Cisco — a Great Dane at 8 months old.
My Dad is a dog lover. In fact, the kind of dog he loves is a Great Dane. At 75 years young, twice a year, he gets in his van, with his current Great Dane (the pup above is Cisco…his third Dane) and drives over 3,000 miles to winter in California. LA is warm, sunny (except for this past winter) and receptive to his gentle giants.
My Dad is a 50 plus. In fact, he is a 70 plus. He is active, vital, and revels in clipping coupons to minimize the costs as he treks cross-country to visit. He was a Post WWII Baby and felt his retirement early, but not as early as my generation will. Still, when I’m able to look objectively at how he manages…on a relatively small retirement income…I marvel at how much enjoyment he is able to pack into every day. He flirts with 50 and 60 somethings at the dog park (parents are divorced) and take his pup with him everywhere. His dog arrests isolation. As a conversation piece alone, the 120 pound “pony” brings men and women flocking to meet the dog, pet him…and of course give my dad lots of affection to boot.
Every year, as he makes the trek, he spends at least a day and a half in Sedona, Arizona. Town of red rock and vortexes, Sedona is magical, mystical…and the last place I would have expected my father to love so deeply. It is quiet, isolated, majestic beyond belief.
It revitalizes my dad every time he visits. When he passed through on his latest trip back to Canada, this time he had Cisco with him. Cisco in Sedona…sounds so right, doesn’t it?
And rather than sense the isolation of this small town in the middle of nowhere, the sheer majesty of Cisco brought out the hoards of dog lovers. Down the main street, through the alleys of Tlaquepaque, storeowners would run out of their shops to see the giant dog. And I realized as he told me the tale, that it isn’t the vortexes that revitalize him in Sedona…it is the warmth and curiousity of the townspeople, who welcome him…twice a year, along with his best friend.