Why you need a dog (or what got me into plant dyeing)
Recently I got heartbreaking news about my beloved dog being very sick. He spent last weekend fighting for his life. He is back home right now, but we know we will have to say goodbye to him very soon. He has cancer that can’t be treated anymore. I decided to take time now to write about him before it hurts too much.
I never thought about how my plant dyeing experiments really developed into my business. Yes, I was inspired by all the amazing Instagrammers, but it was first last week that I realized it was all thanks to my dog Timon. I wouldn’t fall in love with plants and changing seasons if we wouldn’t have our daily walk.
Every single day Timon and I were walking the same way. We were passing same trees and bushes, a big green lawn where he was meeting his friends, we were looking into a small pond nearby. While Timon was sniffing around, tasting all sorts of mud and old bread from the bush, finding questionably smelling “perfumes” and stubbornly ignoring all too active puppies, I was getting to know more and more plants. I was seeing seasons slowly change and I was collecting my first bits of leaves, flowers and berries to experiment with.
It’s all thank to our daily walking routine that my dyeing hobby really flourished.
It wasn’t just about learning new things, though. Having a dog is a joy but it’s also a responsibility. You have to walk him whether is raining or not, on super hot days and when it’s freezing, when you would rather sleep in or when you’re too tired to move. Sounds exhausting? Actually, it’s not. This is the best thing. These walks saved me so many times. They were the best way to relax after a long day, step by step, just walking around and not rushing anywhere. They were the best way to start the day, too, walking slowly and catching the early sun on my face. These walks healed so many of my headaches, back pains, squeezed stomach, racing heart. There is nothing better than having a routine to help you slow down. I don’t think we talk about it enough, but we should acknowledge, that having a pet is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. If you’re having anxiety or depression, a pet can really help you.
In the last two weeks, Timon was already very weak. We were slowly reducing our walks. A slightly shorter route day by day. Now he can’t reach the park anymore, 10 minutes walk is too much of a challenge.
Will there be more dyeing in the next weeks? I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to the park anytime soon. I never went there by myself, he always accompanied me. I know all his favorite spots, I know where he was looking for rats (that were always faster than him), where his favorite mud is, where he was getting bored while I was collecting small plants for too long. I will miss our walks. And I will always be grateful to him for showing me the beauty, peace, and joy of being close to nature. And I will terribly miss him.
As an end note: we adopted Timon from an animal shelter two years ago. He was something between 7 and 8 years old back then. It’s not a long time that he’s been with us, but I see it this way: he lived two very happy years, maybe the only two happy years of his life. If you’re considering getting a pet, please think about adopting one that needs help. You can save his/hers life and yes, you will also drastically improve your own.