It’s not often that I don’t have a dog or two -or 5- near me. One could say they must follow me because I have food -and I sometimes do but I often don’t and I don’t share all the time. I also am not the person who feeds them most of the time. My husband and my kids do that job. But our dogs (my dogs) are my comrades. Lemon our yellow Lab prefers the company of my son -Luke- and I am her second choice when he’s not home -I love their love for eachother. The other pups -my boys-are my shadows much of the time. One might move to a cooler place on the floor in the hallway outside my office or bedroom- but they are always near me. Is it because I’m their leader? Am I their leader? I don’t know what they think. I’ve always had a comfort being around animals especially dogs. But my husband always is amazed that they follow me around like the I am the Pied Piper.
It’s something that I don’t take for granted -this affection – but it is something that I’ve come to be used to in my daily life that I don’t always notice it. They are just there. And I need them to be there. Dogs have been a calming force much of my life. When I felt alone or scared at times in my life there was a dog there to comfort me. They were my PTSD dogs long before there were such a thing.
We usually are all quiet as we sit in our spaces either in my office or in my bedroom – Unless the UPS man comes. Then it gets a little wild.
In the last couple of months I’ve been out of sorts. My spirit is down and my physical body is in pain. I’ve waxed cranky and sad and sometimes downright angry. There have been days where I felt like there was just too much dog near me. I felt crowded impatient and claustrophobic. I’d shoo them out of my space. It really wasn’t them at all – but yet in my angst I’d push them away.
I’d shoo them away -but they never went very far from me. They might lay in the hall or go sit by my husband or ask to be let out.
My old English sheepy -Ridley just doesn’t understand cranky or mad. Or the word shoo or off. He doesn’t leave when asked and in fact comes closer to offer his head for pats. Rudy is like glue to me. He doesn’t shoo he just curls himself a little further away to give me space.
When I’d get back to my work or stop wallowing in my crankiness I’d notice later the dogs had moved back in closer. And I realized that I didn’t feel claustrophobic any longer. I’d feel a sense of calmness and I felt cared for. Loved.
This pattern has continued and as I looked around me today I realized that they may know what I need better than I do myself sometimes.
It’s what comrades do for eachother…..