travel treat


photo and writing from 7/19/2012

My sweet Stella is a willing {but anxious} travel companion who fills the car at every turn and every acceleration and every passing with the sounds of suffering.

For her to ride without protest, the road must be smooth; the speed consistent. 

Believe it or not —

I can do this quite often.

So we travel.  Together.  To destinations selected for her pleasure —

As much as my own.

Today we are off to our art farm retreat at our dear friend’s farm in Western Minnesota.   On the way we stop at the Dairy Queen in Hutchinson and I get her a complimentary “pup cup.”

I hold it for her the entire 5 minutes she takes to savor it and imagine, in return, I will receive 5 minutes of peace as we drive out of town.

Put the car in drive and —

Instant whining.

I have to laugh.

How wonderful that her memory is so short!

I know that no matter how uncomfortable she is right now, the second the car stops and her paws hit the farm ground —

All is forgiven. 

Instant happy love. 

Wagging, galloping freedom racing the prairie, overshooting the stick I toss and then coming to a screeching skidding stop, punctuated with doggie sound effects.

Minutes later, she lays with all senses ruffled.  Cool and collected, but at the ready with not just one —

But two sticks tucked under her pretty white-gloved front paws.

Amazing grace.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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