A copy/paste post is floating around Facebook of late urging the person tagged to post one picture (and one ONLY!) that reflects best what it means to be a dog lover and then, of course, to tag a bizillion other people to keep the ball rolling.
Limitations are not my strong suit. A very long time ago I was seeing a counselor whose suggestion for getting out of my deep funk was for me to set aside one hour of the day in which to totally give myself over to the dark thoughts in my head; one hour and then close up shop. The rest of the time, I would just “tell” the dark thoughts they would have to wait for their hour and this would enable me to blithely go about the remainder of my day unfettered by demons. You know, like a normal person.
Are you kidding me?
Now, in fairness, if she had suggested setting aside one hour of the day in which I would expend mighty efforts at occupying myself with thoughts or activities of distraction; one hour in which to NOT be in the space that consumed me…well, maybe that would have been worth a try. She didn’t though and her fundamental misread of my capacity for obsessiveness soured my confidence in her ability to help at all and I quit going. So there.
But back to loving dogs….how would I possibly pick one (and one ONLY!) picture to represent what love of dogs means to me? I would be wracked with guilt! A picture of Marco, but not Gus? What, no wheaten? What about Scooter, my first pup and most loyal storm trooper? Gaaaah!
Ridiculous. And anxiety provoking.
Therefore, in the interests of my own mental health, I am not going to play the Facebook game. I will declare my disability right out loud: I am unable to comply with the “pick one” request because I am pretty darn obsessive about each and every dog that has entered my life. Horses, too. And donkeys. But, today let’s talk dogs and, mostly, the ones that are walking the earth with me right now. We are running a full pack here: three maremmas and four wheaten terriers. Seven dogs. We are completely outnumbered. We are also often outwitted and out-manipulated, but we don’t get too offended by that, usually.
I don’t even have a picture of all seven dogs together. The closest I come is a picture of the six before Maizey, taken when we had just moved back into the house after remodeling.
Here is a recent picture of Maizey. Just imagine her on the couch in the first picture with the rest of the tribe. Only it’s unlikely she would be staying still then. But you get the idea. It’s a full house.
I take no less than a half dozen or so pictures of the dogs every day, capturing the oh-oh moments, the sweet and tender times, the I want to remember this for when you are older and not so crazy escapades. It’s all noteworthy to me. Pick one? Ha.
I have lots of pictures of Maizey lately because she’s the new kid on the block and still a puppy, growing so fast. In the pictures, Maizey is almost alway wet, or drying off from being wet, or about to get wet again. Maizey loves water.
I also have a fair number of Molly pictures. She was the newest one in before Maizey, coming to us just last August. She was in sorry shape when she came and it took a long time to get everything just right for her. I thought we were good and then recently we tried some new things and there is an added spring to her step. She is so joyful and funny and I can’t help but stop what I’m doing and ask her to pose.
I don’t have a favorite picture — I have many and I add more every day. Like this one where I found Giada sneaking a nap in the bushes.
I also love the moments when I feel togetherness with them….even though I am doing all the work and they are just hanging out, so it seems.
And, of course, the awkward or embarrassing ones, like when Gracie woke up from her nap looking a lot like a certain political candidate.
She would die if she knew I was showing you this.
If I had a “favorite” one, it would not be what you think. It is one that is so full of intimacy my heart bows and breaks at the thought of it. The one where Evelyn, dear sweet Evelyn, is dying of renal failure and it is her last hours and Marco is caretaking her to her new belonging place in the wild, wonderful after-this-world where she will run free and will wait for Gus to come and then, in time, the others.
I want to be this loved. I want to love this big and powerfully. Always. That’s what a dog can teach you. That’s what I am learning. Every day.