Fort Worth Nature Center

Since moving to Fort Worth, I haven’t had a chance to do any real hiking, and I’ve missed it. So last weekend I got my butt out to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge for some pretty great trails and views. Here a few photos from the day:

 

 

A Weekend In Photographs

Wagging Tail Commitment

puppy love

puppy love

I had a conversation today with a friend who also recently acquired a new dog. Although our situations are apples and oranges—she adopted a very young puppy; I got a house-trained adult—we had very similar feelings about the idea of committing to these new members of our families.

The conversation made me think about the reasons—the real reasons—why I didn’t get a dog for so long. As people know, I’ve been saying basically since I moved out of the dorms how much I wanted a dog. But, looking back, I didn’t want the commitment. What does it mean to have a dog?

  • It means I’ll never again sleep until 10 in the morning.
  • It means that no matter how nasty the weather is outside, I don’t get to cuddle up and avoid the world.
  • It means that if I have something going on after work, I need to swing home first and take him out.
  • It means I can’t just take off for the weekend with no forethought about another being.
  • It means cleaning up doggy landmines (poop) about once a day for the next 10-15 years. More often if you consider I also scoop the Cat’s litter box every day.
  • It means that I may very well end up with fleas in my home at some point over the decade, not to mention muddy paws, annoying baths and the associated high pet deposits at apartment complexes.
  • It means the risk of chewed carpet, furniture, shoes and (god forbid) walls.

And all of those things really, really suck.

  • But it also means playing fetch and teaching tricks.
  • It also means conversations with neighbors and smiles from strangers, pleas to pet the dog.
  • It means snuggling up when it’s cold outside.
  • It means long walks on nice days—and not on a treadmill! It’s a companion (and a bit of a safety net) to explore new paths and trails.
  • It means puppy play dates with friends.
  • It’s a copilot on those weekend trips, a copilot who helps me explore the world, think differently.

Getting a dog is a big commitment, not one to be taken lightly. It’s a lifestyle change, and not one you can pick up and drop whenever you feel like it. Someone once told me there’s never a right time to get a dog. I agree with that, but I also say that there are a lot of wrong times to get a dog.

I really believe this was not the wrong time to get my dragon. But even if it is, he’s part of my family now, and I’m committed.

There’s A Dragon In My Apartment

Meet Flynn

Meet Flynn

I brought a dragon, AKA dog, AKA Flynn, back from Iowa over Thanksgiving.

I’ve wanted a dog for years, and the opportunity finally came knocking for me to get an already trained 1.5-year-old mix breed who takes up the vast majority of my bed. So I don’t let him on the bed.

Lucky for me, Flynn already knows all about house and crate training, which has made the transition so far ridiculously easy.

He and the Cat have gotten along quite well so far, with the exception of when Flynn accidently smacks him in the face with his tail.

Having a dog brings new dimension to life. Today after work, all I wanted to do was put on my pajamas and watch a stream of movies. Instead, Flynn and I went for a long, leisurely walk, met a nice family (Flynn was a perfect gentleman when he met the two rather small, squeaky girls), breathed fresh air, watched the sunset and got some exercise.

Oh, right, the dragon thing: Flynn likes to hoard his toys, especially when he sleeps. He doesn’t like if they are too far away from him.

So there’s a dragon in my apartment, and I’m planning on keeping him. Unless he starts breathing fire. Then he might have to go. Or I’ll just need to move into a castle that won’t burn down.