Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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The lighter side of life.

In a world where every day there is news of some new natural disaster or man made trauma, it is important to also see the lighter side of life to keep the beauty and wonder of the world alive in your heart.

For several months, I have been writing a weekly post at Sundays with Beaumont — Conversations with my Sheepadoodle.

As I said to my eldest sister as we were talking about how cheeky Beaumont is, “I find it fascinating how, even though I am the author, I still can’t win any conversation with Beau!”

Reality check. I’m both sides of the conversation! It’s not that I can’t win. It’s just that I like letting Beaumont get the upper hand! It amuses me and his readers.

Given that these conversations create joy and laughter for those who read them, creating them pleases me and brings me into my heartspace where every act of service, no matter how small, is a reflection of what I want to create more of in the world; kindness, compassion, joy and Love.

So, while these conversations are not ‘real’, they serve a real purpose. They remind me to not take myself so seriously. To not be so caught up in taking myself so seriously, I forget to have fun by creating love and joy in the world.

These conversations also remind me that life is precious, this journey brief. It’s important to find the joy in every day moments.

What do you do to find joy in everyday moments? How do you stay out of the quagmire of taking yourself so seriously, you forget to have fun?

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Please join Beaumont and me at Sundays with Beaumont. We’d love to share in the lighter of side of life with you!  Click here:  Sundays with Beaumont  


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Conversations with a Sheepadoodle named Beau.

For quite some time, I have been writing a series of conversations with Beaumont, the Sheepadoodle.

My daughters tell me they’re worried about me. “You know he doesn’t say those things, right mom?”, they ask. Not so delicately I might add.

“Of course he can” I reply.

And while deep inside I know he’s not actually ‘speaking’, I can hear his thoughts. He’s a very expressive dog you know.

In the course of writing down these conversations, I have been posting them on my Facebook wall. The comments are always reassuring — other people believe he can speak too! And they don’t think I’m crazy. (According to my daughters, maybe they do but they’re just not telling me.) But mostly, the conversations bring joy to others. And I love that they do!

Since Beaumont came into our lives just over 3 years ago, I have written over 30 of these conversations, mostly over the past year or so. They give me joy, especially as so many people connect with me over these conversations to tell me of the joy they bring them.

Several people have encouraged me to collect the stories into a book. They’re sure to be a hit, they say.

I’ve begun. It has been my summer project. The compiling of Conversations with a Sheepadoodle named Beau. I’m not sure how I’ll present the photos, whether I’ll sketch them or just leave them as is, but creating this project has been pure joy.

So whether Beau can speak or not, or whether I truly am channelling his voice or it’s just my inner cheeky child having her way or I’m just being silly, the joy of it all fills my heart.

And what could be better than that?

Me:  Beaumont. Come. We’ve got to go.

Beaumont:  It’s nice and cool here in the river. Why don’t you come in?

Me:  Don’t be ridiculous.

Beaumont:  Why is that ridiculous? It’s hot out there. Cool in here.

Me:  It’s time to go.

Beaumont:  Don’t you want to cool off? Kinda seems like you might need to.

Me:  I’m fine. Let’s go.

Beaumont:  You don’t seem fine to me. You seem kind of grumpy.

Me:  I’m not grumpy. I’m just hot and tired.

Beaumont:  I rest my case.

Me:  We’re leaving now.

Beaumont:  As you wish.

And so we left the river’s edge. Beaumont nice and cool and refreshed. Me, not so much.

 


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Beaumont the Wave Chaser

He is a wave hound. A chaser of the curve as it falls over onto itself racing towards the shore.

He follows the line of the water, running at full speed along the beach.

He does not bark. He does not zig nor zag. He runs like a bullet speeding through air, following the wave.

Beaumont loves the beach. He loves the ocean.

As always happens, no matter where we are or who we’re with, I am the first person up in the morning. It is my habit. My way of being.

I treasured those quiet mornings in Tofino. As the sun rose behind the trees lining the eastern horizon, the light advanced in long shimmering lines, reaching far into the western shores of the Island, pushing night’s blanket away from the shore. Beaumont and I would quietly leave our cabin at the edge of MacKenzie beach and walk in the early morning light, down the steps to the golden sand of Crystal Cove. I’d let him off his leash and he would race around me in circles, his mouth open in a great big huge grin, his body quivering in anticipation of the frolics to come, just on the other side of the rocks protruding from the sand. I’d throw his ball. He’d grab it and make a beeline for the first wave washing ashore.

