Flying poodles and swami-wannabes

Here we are, as if beamed up from sultry, green Cabot, Vermont, and plopped down in the middle of dry, brown Southern California – the whole dreaded process of getting back here already a mere, distant hallucination. Isn’t that always the way with alien abductions? (Hey…wait a minute…I think those were poodles…) In truth, it was a full 24-hour “beaming” process, complete with a five-and-a-half hour car ride, lunch at brother John-boy’s and Pat’s on the Cape, an hour-plus trip to Providence Airport, and a nine-hour transcontinental plane flight with layover and plane change in Chicago, all with two tiny, nervous, curly-haired excuses for dogs, one overly-emotional, hand-wringing excuse for a Taoist woman, and one rational man.

Here’s the thing that frosts me – everything I expected could go wrong on such a trip, for the most part simply did not. I am not complaining, don’t get me wrong, it’s just all that time I diligently invested in figuring out what I would do if this, or worse yet, even that, happened! So Eric says, (lovingly, of course), “When are you going to figure out that worry and angst don’t accomplish a single thing, except to rob you of sleep, peace-of-mind, healed cuticles, enjoyment of the moment, hair, youthful skin, regular bowels, laughter, maybe even a coupla teeth, and possibly years off of your life?” As much sense as that makes, in preparation for this whole trip, I wrote “Worry all the time” in the number one spot of each and every to-do list. (Okay, not really, because I never need reminding for that.)

Of course, I played it off to everyone, everywhere that I wasn’t worrying at all, that I had truly become enlightened as to the fruitlessness of worry. I told everyone that I was simply letting go, letting things unfold as they should, or will, or want to. And, oh, how good it felt, I insisted! How liberating! And, with that Deepak Chopra-like smile of heightened awareness I’d carefully cultivated, I said that I was going to just hang loose, go with the flow, chillax, as if I were some sort of wise and tranquil swami – with the idea that if I could just walk like a swami, act like a swami and quack like a swami, maybe I could actually be a swami! Ha. A swami who, in secret and shame during the wee hours of the cruel and unrelenting darkness, when something as insignificant as a hangnail seems magnified to the point of impending global disaster, practically peed her swami pajama pants with worry about EVERYTHING, as her dear, truly enlightened hubby blissfully slumbered, breathing peace and calm and wisdom into his CPAP, right there in the bed next to her. (Show off.)

So, yes, perhaps I have finally learned that worry is dumb. Originally I worried about how the dogs would handle the road trip across the country. That went swimmingly. Fun, even. Then I worried how they would fare in the woods of Vermont. Nary a glitch. They LOVED being there – loved our walks up the mile-long driveway and back, loved running free all over the acreage around the house. Mikey, brave and fierce protector that he is, loved barking his head off while charging robins and chickadees. They got more exercise in two months than I think they have had in their whole lives. They seemed happier than they have ever been. And not one wild thing ate them up! So, okay, FINE. All that went fine. I admit it. That left worrying about the dreaded plane trip home. But now that we are here, on the other side of fear, unscathed, Eric says, “I guess there’s nothing left to worry about, right, Sweetie?”

Hmmm…I’m sure I’ll think of something. I guess I can worry about what will happen when it is blizzarding, or hailing, or 30-below this winter in Cabot, and poodles have to poop. What then, Friar Tuck? Hmmm? Hmmm? Or how about the possibility of Donald Trump for president?? Now THAT deserves (rightfully) many, many sleepless nights. And if he is elected? I may never sleep again. (I wonder how the poodles would like Canada? But that’s a blog post for another day…or not.)

I guess what I really need to understand, is that not worrying does not insure that nothing will go wrong. Neither does worrying. I can worry all I want, or not worry all I want, to the exact same result. And, of course, I’ve been over and over this clichéd truth, (even in previous blog posts) an infinite number of times. (Which, of course, shows how absurd it all is, since, according to a highly sage, lifelong friend of mine, infinity doesn’t even exist.)

So, that – the complete ineffectiveness and absurdity and waste-of-time-ed-ness of worry – is the thing I need to wrap my swami-wannabe mind around. But don’t you lose any sleep over that. I’m working on it…


Who knew poodles could fly…

At our gate


Ever been HERE before??


On de plane…


Jimmie stayed zipped in his crate under the seat in front of me as quiet as a church mouse for the entire plane trip (probably in a state of catatonia, but I prefer to think he just settled in and took a nice long nappy). Mikey, however, cried and scratched during the two take-offs and landings, when he HAD to be zipped and stowed under the seat, but after each take-off and until each landing, Eric put the crate on his lap and let him stick his head out, and he did fine. He even laid down and went to sleep, with Eric scratching his belly. The flight attendants either did not notice (I tried to hide him with my jacket) or they pretended not to notice. Whichever – thank goodness. I would have cried, too, if I had had to listen to him struggle in the crate the whole way. We even got to use our drink coupons and have a glass of wine and a beer!

A poodle takes in LAX.

Back in the OC…



“Don’t sit under the orange tree, with anybody else but me…”



9 thoughts on “Flying poodles and swami-wannabes

  1. I am all too familiar with worry. It used to be my middle name. It doesn’t rule me every day any more, but I have to work on letting go almost every day. Nice to know I have company. Thanks for this post.

  2. :-)
    Entertaining and enlightening. I guess you are lucky those two boys are not standard poodles. Don’t the large dogs have to spend the entire trip in a crate down with the luggage? And, during the hot months, the airlines won’t let large dogs fly.

  3. Thanks, Connie! I think if I had a dog that would be required to ride in the cargo hold, I would just drive back and forth. I feel so terrible for animals that have to travel that way. They must be terrified.

  4. Thanks, Kathy! Letting go of worry is an ongoing project for me, as well. But even though I make fun of myself in this post, I am also doing much better than I used to. I get intellectually that worry is a complete waste of energy, but it has been such a knee-jerk, conditioned response in me since I can’t remember when, that it is something I must consciously work on every day.

  5. I hear you both!! ^ I was brought up to worry! It was ingrained in me, from a very early age, by my parents and siblings, even other relatives, and the insecurity and self doubt that grew from its presence, made me the introverted individual who missed out on so much of life.
    I, too, understand the power, control and waste of obsessive worry, but, realization alone is not enough. Like an addiction, overcoming that particular demon, is a day to day battle.
    Nice to know we have sympathizes, girls!!!

  6. Loved this, as I do all your witticisms, my friend, the word wizard! As my dear departed Daddy always said to my worry-wart Mom (which I suppose excused his ability to sleep through violent storms, tornadoes and most probably any earthquake that might have come along), “Worrying never solved anything… just makes you lose sleep. …and look like HELL the next day!” Glad you are all safe and sound in CA, and that Mikey didn’t go Cujo on you while airborne. Keep us posted…l can hardly wait for the next installment!

  7. It’s true that worrying doesn’t solve anything, but it is also such an involuntary thing when you wake up at 3:18 a.m. I haven’t figured out a way to internalize what my rational brain says about that. In fact, that only makes it all the more infuriating, knowing that it accomplishes nothing but worrying nonetheless. That, and making me more wide awake at 3:18 a.m. So, I’m with you on that particular journey. And, like you, am grateful to be with someone who can sleep soundly and be reassuring when he’s awake.

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