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Canela: A Determined Seeker

By Harry Burrus

On my initial encounter with Canela nearly three years ago, I thought she looked like a tough lady. I quickly learned this sweet-faced, medium-large, brindled “femme d’un certain age is gentle”, calm, affectionate and amusingly endearing. She immediately informed me about her genealogy, mentioning brindle Canelas go way back in history. Canela Nefertiti, Canela de Medici, and Canela von Trapp just to mention three. Canela is proud and comfortable in her own skin—I like that about her.

Our walks begin with a two-step process. Usually in a formal sit, she sees me approaching her casita; she stretches and waits for me to open the door. I rub her head and back and we step outside her abode. She sits again, waits for more attention, and then we’re off. A walk with Canela is a buffet-style smorgasbord. She has that spirit of adventure, asking what the day will provide. Her pace is slow and deliberate. She is a prime example of seek and ye shall find. It is uncanny the morsels she discovers in obscure places: assorted bones, chips, corn on the cob, tortillas, and cheese. Once she found half a grilled chicken, which she eagerly brought to me to share. Even when pickings are slim and her favorite spots have proved empty and I say, “There is nothing here, Little Girl,” she patiently and enthusiastically continues her search.

On one street, we passed a bucket of water displaying the writing “agua para perros.” Canela paused, backed up, and took a long drink. She looked up at me as though saying, “Yes, I can read.”

Walking Canela is a zen-like experience. I don’t need to ponder life; it rushes to me as I accompany Canela. So much is reinforced and demonstrated: the merit in having patience; being curious, pursuing a goal, being unrelenting about it and being okay if it isn’t always reached. The journey was what was important and we will go out again.

Back at her casita, this brown-eyed girl stares at me, anticipating more attention, which I readily provide. I am the true beneficiary of our daily walks and I embrace her attitude and behavior of savoring the moment. Low-maintenance, easy to walk, she belongs in a home where she can be appreciated and treasured; in exchange, she will be your loyal, devoted friend. Meet her at the SPA, Monday-Saturday, between 11am and 2pm, 152-6124.


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