On Wednesday night, River and I went to visit a friend of mine in Portland. He has four cats, and River has been a bit rambunctious in the past, but, like true friends, we don’t let our animals’ differences come between us.

We spent about three hours together. I used his kitchen to cook up some of my food and the rest of the time we hung out in the living room. By the end of the evening, two of the cats were lounging on the top of the couch. No one got riled up and there was no charging. The only kerfuffle we had was when the alpha male cat, a big, black one, sauntered into the room and froze in a locked gaze with River upon seeing him. River could take it for a while, but finally broke. Fortunately, I was holding his leash and we were all watching the event play out, so it was easy to circumvent before any damage was done.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with his manners.

Carrots, Beets, Spicy Cheese, Sunflower sprouts, pumpkin seeds, shiitake mushrooms and egg*
*added after the photo

Birthmark (top) and A Crazy Clown Is Chasing You (bottom)

The next morning, as we were coming back to the motel room from our walk, there were two off-leash bulldogs wrestling in the grass in front of our door. We stopped and although I’m sure it was VERY tempting, River made no movement to defy my directive to STOP. Fortunately the owner saw us and grabbed their leashes.  River and I took a short detour around some cars in the parking lot and by the time we got back to the grassy area, the coast was clear.

I had a client who wanted me to come to his house for his session, so I took River to a park beforehand. My hope was to tire him out so he’d be willing to rest while I worked with my client. As I parked the car at a location midway between his apartment and a park, we could hear the sound of chickens coming from someone’s yard. River didn’t know what to make of that, but he kept remarkably calm.

We had a great time and used up a lot of energy at the park. But, just as we were leaving, two young boys ran by and called out to us “I LIKE YOUR DOG” as they passed. River seemed to become very excited by this. He has been taught to give me his excitement, and that he did. He went at me, snarling and gnashing and clawing for a full two minutes probably. I was a bit muddy by then, but he was clearly drained and slept all through our session.

We drove to Eugene via I-5. Usually when in Oregon, I take the coast, but the mid afternoon client in Portland would have gotten me in Eugene after dark by way the coast, so I opted for the highway.

My plan was to do laundry, but after checking in and walking River around the grounds, I learned that there was no guest laundry facility. Fortunately, I was going to meet with a friend, and he was kind enough to take my laundry home, do it, and bring it back to me in the morning. Do I have the best friends, or what?

I had most of the next day free, so I wanted to take River to explore downtown Eugene. I knew there was a big Saturday market with arts and crafts and food and music and I thought it would be fun to check it out.

I drove downtown and was immediately charmed and enthralled by the cute city and how busy and bustling it was. I drove around, wondering which way to go, until I finally happened to see a free parking spot, so I grabbed it.

As we got out of the car, I got seduced by some of the public art and wanted to take some pictures of River. A nice local saw me struggling to get River to sit still near some iron otters and offered to click one of ‘all four of us’.

Me, some otters and my human

Greetings from Eugene

Then I thought it would be a good exercise to have River lie down on the sidewalk outside a pizza restaurant. I stood near him and we just people-watched. He was doing great, but then a woman with a dog came by and sat in one of the outdoor seats. River and the dog were looking at each other, and before it could escalate, I said, “let’s go!” and we took off walking away.

We walked all around downtown, but weren’t allowed to go into the market. But I took the opportunity to practice being calm amongst a lot of activity. Maybe it was the fact that it was a rare sunny day, but for a small town, I was impressed at how alive downtown was.

This was as close as I could get him to that statue

He didn't actually care for the bear much, either.

Eugene is cool

It was at this time that I realized, I made no mental notes of where I parked. And I drove around so much before parking that it was impossible to figure it out based on logically retracing my route. All I could do was wander up and down the streets, hoping to stumble upon it. It was at least an hour of wandering before I finally was able to determine a path, based on the pictures we had taken, and worked our way backward to the car. Thumper was such a sight for sore eyes! I had already started imagining a future without a car and settling down to stay in Eugene. 

Laptime, before leaving for the FreeDance Playshop

We had a small and passionate turn out for the FreeDance Playshop. I had a great time and it was so rewarding to have the feeling that I made a big difference in someone’s life. She had been operating under the assumption that when we FreeDance, we had to ‘dance’. And she didn’t know any moves, so she felt lost and silly. When I explained to her that “anything goes’ and that what she’s doing IS dance, I could see her light up, and I could see her FreeDance vocabulary suddenly blossom.

That night, my laundry friend offered to pick up some Thai food and bring it to my room. It was nice to take a break from my sparse dining experiences. Thai food sounded so wonderfully rich and (imagine) hot! We ate and then stayed up chatting until I was yawning and had to send him home so I could sleep.

The next morning was Goldfinger! The routine grows every time I teach it and imbue it with the Vital Factors from First Degree Black Belt. I never know what it’s going to be, but I know it’s going to be awesome. Today I set the usual focus on the Three Body Weights: The Pelvis, Chest and Head, and I set our intent. This morning our intent was to Know that We are Artists and with Each Movement We Create Art.

Shimmering, Playing, Commitment Finger Crossover, Sqush-walking on the Moon, And doing katas in counts of 5, 3, 6, 9 and even 13!!

After class, I called another friend I knew in Eugene and invited myself over to use his shower. He also made me lunch and offered to put me up for the night. He has a dog, and River isn’t supposed to play with dogs until he’s fully healed in a couple more weeks, but Ahkil is super mellow and actually doesn’t seem to mind being locked in Bob’s bedroom. And River doesn’t seem to mind having run of the rest of the house.


Anonymous said…
1-The eggs had names?

2-Great picture of you, River, and the otters.
Anonymous said…
1-The eggs had names?

2-Great picture of you, River, and the otters.
Anonymous said…
1-The eggs had names?

2-Great picture of you, River, and the otters.

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