Bring Me A Higher Love

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  I learn more about myself every day. I thought that I had all my likes and dislikes figured out.  Because you know I love the ocean.  You know I love the sand beneath my paws.  But I am finding out with each destination that we go to, that I am deeper than what I even thought.

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I am learning that I am a complex man…or dog…whatever you wish to call me, and that it is possible to love more than one place.  I am learning that it is possible to broaden your horizons.  You just have to hold on tight and not close your eyes.  For even a moment.

I am learning that when you find yourself in the mountains of Virginia and traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway, that the higher you go, the higher your love becomes of this place.

You see, I think I was distracted by my love of the ocean and the beach to allow more than one favorite place in my heart.  But as we traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday, it became known…my heart was feeling some feelings.  I was feeling this place.  I was liking it.  A lot.

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It is not often that you can look outside your window and see the beauty that is here.  Mountains and trees as far as the eyes can see.  You can’t help to realize that if you have the chance…to these mountains you must go.

There should be no choice if you have a choice to see them.

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What I realized as we were driving for hours yesterday looking at the views that went on for miles was that even if you only saw a part of this place that it would change you. Kind of like if you only saw a little of me.  You would forever be in awe.

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And then when we got out at the creeks and the streams and had our picnic on the rocks overlooking just a part of this place, I felt deeper as a man…or a dog.

I felt higher in my understanding that this world may have even more than I like.  I just don’t know about it yet.

If we only have a little view of the world, how do we know what else is out there for us?  If I would have not come to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, I would have not known how much I loved it.  And that part of my heart would have been empty.  I just would not have known why.

Life has a way of bringing us to a higher understanding, whether we want to understand or not.  Sometimes, something can happen to us that leads us to places we didn’t want to go.  Or at least we thought that.  But when you get there, climb as high as you can go and look at everything with your whole heart.  Only then will you be able to see why you ended up there.

We are just starting on this trek on the Blue Ridge Parkway!  We have traveled as far as Roanoke, Virginia, so we have many more miles to go!  We know we will be learning even more along the way.  So pack those cookies, and let’s keep going!

-Sheriff Peanut Brickle

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The Little Bear’s Picnic

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  You know, they say that everyone is from somewhere. Even a bear. They also say that bears don’t take peanut butter cookies and try to hide those cookies from you on a picnic that you were not invited to.  But “they” would be wrong.  Let me tell you the story of a little bear and his picnic in the Virginia woods.

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Once upon a time, we were hiking in the woods of this Virginia place. We climbed and climbed all of the hills until we reached the top of one of the tallest hills. It was one of the greenest hills. It was one of the most lonesome, benchiest hills with a lone bench for one butt or two small ones.

We were able to look down and see for miles. Deputy Digby Pancake’s little legs were already shaking from the exertion, and he was shaking them even more to request a bit of nourishment from our hike in the form of pancakes.

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I knew that at the end of the hike, Girl Person had promised me some fresh baked peanut butter cookies. And well, I was saving my appetite for those cookies. This physique that I have doesn’t come easy.

As Deputy Digby had his pancake snack, and I had my low-carb option, we surveyed the path down the hillside. I was eager to go and get my cookie reward. So I put my butt into gear. But then we were stopped in our tracks.

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There was a sign that warned of bears. And as a sign reader, I took this seriously. You see, when you are a visitor in the woods, you follow the house rules. I knew to stay on a leash. I knew not to throw food at him. But now Girl Person was a little worried. Should we even be carrying food in our backpack? What. About. Those. Peanut butter cookies.

Girl Person looked at me, and the Deputy looked at us with a full belly of pancakes. This was an emergency. We had to put the cookies where they could not be found by a bear. In our bellies.

Now, as law enforcement, I am not one to argue with emergency orders. I give them, I bark them out. And we had to eat these cookies fast. And fast we did. Girl Person said that in the time of an emergency, you gotta do what you gotta do. And we did. But we ate so fast and tried to get out of there so fast that protocol failed. As I looked back at the benchy bench and the vista view, I saw it there. One lone peanut butter cookie that had been dropped.

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No matter how I tried to convince Girl Person to turn around, she ignored me and kept telling us that we had to get home. Well, I finally gave up as Deputy Digby pulled us down the hillside, and I could only look back longingly one more time at the cookie lost. The cookie never meant to be. The cookie of all cookies that could have been the best cookie I had ever had. And it was left. For the bear. I knew it.

Now, if you have ever been sad at love lost, or love not returned, you know how I felt about that cookie. But it was not meant to be. And the day went on. The afternoon went by. I tried to sleep it off. And yet, I could not forget about that cookie. The bear’s cookie.

Time went on as it does, and when we got up, Girl Person told us that we were going on a new hike. We got in the car, and as we drove down the road, we saw him. We saw his butt…big because of eating. That. Peanut butter cookie. He turned around, saw us, and as he ran and Girl Person stopped to watch him, I knew where he was going. Oh, I knew where he was going. He had saved that peanut butter cookie just until he saw us. He had packed himself a picnic. And he was off! His little butt that would not have fit on that benchy bench was out of there, and he was gone! Gone to have his picnic without us.

If you would have looked at Deputy Digby, you would have seen the look of fear in his eyes. Because for Digby, a picnic without a pancake is just not acceptable by any means. He is afraid of anything without a pancake. And a bear picnic wasn’t important to him. In fact, he thought a picnic like this would simply make his breakfast late.  And I was left with the knowledge, all alone, that the little bear with a big, peanut butter cookie appetite was off to his picnic in the woods without me.

If you have ever been in love with even a cookie, and no one else knows your pain about it, well you knew how I felt.  I could only picture him with his picnic blanket, a jar of honey, and a peanut butter cookie for dessert that day.  I knew he would be licking his bear lips and smacking his bear tongue, just savoring that cookie.  And I made it my goal to one day find that bear. In my dreams.  Because I was going to heed that sign as law enforcement to leave the bears alone.  Even if they had my cookie in their belly. Which we should not have dropped in the first place.

So little bear with a bigger butt than yesterday?  I hope that your picnic in the woods was made better with my cookie.  I also hope that you don’t come looking for more.

Maybe in life, we can’t have a picnic every day like the little bear.  But if we appreciate even the things like one peanut butter cookie when we find it, how much more sweeter would life be?  If someone tells you that you don’t have time for that picnic in life, run like that little bear ran into the woods with my cookie.  And enjoy it.

Now. I am not one to hold grudges. Only cookies.  So meet my new friend Cookie from the park.  I have a feeling we are going to have many picnics of our own. Together. And he can’t eat many cookies.

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-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

We are headed out to see more of the Blue Ridge Parkway! Stay tuned!

We want to give a special thanks to the wonderful people at The Wildlife Center of Virginia for all they do!  Find out more about them here!