Hello from Addie!

Hi Everybody,

My mom’s quite behind in life at the moment, so I thought I’d say a quick Hi until she gets back to the next chapter of my journal. She’s been especially frustrated this week because her computer crashed on Sunday and she hasn’t worked on her memoir all week. But the computer’s back home, all better for now (it’s pretty old and she needs to get a new one!) and she’s happy today.

Because she’s been running around all week on errands, we didn’t get to have our long walks for the past two days. We did the short ones, but you know there’s nothing better than a long walk. (Well, maybe chicken and snitching some cat food from Button.) But, back to the long walks, especially when there are loads of great scents for me to follow.

So today was such a great day. It was cold when we walked this morning but, boy, after lunch I spent an hour in my fenced in half-acre yard and it was just great. I started barking and sniffing as soon as I got off my leash and couldn’t keep up with myself as I followed the deer scents. You can’t believe the deer that had been in there. It was wild!

Mom went up to the house to get some computer work done, then came out and said my favorite words, “Want to go for a walk, Addie?” Well, almost my favorite words. My most favorites are when she smiles and says, “Ready to eat?” and has my filled bowl in her hand. I stand on my back legs and dance all the way to my feeding area.

I look up at her with pleading eyes and wag my tail, then stay very still as she clicks on my leash. She laughs and says, “Addie, you are the cutest little girl in the whole world!” I’m beginning to like it here more and more.


So we cut through a field to get to Castle Rock Road so we don’t walk on our road, where some drivers are really nice and slow down for us. Others never do, though, and they frighten me. I have to stop for lots of great smells on the short cut—I wag my tail faster than some of those speeders—until we step out onto Castle Rock, a very long, quiet country road. Home is quiet, but this is a different quiet.IMG_20171027_164426217

The sun is warm and the sky is blue. The air moves slowly and feels so good. The only sound is the breeze gently loosening the yellow and rust colored leaves, like a soft rainstorm. Once in awhile a leaf spins slowly down and I watch it to be sure it’s not something I want to chase, like the squirrels I see on this road all the time. The only other sound I hear are walnuts thunking to the ground once in awhile.

Then we pass the house with the big, old hound dog who used to bark for hours at a time and drive Mom crazy while she was writing. But he’s old now and hardly ever barks anymore. Today he barks at me, though, and I watch as he runs to the gate of his pen. I’m not afraid; I’m used to him now and know he won’t hurt me. I’m learning how good it feels to be safe.

We walk for a little more than a mile on the up and down hills and around S-curves. Squirrels are here and there. I always stop and watch them closely but don’t chase them. Sometimes I see five or six deer in one mowed meadow we pass and stand still as I stare at them and they do the same. I never get tired of walking and I best like the places I know. Mom took me to a park last week. There were no people or animals there when we arrived but I was so frightened when she lifted me out of the car, I sat down and wouldn’t move. She said, “Okay, Addie, I guess it’s not time yet to come here” and she lifted me back into the car where I felt safe. Later I heard one of the family say I might have been overwhelmed by the scents of so many other dogs, even though none were there. Yes, that was part of it.

But, back to today. So we both happily walk. Mom watches me and smiles, knowing how happy I am. Sometimes I stop and sniff the air. She has no idea of the wonderful scents that are here.


Other times I like to climb up a bank so I can sniff and watch what I sense is there, usually a squirrel. Often I want to climb higher than the leash will let me. Mom doesn’t usually climb the banks with me because they can be tricky and she might fall. Today, though, we both climb a bank and walk on the surface above it.

We had such a great walk today. I just had to tell you. Mom told me she’s writing my story in a journal and that many of you are interested in how I’m doing. Well, I’ve come a long way since June. I know I have more healing to do, but mostly you to know how great it is to know you care about me. Mom will tell you more when she gets back to writing my journal. Meanwhile, thank you for caring about me. Mom says that there have been angels in her life that she never got to meet, but that she loves them. I feel that way, too.

Love, Addie





About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
This entry was posted in Animal friends, Courage, Grace, Gratitude, Kindness, Mystery, Nurturance. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hello from Addie!

  1. What a delightful post! Love reading Addie’s voice … and “Mom watches me and smiles … She has no idea of the wonderful scents that are here.” makes me chuckle in recognition. We humans can only guess! And spend time with dogs to tweak our curiosities, right? Please give Addie some heat pats for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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