Can your dog teach you to be more joyful?

My short answer is yes. I took my 12 year old dog Tasha for a hike today on the Big Park Loop. If you aren’t a local resident of Sedona that means hitting the trail from the Bell Rock parking lot and making a loop around the Courthouse Butte. I am quite protective (almost never let her off leash) and very finicky about her cleanliness. Today was a new day, could it be the New Year energy? Who knows?

I let her off of the leash and let her run ahead of me on the trail. She promptly found some fresh horse poop to snack on when I wasn’t looking. Drat! We met a nice couple that had recently moved here from Idaho, had a chat with them and went on our way. We came upon an area where the water runs through during heavy rains or snow. The area currently has puddles in the rocks and I decided since I was feeling so good to let her get a drink and take a plunge. Oh boy, did she ever!

She ran from one puddle to the next, diving into the water, slipping and sliding with a big smile on her face. Did I mention my dog is kind of a french-vanilla color and that Sedona is Red Rock country? Need I say more? Tasha was chest deep in the water and then we had to hike through the red dirt. I knew a bath was eminent when I returned home.

I started out with the garden hose in the yard and a bucket of warm water and a good doggie shampoo. Silly me. Red dirt is everywhere in Sedona. So now, I had to get my very unhappy wet dog into my walk-in shower. Yikes! It was like a crazy episode of a comedy on TV. So now, I am scrubbing the shower, mopping the floor, washing towels, rugs, and taking pictures of the debris field that is my home.

This day with Tasha was worth every minute of it. I might add that I managed to stay in my joy in the process of the clean-up. Plus, the next time I take Tasha to her groomer, she will probably get a bigger tip!

Until next time..

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