Give A Little Bit

This is Jax. Yes, I know. It’s been awhile since I last wrote to you. But I have been busy.  Getting used to riding in this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV is bumpy.  It is full of drama when things break. Every day.

And I would have liked to write to you earlier, but the Sheriff seems to think that his limelight is more important than a little lemonlight for me.  But after yesterday, the Sheriff decided that I definitely should be given a little time to talk to you. He needed a day off.  Deputy Digby took the day off.  And as Colonel, sometimes, you have to step in.

I have been planning all week to go shopping.  But earlier in the week, our air conditioning in this place started smoking, the refrigerator was only jogging and not running, and the mosquitos literally were carrying us all away.  Did I mention that I am light as a feather?  Digby had nothing to worry about.  So every day I waited.  Was this going to be the day that I could go shopping with Girl Person?  A fan and friend had sent me something called a gift certificate to take to the store.  Girl Person said that I could pick out anything I wanted.  I literally was beside myself.  I used to be stuck in that Claw Machine, and I was the one who people were shopping for.  But now.  Now, I got to do the shopping.  Girl Person loaded me up in the car and off we went.

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In this Myrtle Beach, South Carolina place, going five miles means five years.  But I definitely wasn’t complaining.  This was my time.  My trip. I took in all the sights, and as we pulled up to the store, I wondered. Could I really do this?

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Here I was, about to go into a store to do some shopping, but I didn’t have anything to wear.  Girl Person said that the first thing we were going to do was find a collar for me.  To make me official.  And wow.  Did we ever.  I never dreamed when I was in that box coming over from China or in that Claw Machine, or falling off that cruise ship that I would ever be ok.  But as I looked at the colors available for me for my collar, and I saw blue, I knew it.  Blue was the color of the waves that washed me ashore to Brickle and Digby. And it was perfect.  I was going to be a real dog. Just like Brickle and Digby.

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But that was not all.  We walked up and down the aisles, and as I tried to hide from the prying eyes of the stuffed animals who still didn’t have homes yet, I tried to find the best treats.  I didn’t know what they would like, so we bought many kinds.  I guess you could argue that I am not a real dog because I can’t eat, but let me tell you.  I eat a lot in my mind all day long.  Pizza and pupcorn and steak and eggs are at every meal for me.  So I am the fortunate one.  I can always eat whatever I think of and whatever I want.  Today, I had spaghetti and meatballs and chicken piccata.  But this wasn’t about me.  I wanted to thank the Sheriff and the Deputy for saving me.  And I had a bag of treats to show my thanks.  It was the least I could do.  And I knew.  I just knew.  They were really going to like my new collar too. This giving thing? This was fun stuff.

We checked out and didn’t pay a dime thanks to Aunt Fran, and we were on our way.  The truth was, I never had given anyone a surprise.  Sure, you can tell by my tongue that surprise is my middle name.  Because life is a surprise.  But I was a bit nervous.  The Sheriff can be hard to please, and if the Sheriff isn’t pleased, ain’t no one pleased.  So I asked Girl Person to drive a little slower.

As we pulled into camp and up to the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV, I got my stuff and Girl Person brought the boys out, and all I can say is that they were really happy.  Really.  Happy.

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At first, Sheriff Brickle could not even look past my collar.  I thought that he would think I was trying to be more handsome than he was.  But nope.  Sheriff Brickle gave me a lick, gave my collar the once over (twice) and gave me his paw of approval.  I suppose that all the treats made that happen.  But I did not question it.  Because you see, when you give a gift, and the recipient says thank you, well, that is even better than the gift.

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I know that it is not everyday that a dog like me gets rescued.  I know that people keep making stuffed dogs when there a perfectly good ones out there to be adopted.  But to know that I found my home, even if it is on wheels, makes me feel as good as my tongue is long.  Two rescue dogs named Brickle and Digby made a difference for me.  And now, with my new collar, I feel like I can do anything.  Because I am now part of a family.  And I will never have to ride a wave again unless I am on a surfboard.  Which may happen, I think.

