Remember that sweet John Denver song, "Sunshine on My Shoulders?" Having been a member of his fan club when I was 8, I do. I know every verse, every note of not only that song, but most of his. And, go figure, I end up making my life in the Rocky Mountain State. Yeah, now you've got "Rocky Mountain High" stuck in your head, you can sing it out loud, but don't try to hit that high note unless you're all alone.
Springtime in Colorado comes along right about now, second week in May. Donning the year's first tank top, I hook up Cutter's leash and out the door we go for a long walk.
I'm so grateful, not just for the sunshine and warmth, but for Cutter's new lease on life. He is getting up there in years, 14 or 15 is a pretty accurate guess. I don't know for sure because he was "mature" when I sprang him from the pen up in Divide, which is right next door to the county jail, appropriately enough. Right at the top of the hill, a good place to put errant people and dogs, I guess. We've been together for almost six years now. Not nearly long enough.
Arthritis was hitting him hard, slowing him down, taking his Border Collie edge away. He ignored balls rolled his way, choosing sleep over play. I took him to a holistic vet who prescribed massage, acupuncture and muscle relaxants, which sounds like a good prescription for anyone for anything, anytime. We tried three weeks of that and as he worsened, I took him back to his old vet, a horse doctor who put him on some real deal arthritis medication, better living through better chemistry.
He's a new dog, or rather, he's my old dog made new again. The doc rolled Cutter's clock back five years.
I don't know how long I'll have him, but I know I appreciate every minute that I do. While I'm having grateful thoughts, I'm so grateful to be back in business! The new gallery is proving to be a good home for my work and me. My new darkroom is a gem, very functional (translation: I've got some new silver prints to show, come see.)
So, spring moves into summer quickly here, short growing season, even shorter tourist season. If you're headed to Colorado again this summer, be sure to stop in and see the new place, the new work, the old dog. And, on a sunny day, if you see a gal in a tank top being led by a border collie with a bounce in his step, wave, it's probably me and Cutter with John Denver ringing in our ears.