Yoda’s Sugar Dust Has Earned Him a New Bed

by Kee Kee on April 6, 2015

in Yoda

IMG_3863Yoda has sugar dust. At least that’s what a sweet southern woman down the street told us in her lazy drawl last year when we were talking with her in her driveway during a pause in our afternoon walk. Not wanting to admit that Yoda’s muzzle has been getting more and more gray, I immediately embraced the term. Sugar dust sounds so endearing and playful – almost like Yoda has been caught sneaking a bite out of a powdered donut.

IMG_0028Yoda’s sugar dust has brought with it other things. Our walks are slower these days and involve more leisurely sniffing than distance. His hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, which is actually kinda nice because he often doesn’t react with a flurry of barking and lunging when noisy motorcycles go by. I’ve added Glucosamine and other supplements to his diet to help ward off any stiffness that inevitably comes with age. Every once in awhile when it is time to jump into the car, he’ll pause and shoot me a look that I know means “Will you please lift me today? I’m a little stiff and could use the boost.”

IMG_0020He also naps a lot. He breaks up the day by often switching napping locations: on the sofa, on his bed, on the deck, on my bed, on the guest bedroom bed, and on the landing half way down the stairs where he can lay in the sun and stare out of a giant picture window to watch the squirrels playing in the trees. Don’t get me wrong, he also still has many bursts of puppy-like playfulness. He’ll awake from his naps with a spurt of energy and want to play tug with his rope or will madly shake one of his stuffed toys around.

IMG_0017I’m hopeful he has many years ahead of him, and with that thought I want to make his sugar dust years as comfortable as possible. He’s earned it after all the miles he’s logged napping without complaint somewhat uncomfortably in the back of Princess Leia the Prius. One idea lodged in my head about a year ago that I haven’t been able to shake. I wanted to buy Yoda the crowned jewel of dog beds: a TempurPedic dog bed. But with its hefty price tag (including shipping) of $377.79, I kept putting it off. After all, that’s about $20 more than I paid for my generic king-sized memory foam mattress, and it took awhile to process that Yoda’s bed would be more expensive than mine. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, I bit the bullet and ordered one. It took a long time to receive (sidenote, if you order one, order directly from Orvis, as you’ll get it a lot faster than if you order from Tempurpedic, as they have to wait to receive it from Orvis before they ship it out). From the minute it arrived, I’ve been hard pressed to get Yoda out of it.

IMG_0024He still moves from place to place during the day to nap, but he spends more quality napping time in the new bed than in any other place in the house. It’s a nice feeling to have absolutely zero regrets about my big splurge on Yoda. In fact, he’s laying in his new bed right now. He just opened one eye to look at me over his sugar-dusted snout before he let out a loud happy sigh and fell contentedly into the latest nap of the day.




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Pie Town Village Sign

It’s only when we allow ourselves to be lost that we can really truly find ourselves. I figured that basic truth out by accident. When Yoda and I first left on our five month road trip, hitting the open road was an act of desperation. I was running away from my broken life. I was more lost than I had ever imagined possible, and by leaving the life I had lived for the previous 15 years I essentially dove deep into the dark abyss of the unknown and become even more lost by driving around the country without a plan. I surrendered to the unknown because I had no other choice. It was only through that surrender that I was able to shed parts of my life that weren’t working and allow those parts that were working to grow.

It’s been over four years now since I left my old life behind, and I’m still rebuilding and still learning to live an authentic life. It takes a lot of courage to live a life that is so radically different than the life I had scripted for myself when I was younger. I draw a lot of courage to keep striving for a better tomorrow from the stories of other people who have likewise turned their lives upside down and worked hard to create new futures for themselves.

Kathy & Kee KeeI met one of these people last summer when my boyfriend and I were road tripping to New Mexico’s hot springs. We intentionally veered off course and drove to Pie Town, New Mexico, a hamlet with a population of only about 153 people, to meet Kathy Knapp, the owner of the Pie-O-Neer Café. I had long heard about Kathy and the delicious pies that she bakes from my friend Beth Howard (author of Ms. American Pie and Making Piece). Little did I know that by meeting Kathy I would not only be filling my belly with pie, but I’d be filling my soul as she shared her story with me.

Pie and coffeeWhen we met Kathy, she greeted us with warm hugs and then promptly served coffee and three slices of pie for us to devour as we got to know one another (coconut cream pie, cheery cherry pie and very berry pie). Kathy used to be a very successful business woman in the advertising industry. The short version of her story is that she owned a thriving jingle company and split her time between Dallas and California. Yet despite the financial rewards of her career, she wasn’t happy.

building exteriorIn 1995, while on vacation with her family, she drove through Pie Town and discovered that the town had no pie. Her mom was convinced that a town named Pie Town needed pie, and so together they bought a defunct trading post and turned it into the Pie-O-Neer Café, which her mom operated while Kathy continued her big city corporate life. Years later, Kathy was finally ready to admit that she was wanted more out of her life than her life was giving her. So she left her business and moved to rural New Mexico to take over running the Pie-O-Neer Café. It wasn’t an easy transition at first, but over the years everything began to fall into place.

packing piesKathy is funny and energetic, and has that certain glow about her that I’ve begun to recognize in people who have dug down deep to figure out what will make them happy, done the messy work to heal themselves, and learned to fully embrace their authentic selves. She’s the first to admit that living in a dusty rural town in the middle of New Mexico wasn’t the life she initially pictured for herself. But it is the life that now makes her wildly happy.

bumper stickerIn our initial e-mail exchange when I told Kathy I was coming to Pie Town to meet her, she said “We pride ourselves on making pie that makes you feel better… body and soul.” She was right about that, meeting her and eating her pie really did nourish my soul. I really think it’s because Kathy infuses her pie with the passion and love that she has for her new life.

**A short film about Kathy, “Pie Lady of Pie Town,” is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. I can’t wait to see it!


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