I used to think because I was small, that I had nothing to give.

I used to think because I was stuffed with cotton that I had no heart.  But the truth is, every one of us has something to give someone else today.  A kind word.  An encouraging thought.  A simple thank you.  Or maybe a new collar.  That too.

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Yes, I know that I still have a lot to learn.  But one thing is for sure.  Whatever ride or path my family takes, I will go with them.  And Monday we are headed to New Bern, North Carolina.  Now, let me be the first to tell you.  We aren’t sure how much further this Big Blue Treat Wagon can take us.  We are nervous about breaking down.  We are a little scared.  But we have made the commitment to do this until the end of the year for the rescue animals out there who have a story.  And for Digby who wants to go to the mountains. We are trying to get there, Digby.  But the beautiful part of this No Path Path is that we can change directions or even stop if we have to.  Because as long as we continue to give our all, things will work out.  I know this to be true.  And I know I look good in my new collar.

-Colonel Jax

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  It is known that I can do anything.  If I want to.  Usually, I do not want to if anyone else wants me to.  You know, to look at me, it would seem like I am listening to every word you say.

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And since you think that I am listening, you think that I am going to do whatever it is that you would like me to. But then, I do not.  And well, at least you got to look into my eyes.  that is all I can say about that.

And definitely…most definitely…the signs around here at camp in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina want me to read them. I can read.  But you know?  I don’t think that I can read this sign.

Persons always say that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. And since our dinner time is usually 5 o’clock, and Digby always thinks it is dinner time, no matter what, I tend to agree with this reasoning.  So what is a Sheriff to do when the law says that he can’t go to his happy place during the day?

It is not like I even want to go during the heat of the day, but that is not the point.  The point is though, that well, I uphold the law. So I have to obey the law.  But I am not happy about it. Especially when I have to sit in a shrine to wait til I can go.

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Yes, a shrine. Girl Person says that this shrine is not for everyone to come tell me how great I am, but that she built it to keep out the mosquitos.  The millions and billions of mosquitos.  South Carolina? You have this sign too.  And well, the mosquitos obviously agree.

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So.  Signs.  They are everywhere.

And I am not sure why we have to be told some of the things that they tell us.

If persons can’t think enough for themselves to do what they should do, I don’t know what to say about that.  Other than, sometimes, if a sign presents itself not written down, maybe you should pay attention more to that.  Like yesterday morning when the persons were trying to sleep and the air conditioner started yelling and smoking.

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Yeah, this trip and our journeys have taken this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV to its limit and I suppose all the signs are adding up to changes. And yet, when you decide to go with the flow, you have to realize that you might need a boat to keep flowing instead of the RV.  Especially when you find more stuff wrong with it as the day goes on.

Yeah, sometimes, the signs aren’t so clear to read.

Yeah, some signs tell us exactly what to do.  Like that sign here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  But what if the signs are as mysterious as me?  Not so easy now, is it?

Deputy Digby says that all signs tell it like it is.  But that some of us have selective hearing like when Girl Person tells him he has to cut back on the pancakes.  Or when he has to share with Jax.

But here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we hope to find some more signs to fun, and a place where mosquitos aren’t allowed.  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?  We know that this is going to be a week of fun.  I see the signs of sunshiney, of sand in my paws and blue skies.

Life can’t be perfect all the time like my brindle stripes.  Sometimes your air conditioning stops working  Sometimes, you have to buy every citronella candle in the camp store. Sometimes, you have to take a shower with a spider. Sometimes, you have to take a shower with mosquitos. Sometimes, something blows out under the RV that is causing some big, big time wasting. But if at the end of the day, you can laugh about it, and even at yourself, the signs will tell you that you can do it. Because you have “done it” before. The signs will tell you that you are strong.  Because you have been strong before. And the signs will tell you that you have a clear direction, but only if you just keep following them. Don’t ignore them. They are there for a reason.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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