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Recently I was fortunate to catch My Life as a Turkey on PBS.  It’s about Joe Hutto, a naturalist who had a basket of wild turkey eggs dropped off at his porch.  He incubated these eggs with the intention of having them hatch and imprint on him, then raising and getting to know this rafter of turkeys over the next year.

The beautiful film follows him as this plan unfolds and he learns a great deal about turkey communication, as well as takes in some new thoughts about how he chooses to be.  According to Mr. Hutto, the turkeys do not peck in a field searching for grasshoppers pondering or dwelling on the past or future, they only know the very moment that is and are attentive to it.  Living it as it unfolds.

This morning as I sit and sip my coffee, I’m reminded of this.  I’m at home for less than 24 hours, situated in a unpack-repack situation having just left a pathology conference where I gave a brief presentation and fixing to head out to Mizzou’s IMPRINT and VET programs to serve as a facilitator.

When I travel I miss my husband and my animal family a great deal.  One of my dogs, Sophie B, is young, tiny, energetic, and variably potty trained rat terrier-chihuahua mix.  As I play with her this morning I thought back to Mr. Hutto, the turkeys, and being present.  Watching the delight in her big brown doe eyes as she manically and repetitively bites down on her toy, her nose turning up and looking piggish, these are the very moments that make this ridiculous dog endearing.  I will be leaving again this afternoon and need to remember to honor these moments, be present, and to accept and love what is.

Tamara Hancock

Dr. Hancock is a board certified clinical pathologist who is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education and a Graduate Fellow in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. She is a 2008 #VLEAlum and previously served as a VLE facilitator from 2010 to 2013. She has been taking a hiatus from her active participation with VLI to focus her energies on finishing her dissertation while maintaining her well-being and savoring time with her energetic two year old.

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