And the fun began.

Ball in mouth, he races along the curve of the water, splashing and leaping in the waves. If there are others out in the early morning light, they inevitably stop and watch and smile.

Beaumont in the waves is a smile making machine.

He does not pay attention to humans, other dogs, birds. Nothing. He only has eyes for the waves, the water cascading over itself as it rushes to shore.

One woman couldn’t resist his antics. She waited patiently to grab just the perfect photo. She walked towards me, camera outstretched to show me. “I’m so excited I caught him leaping in the waters. His smile is contagious.” She showed me her photo and added. “I want a dog just like him!”

Every morning I walked the beach with Beaumont and was reminded of how easy it is to be in the moment, to be present to joy and share smiles with strangers.

Lesson from a Dog: Chase waves. Smile lots. Life is an adventure.


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You gotta show up.

Show up copy

 

Outside my kitchen window, a covey of doves sit on a telephone wire, cooing.

I imagine their conversation. Imagine what it is that has caused them to sit morning after morning on that particular wire.

And in my imaginings, I find the essence of my showing up at my kitchen window every morning.

My job is to pay attention so that I am present to the day unfolding, the world outside my window shimmering beneath the soft grey light of an overcast sky. To smell the coffee brewing and hear the click click of Beaumont the Sheepadoodle’s nails on the hardwood as he wanders into the kitchen in search of his breakfast.

Showing up means being present. Being present requires my attention — and in my attention is the essence of bringing all of me into the moment.

My truth in that moment is I am filled with gratitude. For the doves cooing on the wire. The softness of the morning air. The garden flowing with abundance. The sound of the water in the fountain splashing outside the open window.

I am grateful for the moment of reflection. The smell of coffee brewing. The hot milk steaming in the espresso maker. I am grateful for the cow who gave her milk. Grateful for the ethical farmer who raises and cares for her.

I am grateful for the resources to purchase ethically without worrying about the impact of the cost on my budget.

I am grateful for my husband sleeping in our bed. The dreams that stirred my imagination during the night opening doors to possibility.

I am grateful for Marley the Great Cat winding his warm body in and out of my legs as he vies for my attention. I know he is very attached to the outcome of his admonishment to me to pay attention to him. I feed him so he can get over his anxiety at seeing his dish empty when he awoke.

Outside my kitchen window this morning the doves cooed, the garden was filled with bounty and my heart over-flowed with gratitude.

I have no expectation of this day other than that I continue on my path filled with a sense of wonder and awe, seeking to see the magnificence in all I meet, intent on speaking my truth in love and acting with integrity in all I encounter.

I do not know the outcome of what will happen. I do know miracles await in every breath.

I am blessed.

Namaste.


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A Pup Named Beau

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He is small and cute and soft and cuddly. He curled up in my arms and in one instance, captured my heart.

Not one of the three of us who went to meet him could resist his charm. Not one of us had any doubt — he belongs in our home. He is the one!

He weighs all of 5 – 8 lbs right now and full grown will be about 50.

He is joy and love and wonder and awe and he will be coming home in two weeks and we are all excited.

After visiting with him on Saturday in the home where he was born, just south of Edmonton near a town called Beaumont, we drove back towards Calgary and talked about names.

Oskar. Finnegan. Mulligan (C.C. is a golfer) Fitzgerald (Ellie was named after Ella Fitzgerald and Alexis is a singer). We rode in silence for awhile with one of the three of us occasionally throwing out a suggestion.

Herbert. Max. Snoopy. Digby.

And then, C.C. suggested Beaumont.

Alexis and I both loved it. He was born just outside the town of Beaumont. It can easily be shortened to Beau. It suits him.

Beaumont it is and in two weeks Beaumont will take over our house just as he’s already taken up residence in our hearts.

He is a Sheepadoodle. We met both his parents and they are lovely. Ara is a black and white spotted poodle (she gave the pups their colouring) and Max, the dad, is a big, lovable, happy sheepdog.

We are all so very excited and eager to bring him home and have him become part of our family.

And when we got home that evening, I walked out into the backyard and stood beneath the crabapple tree where a jeweled container of Ellie’s ashes is buried beneath the Buddha statue and told her of our new baby boy’s arrival.

I think she’s happy too. As Alexis said as we drove home, “Ellie would like him mom. She’d want you  to be happy.”

She’s right. And I am.

Happy and excited. Bathed in the joy and anticipation, filled with hope and faith and love.

Beau is in my heart.