without dogs cope with life). From my “Crazy Dog Lady” bumper sticker to my daily conversations with Ocho & Rio (that typically go something like this), it is obvious I’m a bit out of my mind. And I’m so completely okay with that. There are much unhealthier ways to live life than in a codependent relationship with your dogs.
Anyway. If you’re not a dog person, you’ll probably want to stop reading now. Don’t worry, I won’t be hurt. I’m about to write some things that will make you roll your eyes.
I totally believe people enter our lives exactly when we need each other most and for good reasons — whether it’s support, connection, growth, or to learn from each other. I think the same is true with dogs. We adopted Ocho, my sheltie/collie mix, in 2008, barely a year before my cancer diagnosis. She is shy, mellow, easily bored, aloof and discriminating with her love. But when she loves something (her frisbee) or someone (her aunt Allison), she can’t contain it. She is me, if I’m honest. And she was the perfect steady companion for fighting cancer.
Rio, on the other hand, found us in post-cancer life, in 2012. I say “found us” because she was apparently dumped and made her way to my cousin’s garage . . . who then called and told me she had found Ocho’s sister. Rio is the opposite of Ocho. She is excited about life. All the time. She wags with her whole body. Everything is awesome. She has scars from “street life” and sacrifices her body in the pursuit of fun (chasing squirrels through heavy woods at blazing speed). What’s a bit of bodily injury when there’s fun to be had? She approaches strangers warily but hopefully, and as soon as they give her a gentle pat, they’re fast friends. She reminds me every day that I want to be more like her.
One of the best things about our neighborhood is our regular daily dog walking visitors. Because we are such a part of the community here, we get to meet the residents and their 4-legged walking buddies. Plus, we’ve got locally homemade (literally) dog treats, collars, dog shampoo bars, paw salve, greeting cards for pet lovers and decorative pet prints. Great gifts for your pups or your pup-loving pals.
This Saturday, April 11 is the second annual Downtown Dog Day under the Farmer’s Market pavilion here in downtown Overland Park. Proceeds benefit the fantastic Great Plains SPCA, plus it’s a heckuva lot of fun. AND you can bring your pup(s) down to Milagro following the event where we’ll have plenty of delicious treats for pets and their people. We’d love to meet your fur kids and add them to our #dogsofmilagro Instagram feed.
Here’s to floppy tongues, soft ears, belly rubs and Frito scented paws. And even better, here’s to loyalty, unconditional love, joy in the little things, and living in the moment. What an example.