~ In Loving Memory of Pele ~

“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 28: New Year’s Resolutions?

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

It’s only the first month of the new year, and Scarlett is already creating a commotion at the Lodge!

When I arrived here this morning, I was surprised to find a small group of dogs huddled against the fence, heads tilted in united confusion and exchanging astounded barks. As I hesitantly approach the excited throng, I catch a glimpse of Scarlett’s golden fur gleaming in the weak sunlight.

What could she be doing to attract all of this attention?

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“Bing, you’re just in time! Scarlett’s finally lost it!” Max exclaims, leading me to an opening at the front of the fence.

Scarlett stands there, completely still, her posture bent in a deep, rigid bow. Her breathing is shallow and strained, but there’s a focus in her glittering gaze that I’ve never seen before. For what feels like minutes I’m rooted to the ground, waiting for her to make the slightest move.

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What is she trying to accomplish?

“Hey, Your Majesty! Looks like your legs are shaking a little!” Max calls out, a huge smirk on his long snout.

Scarlett’s mouth twitches, but she manages to contain her anger.

His smile slowly falls. “She’s no fun today…”

“Do you think she’ll be okay? That position can’t be very comfortable!” I say, taking another step towards the fence.

“It doesn’t matter! When she sets her mind on something, she’s too stubborn to quit,” Max says, dropping to the ground with a disappointed sigh.

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All of a sudden a massive sneeze wracks Scarlett’s tiny body, disturbing her careful balance and sending her face-first into the turf. A wave of silence envelopes her captivated audience before their shocked barking fills the freezing air.

Max leaps to his feet, an unusual concern in his eyes.

We’re both relieved when she finally stands, her pride the only thing damaged in the fall. I’m surprised when she silently resumes her earlier position, eyes closed as she takes slow, deep breaths.

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“What do you think you’re doing? Do you want to get hurt?” Max shouts, his brows furrowed with worry.

“Ahem. I am practicing yoga and would prefer as few distractions as possible. Your incessant mocking is disrupting my meditation,” Scarlett answers in a surprisingly serene bark that sends Max storming away.

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“Yo…ga? Isn’t that the white stuff humans eat?” I ask, touching my nose to the fence.

“Oh, Bing. I really must instruct you in matters of culture. You spend far too much time with uncouth mongrels! Yoga is an exercise that invites its practitioners to meditate and reflect on their innermost thoughts and feelings while holding certain poses. It encourages a connection between the mind and body, and it has reduced all my stress.”

There’s a connection between the mind and body? I really was uninformed!

“I’m glad it’s reduced your stress, but what made you start in the first place?”

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Scarlett slowly moves out of her bow and meets me at the fence.

“It’s my New Year’s resolution. Mother started doing yoga last week, and we like to practice together in the morning.”

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New Year’s…resolution? What is that? It sounds terrifying!

“Princess Scarlett, what is a New Year’s resolution?” I ask, my bark quivering with fear and awe.

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She releases a heavy sigh. “You poor boy! A New Year’s resolution is a commitment you make at the start of a new year for your own self-improvement. It is all about helping you become the best version of yourself.”

The best version of myself…

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For so long I’ve felt like a clueless beagle, and this only confirms my suspicions. I’ve probably been doing everything wrong my whole life! But how can I change that?

It’s not like there’s a wise, older beagle who can guide me towards the right path…

“There is an older beagle who visits the Lodge,” Scarlett says, eyeing me with a mixture of doubt and pity.

“Wait! How did you know what I was thinking? Are these the powers yoga gives you?” I ask, totally mystified by her perception.

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“Well, if you would like your thoughts to remain private, perhaps it would be better not to speak them aloud,” she says with a tiny smile.

“Who is this older beagle you mentioned?”

“His name is Pele. But I hardly think you would learn anything of value from –”

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Suddenly an old beagle appears behind Scarlett, towering over her with a thoughtful expression on his snowy white face.

Could this be the wise beagle, Pele…?

…to be continued…