Tuesday, September 27, 2011

charming places: adventuregirl log day two: her name is bacon

Today was the day that I had been dreaming of. It would be the day I met a girl named Bacon who pulled me by the hand through the desert canyon. My girl, Bacon, is a big girl, all muscle and part Pit Bull and possibly part Bulldog. She’s a happy girl and she lives at the Ivins Animal Shelter.

When I looked online at spas I knew I wanted to achieve change, I wanted to hit the reset button. I wanted to attack my fears. Could I do that? Yes, I could. With help. When I read the daily schedule of events at Red Mountain Resort I knew that this would be a place where I could leave behind the old Taylor and become a strong, self-confident happy girl by doing things I thought I couldn’t do.

One of my fears I would attack today on The Pound Puppy Hike. At sunrise this morning I met our guide and two other guests. We drove over to the Ivins Animal Shelter an extraordinary no-kill animal shelter where twice a week guests at Red Mountain Resort can take the dogs for a hike into the desert. The dogs saw us coming and started barking. They knew why we there. We waited in the lobby as our guide went back towards the dogs. She appeared a few minutes later holding this puppy.

I fell in love with this little girl with the underbite. Apparently many guests at Red Mountain have bonded with their Pound Puppy Hike dog and have adopted them. I understood why. I held this little dog and I fell in love. I was looking forward to walking and bonding with her. I passed the puppy to the other two guests who wanted to hold this floppy, sweet dog. After we got our instructions on how to properly walk a dog through the desert, our guide disappeared with the little puppy into the dog area. We three were excited to see our dogs. Out came our guide with two little puppies, Charlie and Radar who was named for his gigantic Dingo-like ears.

And then Bacon appeared. A big, musclular 100+ pound girl named Bacon who looked like a cross between a baby hippo and a bobcat. A Pit Bull, a breed of dog that I am terrified of. My plan was to walk a little puppy. I was reaching for the leash of one of the small dogs when one of the volunteers handed me Bacon’s leash. I looked up at him about to say “No, you’ve made a mistake. I am here to walk a puppy, a small dog that doesn’t scare the bejesus out of me” but I didn’t have time to say it. As soon as that leash was in my hand, Bacon locked eyes with me, then turned towards the walking path towards the canyon. I’d never walked a big, muscled dog. This is a whole new experience. Bacon knew what she wanted and what she wanted was to run as fast as possible towards a turn that bordered a green grass lawn framed by a two inch wide curb. Why did she want to get here? So she could use this tiny 200 foot long curb as a balance beam. Imagine a baby hippo walking along a thin bridge above a river.  That was my girl, Bacon.

We hit the desert and started walking, the seven of us, the two little brown dogs, their new friends, me & Bacon and our guide. The pairs were figuring each other out, hitting our stride. Bacon and I found our rhythm, we were walking in sync. We stopped along the way for water and cookies. On our way back to the shelter I realized this dog and I were finding our way with each other. I spent my life being afraid of something when all I needed was to get to let go of my preconceived notions and my fear and my girl Bacon helped me do this. I was afraid of something for no reason.  This beautiful, headstrong loving girl had no expectations of me other than “You, you, my new friend, let’s go walk. We’ll walk. Let’s go. Let’s go.” And we did.

When our little tribe got back to the shelter we were able to take a tour of this very special place which had air conditioned individual units for the dogs and a clean, happy looking cat area. The volunteers love this place and the dogs are apparently so happy here that there were several dogs who were adopted but they left their new homes and found their way back to the shelter that treats these dogs like the shelter is their home.

Today I learned that I have unfounded fears. My girl, Bacon, taught me to trust. Trust in myself and someone else. Maybe it was the cookies I gave her but I swear she smiled at me when she turned around and trotted back into her home.

If you’re thinking of adopting Bacon, another dog or a cat try finding your next family member at an animal shelter.

Here was today's full schedule:

7am Detox shake

8-11am Pound Puppy Hike

11a Chiball

12p Weight Loss & Well Being seminar

1:30p Life coach

3p Nutrition analysis

4:30p Weight Loss & Well Being Seminar 2

5:30p Dinner al fresco (blackened salmon, steamed spinach and grilled pineapple)

7p: Adventure concierge planning for tomorrow's big hike

8p: A Good Night's Sleep (stretch and meditation)

9p: Back at room

Tomorrow I’m hiking straight up a mountain alone, just me and a compass.

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