Our Better Half

A few weeks ago I did a project for Fractl Media that included my visiting public spaces and interacting with dogs and their owners. I asked them 2 questions, “What do you love about having a dog?” And “What makes your dog happy?” Here are some of my favorites. Fractl_Dogs01Justin Chico Smith and Arkish – Cal Anderson Park, Capitol Hill – “I love my dog because she’s amazing. Dog’s help you with pretty much everything when you’re living how we live, when you travel. Dog people will sometimes just help me out when I’m having a hard time making enough playing music. They provide for themselves completely when you’re living on the streets. A lot of them are service animals for different reasons. When you don’t have a human friend around it’s nice to have a furry friend who will you know, bark if you have a seizure or anything like that.”

MRMelissa Crosetto and Lola – Beacon Hill, Seattle – “She’s been with me through thick and thing, she’s a good girl. It’s good to have someone that’s always there. She’s great to cuddle with, the keeps me warm. I had this tattoo done of her when she was two, five years ago. I love her. She’s happy when she’s tearing up pillows and wreaking havoc in my house.”

Rod Butler – Seward Park, Seattle – “I love having a dog because he’s a great addition to my family. And I enjoy training him. Right now we’re starting to have him trained to sense blood sugar so that he can work with people with diabetes.  I think he’s happiest when he knows he’s making us happy. He’s a people pleaser.”Fractl_Dogs05Maura Shapley and Cici – Beacon Hill, Seattle – “She’s a fabulous companion dog. She’s always there, and she’s always sweet. Before she went deaf she’d tell me if anyone was coming past my door. She kept me alert and aware of people’s coming and going around my shop, and that’s important because I’m there alone a lot.        What makes her happy? Me. She just hangs around with me all the time. She sleeps by the bed. She is not a very intrusive dog, she doesn’t try to interrupt me too much, she’s very content to just sit nearby and lie down nearby, she’s a pretty old dog so she lies down a lot, but she still just loves people.   And, food makes her happy. She’s a food – motivated dog. She eats the lemon cucumbers out of my garden!”JRRyan Peterson – Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill – “They get us outside, even when the weather’s bad, in the winter especially. Being outside with us, and with tennis balls makes them happy.”

Julianne Bukey – Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill – “I love that they are just the most joyful creatures and are equally excited to see us whether we’ve been gone all day at work or for 2 minutes in the bathroom. Being with us makes them happy.”Fractl_Dogs09Brad Ruis and Susie – Genessee Park, Seattle – “I love the companionship of having a dog. He loves coming to the park, and chasing balls, and just going out in general. Hanging out with cats.”12_Patricia_ClevengerPatricia Clevenger and Poppy – Seward Park, Seattle – “I was looking forward to getting a dog for years and years and finally got Poppy here in May from the Seattle Humane Society and since then she’s brought us lots of joy every day. She’s cute and fun.   I think running around in the grass makes her happiest.”VPJeff Miller (and Kiki) – Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill – “What I love about having a dog is that they are such faithful companions. And what really makes her happy is go out and sprint, and being a runner myself, I really like to watch her just tear out, and just really go for it. It’s a lot of fun. She requires a lot of exercise. She’s a bit needy, she always has to be right beside me.”

Madeline Kass – Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill – “They are the greatest companions and they love you no matter what.  What make him happy is chasing other dogs here at the park. Running free. That’s his favorite thing. He doesn’t even chase the ball, he just chases the other dogs chasing the ball.Fractl_Dogs13Cassidy James and Gypsy Rose – Genessee Park, Seattle – “I like having a dog because she makes me laugh, especially when she finds a patch of grass she can roll around on.  Patches of grass make her very happy.”beachJesse Kim & Gus (short for Dingus) – Genessee Park, Seattle – “I love the companionship. I think it’s as close to unconditional love as we can ever get. What makes him happy is being as close to me as possible and causing trouble with other dogs.”

Katherine Hitzman Carter & RJ – Martha Washington Park, Seattle – “I always had a dog, all my life, they’re part of my family.  What makes RJ Happy is being with his people and chasing his car. I use a remote control car that he needs some space to chase because his breed should ideally run 30 miles a day. That’s his job.”Fractl_Dogs16Carolyn Le and Nina – Martha Washington Park, Seattle – “I love having her because she get’s me in the world, talking to people. I’m really active, she’s really active. She’s the sweetest, and people want to meet her so she’s kind of an ambassador. And she helps me meet cute girls. Hands down, she’s happiest swimming and being with people. She’s a Pitbull so she needs that companionship.”JKPat Farell and Blue – Genessee Park, Seattle – “The reason I like having Blue, is that there is something about the relationship that keeps me as honest as I can be. I can’t kinda screw around with a dog, you can’t fool them and trick them, you just have to be really clear with them, and straightforward, and I really enjoy that.  I think the dog park makes her happiest, she loves to be over here harassing all the other dogs.”

Pete Marlow and Odin – Genessee Park, Seattle – “Why wouldn’t you love having a dog? They’re awesome, and they’re always there. It’s unconditional love, you know.  Coming to the dog park makes him happiest.”Fractl_Dogs19Karen Shay and Pebbles – Genessee Park, Seattle – “We just got dogs after having 5 cats, so we are now a 2 dog home. We wanted a dog to have more fun outdoors, even though she’s hairless..    Snuggles make her happy. She’s very affectionate.”

Darjeeling my Darling

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Darjeeling My Darling is the name of a poem Katie, Darjeeling’s biggest fan, wrote about her favorite place.

     When we arrived in Darjeeling it felt like someone had taken a weight off our shoulders. It was relief in a place akin to a ski town in our jostled minds. People were nice, and unobtrusive, we bundled up in wool scarves and socks and drank hot tea with views of snow capped K3 out the window. While we were there we went trekking and unknowingly embarked for Nepal, we paraglided off  the side of a mountain, we saw the town from a new perspective on a cable ride with Caroline and the Aussies boys. We spent Thanksgiving there, and I didn’t expect to do anything in honor of the strange holiday, but I ended up enjoying it more than many years previous. An American, three Canadians, two Australians, and one Brit, we had a delicious Indian dinner and a hot toddy or two and went around the table saying what we were thankful for. Some said the beer, I said I was thankful to be traveling in India and to have met such amazing people to share my travels with.

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