Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Return of The Muffin Saga, Part XII

As I am writing The Muffin Saga, I am realizing how much my life was intertwined with Muffin's. I really miss my friend.

Muffin stayed at a doggie hotel while I was on my road trip to Tucson for the first part of the certification course for intentional interim ministry. She evidently enjoyed the stay: she had other doggies for company and a very large fenced area to play with her new friends. Of course, I couldn't leave her at my mother’s house. Mom couldn't have taken care of her and Muffin may have repeated the whining, crying, and howling behavior she did while I was hospitalized.

The course in Tucson was a week long, Monday through Friday. Since I had decided to drive to Tucson and make a detour on the way back, I arranged a two week stay for Muffin at the doggie hotel. With my car packed for the trip, I dropped Muffin off at her temporary home on Thursday morning and began following the southern route (KentuckyTennesseeArkansasTexasNew MexicoArizona) to Tucson, a drive of about 1800 miles.

The drive was OK and I arrived in Tucson late Sunday night. The next morning I found the retreat center, which was located in the desert overlooking the city. Recently I located some of the photographs of the center and folks with whom I shared the week:

My small group at Interim Ministry Network certidication course

Meditation trail at retreat center

The chapel at the retreat center

Early morning coffee
View of Tucson from above the retreat center

The return trip to Louisville was longer (2,350 miles) than the trip to Tucson. I drove west to Phoenix to visit a friend, then north to the Grand Canyon National Park where I visited with an Internet friend, then to Bryce Canyon National Park where I visited my son, Rob, and his wife who were working at the lodge, and finally back to Louisville.

I arrived at my mother’s house at about 4:00 a.m. to find the security bolt on the front door. Thus, I entered the back door, setting off the burglar alarm and, I think, awakening folks a block in each direction.

After a good bit of sleep—I had driven straight through from the Kansas border to Louisville without sleeping (about 950 miles)—I went to the doggie hotel where I retrieved a very excited Muffin. When the attendant brought her to me, she pulled so hard on her leash that she almost got away from the young woman. Of course, she wasn't trying to escape; she was heading for me and when I bent down to her I received as much of a wet tongue licking as I had when I returned from the hospital.

Muffin was so excited that we had to take a Muffin walk around the parking lot before getting into the car. She pulled me up to the fence around the outside play area were some of her doggie chums were and said good-bye to them before we left. I felt that I was taking her away from something special: her new friends, human and doggies, and a play area where she could run without a leash. There were so many transitions going on in both out lives that I may have been projecting my own feelings onto Muffin.

However, we were soon off on another adventure—moving from my mother’s basement into an apartment of our own—and neither Muffin nor I had time to reflect on the past.

I shall publish part XIII of The Muffin Saga next Sunday.

To all of my Down Under friends:


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