They don’t ask for much and give loyal unconditional love at all times – what more could one ask from a dear friend? Some of the animals in my life have been my best teachers – I only hope I have taught them something more than how to “sit” or use a litter box.
Patience, that’s a big one. I am in awe of how my dog Tipu Sultan, the Basenji-Huahua, will just lay there and wait for me – what is he thinking about?? I believe the lesson there is that is really doesn’t matter what he is thinking about, or if he is thinking at all. Perhaps he is a true Buddha, and can empty his mind completely. All that remains is the Love.
Tipu really knows his terpenes, and he has taught me about that. Like all dogs, he will smell anything, deeply, intently, like a real researcher. So I do the same when we are judging cannabis, as we are now, for the upcoming Emerald Cup. First I look at the bud, but it is the smell that really tells the story. So, like Tipu, I smell it from all angles, right up as close to my nostrils as possible, to extract the full power of the terpenes. And, just like Tipu experiences, it often smells like really good shit!
The felines in our family offer a different kind of advice. All they have to do is sit there, elegantly or friskily, while emitting superior vibes that inspire confidence and strength of character. Really, if I knew I could scale the side of a giant Doug Fir tree in seconds flat, I’d be pretty darn cocky too. But they do teach me the ultimate lessons in How To Chill. A good joint is always helpful but nothing slows me more when I am racing about, trying to do too much at once, than to encounter lovely Persian Pashmina the cat lounging on my bed. It is impossible not to stop and pet her luxurious fur coat. Immediately I can feel layers of stress peel away as I am lured into laying besides her if even for a moment – literally recharging my interior batteries to get up and go again.
Billie the cat was definitely one of my best teachers ever. Regal and wise, his equanimity was astounding. Billie was a huge yellow and white cat who was more human than feline. Wait, he’d probably not take that as a compliment, so let me say he was simply the King of Coolness. The James Earl Jones of cats. When he was 17, he started to slow down and loose weight and the vet warned us that he could get spasms as he declined. But, being Mendocino County, the vet kindly also suggested some diluted THC tincture drops to keep them away. Bless her, it worked great and Billie caught on right away that this was good medicine. I like to think he died a happy kitty and I know he never had an uncomfortable spasm, thanks to cannabis. Billie taught me to go with the flow, with style.
When Billie passed on to whipped cream heaven, perhaps the only creature really ready for it to happen was Tyke, aka Dr. Stein. This sleek Tabby had been sitting on the bench as Male #2 for a few years, and now finally he could step up to the plate. All was good for about six months, and then entered Frisco Pisco on the scene, a lively little yellow ball of fur with big round amber eyes. Tyke was not happy, neither was Pashmina, by the new little squirt in town, but then when Tipu showed up a few months later, well, Frisco didn’t look so bad.
It’s a constant lesson, watching them interact and allow for each other’s personalities, up to a point. They don’t hide their feelings, and yet they have learned to share their lives sweetly most of the time. Yesterday I watched Frisco actually play with a rafter of turkeys – at least 20 of them – as they chased one another back and forth. Fearless Frisco would charge into the flock and they would flutter away, kind of giggling and clucking at the same time, and then they’d all waddle over towards Frisco and the game would start again. My life is like living inside a nature show sometimes.
So now I’ll return to judging #234 – hey Tipu, can you help me with these terpenes over here please?