Saluda News & Notations

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, June 27, 2019

In a pine tree,
A few yards away from my window sill,
A brilliant blue jay is springing up and down, up and down,
On a branch.
I laugh, as I see him abandon himself
To entire delight, for he knows as well as I do
That the branch will not break.” 

~ James Wright, from “The Branch Will Not Break” 


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A large blue French pot simmers in the kitchen this midsummer night’s eve: I’m making bone broth for an ailing River Dog. Anyone who loves animals understands the extra mile(s) we take when it comes to sick four-legged friends.  


Of course, I worry-wart when it comes to River’s health, thinking about the kidney disease diagnosis almost two years ago. Last night, I stood with him outside in the firefly-sparkling night, the frogs in concert. Later on, I tucked him in bed with me so I could watch over him during the wee hours. Let’s face it, Dear Reader–it comforted ME knowing River was right there, pressed against my legs.  


Every day is gravy!” River says. I know this. I know it to be true about all of us here on the planet, our world, and how to live life. Dogs just have this notion right, although it takes us humans a long, long time to wise up as much, if ever. This time of year seven summers past, I drove to baking-hot Raleigh to get River from his foster mom with the Shar-Pei rescue. It was mutual love ever since. He’s the first one of my four Shar-Peis to live this long, and has been my right-hand guy from Day One, best friend, willing studio assistant: and on-duty guardian of me, house, and cat.  


That silly tail wags as I pass by, even when he’s feeling poorly. My heart is soft as those round little ears, which I rub with great tenderness…holding each moment close in the heart, knowing time tick-tocks away. Every day is gravy, River says.