Finish Lines

The view from a recent run.

In my 20s, I had an odd habit of not finishing a good book. I didn’t want the story to end. So I stuck in my bookmark 10-20 pages from the finish to freeze time.

Decades later, I see finish lines everywhere. The artificial ones at upcoming agility trials, and races like a 10K are fun to finish. Mortality, on the other hand, is something I wish I could stick a bookmark in.

My parents have entered their twilight years. My phantom tabby cat, Bruiser Bear, is 20 years old. He’s the last of our original pets who evacuated with us for Hurricane Katrina.

My sweet rescue dog, Ginger Peach, is 14 years old, nearly deaf, and is like my personal stalker, always there and barging in if I dare close the bathroom door. My dream agility dog, Magnum, is winding down his competitive career. He’s 10 years old, and getting frosty around the muzzle and eyes. He’ll make his lower jump height debut at a trial on Saturday.

Ginger Peach (Dutchie), Latte (BC) and Magnum (BC)

On Sunday, I’m running a 5K in a Santa suit with a friend. We’ll be jolly all the way to the finish! To celebrate turning 50 next year, I’m running a half marathon in May 2022 and a marathon as close to my October birthday as possible. These are finish lines of my own choosing to commemorate a finish line outside my control and hopefully still very, very far away.

Perhaps 2022 will be the end of pandemic life. Or not. Sigh … I do know that it will be an exciting year for Spot On K9 Sports and my wonderful students. I also know that I will cross the finish line of a book manuscript thanks to my ongoing DIY MFA efforts. Learning moves you forward, whether it’s dog training, fiction writing or running.

See you at the finish …

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