More Montana: Helena to Kalispell

For someone who considers himself largely a 'homebody', I sure do get around a lot.
Today I woke up in Helena and took River for a romp near the pear tree that's on the motel property.
The class I was teaching was a five minute drive away, so I put on my Amazing clothes, packed up the car and headed to Gentle Healing Wellness Center where I was met by my host, Kathryn.
I taught Amazing to a group of over a half dozen and the feedback was that it was "Beyond Amazing."
And the students in Helena wanted me to be sure I thanked all of the contributing communities for their contribution to the routine.   I have. And I did again when I visited each place. And I will again at the end of this journey when I'm home again. Thank you! 

After class, I took a shower in the Wellness Center and took off for parts north.
I passed through Helena National Forest, Lolo National Forest and Flathead National Forest. 

 I also passed by several lakes, including Seeley Lake, Flathead Lake and Swan Lake, pictured below.

As we waited in line to check in at the Motel 6 in Kalispell, River reacted to a man who walked in. I was in full control of River, but the man was not releasing his eye contact with River, so I could only appease him so far without going outside. I told the man, "it's best if you don't look at him." He said ok.
Another man in line asked, "why? Is he drugged up?" (I'm not sure of that logic)
But I started to explain, "When you make eye contact with a dog, it's a challenge..."
But he immediately disagreed with me. Citing his experience of owning six dogs and staring into their eyes all the time. I tried to explain that just because his dogs had accepted that his eye contact was non-threatening, doesn't mean that's not the message.
He was so insistent on refuting me that I dropped it before finishing my explanation that if two dogs are making eye contact with each other, there's going to be a fight. It is not polite in dog parlance to hold extended eye contact, even in the best of situations.
But the guy who was originally the subject of River's ire, didn't seem to need further explanation. Still, I'm surprised that I had to take it that far as to have to tell the guy to please stop annoying my dog. I'd think when a dog is snarling and gnashing at you, it wouldn't take too much intelligence to understand that disengaging from him is a good idea. Sometimes, I'm exhausted by the depths of people's arrogant ignorance.

After our conversation, the disagreeing man held extended eye contact with River a few more times. Fortunately, River was calm enough to let it go by, but I could tell by the way that River was returning his gaze that he wasn't getting 'warm fuzzies' from the guy. I figured the guy was attempting to prove his point by getting away with staring at River.

I'm working on not getting upset when I encounter stubborn refusals to learn, but every once in a while someone sneaks in and finds my buttons. I was grumpy for an hour after that.

I snapped out of it when I started eating my Thai pizza. With peanut sauce, basil chicken, mandarin oranges, red peppers and cilantro, it was a tantalizing tastebud treat.


Kathryn Kelley said…
So great to see you again, Jason! Thanks for a great class. And, interesting that folks argue with the OWNER of the dog. Sounds like you kept your integrity and impeccability. wishing you a safe journey forward and delight in all that sacred mother earth celebrates in you.

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