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Hi, all. I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while, not only because I’m a restless soul, but also because I lost my best buddy last week. Taylor was my doggie companion for 14 years, give or take, and a wiser spirit I don’t think I’ve met. She let me know it was time for her to go, and as painful as it was, I let her.

So I’ve spent the past few days thinking quite a bit about her and the silly things she used to do, and about trips we’ve taken all over the country, and time we’ve spent just watching moonrise in the evenings. I found her all those years ago sitting by a highway off the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico, on my way home to Albuquerque from a camping trip to Mt. Taylor (hence her name). I didn’t realize that when I stopped the car that day and coaxed her over, that it would be the start of another journey for both of us. Those of you who have animal companions in your lives, I’m sure, can understand what I’m talking about.

My friends all tell me that Taylor picked me and if that’s the case, then I am indeed fortunate, because I learned quite a bit from her about life, living, and finding moments in each day to treasure.

She taught me peace and patience — two things that I’ve had trouble finding, not realizing that these are things we all have within, and it’s just a matter of remembering where we put them.

She also taught me to take time for all of life’s nuances, including play time, rest, and work. Finding a balance is the key to living well. That’s something else I learned from her. And she would remind me when it was time to take a break from work and do some playing.

And when it was time to get some rest.

And when it was just time to be goofy.

She was with me at several important crossroads in my life, often proving to be a constant, and something that helped keep me grounded and forging ahead on whichever road we took. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having such a wonderful buddy along for the ride. I really miss her, but that’s the nature of some journeys. And that, too, she taught me.

Happy Día de los Muertos, and may the road rise to meet you in your own travels, wherever you go.