View Full Version : My dog was thirsty. But she's dumb.

07-13-2016, 06:42 AM
If you've seen my post here, or are FB friends, you MIGHT notice I have two wonderful dogs - Aoife (pronounced like 'eefah') and Gracie Lou - (pronounced like Meatball). Aoife is a classic spaz - a Vizsla who runs on emotion and power almost never quenched. Meatball is a mix of probably beagle and maybe Pit and Lab - but the result is the most-loving, sweetest-if-smelly dog with no matching parts. Her legs are too skinny, belly too big, broken tail, and a tongue from a dog 4 times her size. While Aoife runs like a sugar-drunk toddler, then struts like a princess, before tearing off through the fields chasing nothing, Meatball mostly just hops along for about 100 feet at a time before wanting to sit again. To tame Aoife's energy and Meatball's girth, I walk my dogs along almost 2.5 mile course. I generally travel clockwise along the route because it means the last quarter-mile is generally downhill.

I haven't walked the dogs in weeks as I've been swamped with changing my household around as my son is going to live with his mom. This change in life - effectively losing my son - stabs at my heart, and has so in the months prior, knowing the day would come. Not that my heart has been particularly open or available or 'feeling' lately. Since moving with my kids and pups to Germany I shut off most of everything I once thought defined me: romance, passion, compassion, trust, sharing, intimacy. My efforts are geared towards - or *were* geared towards - doing everything I could do to ensure my kids adjusted to their new life in Europe and took full-advantage of the opportunities. While I wish I could have given more to my Son to help him see the opportunities here, the full-force influx of my attention and energy has left me a lot empty inside. My emotional bucket has been dry for longer than I care to remember.

Last night was a little humid - probably temps around 80F. As a precaution I brought a bowl and bottle of water for the hounds, and left the supplies in the car. The course has generally four stretches of path/road - with three right-turns connecting them (the fourth turn would bring me back to the first stretch). About half way through the second stretch I could see Meatball struggling. She would prance and move her little legs admirably, but I could tell by her heavy panting and very-very long tongue sliding farther and farther out the side of her mouth poor Gracie was whipped. The fastest way for Meatball to get the water she obviously craved was for her to complete the route. With Aoife sprinting around from whatever she wanted to smell - literally doing circles around me and Meatball - Gracie would vary her speeds in an attempt to catch Aoife. Within about 5 feet Meatball would slow down to my pace, and look up at me with almost a "Can we PLEASE rest?" look. Every so often I'd stop and give Meatball some scratching. Meaty immediately would plop to the ground and enjoy the rest. But the rest will not re-hydrate her. A few seconds of sitting and I'd command her to 'c'mon! let's go!'. Faithfully, Meatball rose and kept her nose pointed down the path. Each time she wanted to sit or stop I'd encourage her - 'C'mon! Let's get water!'. Meatball had no idea how far or close the car was and I couldn't tell her in a meaningful way. She didn't understand that at the end of her walk she'd have all the water she want. The only way to get what she needed, however, was to keep moving. Taken to the extreme, if she stopped her faith in me; if she stopped walking despite my pleas, she would never get any water. She'd stay there enjoying not-moving, but not-living either. There were times I had to walk behind her and give her a little bump on her butt to keep her going. Instead of fighting me and throwing a fit, Meatball would look back at me with that goofy grin and way-too-long tongue now fully extended and she would hop forward. She believed in me.

I realized Meatball and I have a bit in common. Especially lately I feel like Meatball did on the last leg of our walk. I probably lack the words to express my thirst for real emotional, intimate connection. The drought goes back years and years - however I thank God for the pockets of Oasis brought to me. Those 'rests' where I was able to take a little comfort. Apart from those, my body hurts and I think there is little chance I can keep going. I do not know how far I have yet to walk. I see only the Path in front of me. Maybe if I just stop hoping, wanting, thinking about it - maybe if I just rest here. Sure I will remain emotionally thirsty, but at least I won't be walking anymore. I will not have the pain of hope. Thankfully when I get most-exhausted a still, small voice in me whispers "C'mon! Let's go!". The voice doesn't tell me where or how far to go. The voice compels me only to keep walking. Could it be the "water" for me is simply around the next corner? Maybe what I crave and need is only another month, year, or decade away. My only assurance is this - if I shut-down; if I stop. If I allow the wounds of the past - the soreness of emptiness - to control me, I will never reach what, and where, I need to be.

As we got near the car I looked up to the sky and I said to God and to myself "I simply cannot walk any more. But I will keep moving."

07-13-2016, 11:18 AM
I have two wonderful dogs - Aoife (pronounced like 'eefah') and Gracie Lou - (pronounced like Meatball).

The coffee didn't reach my keyboard, just shy, but it did leave my mouth!

07-13-2016, 11:45 AM
Some pretty deep stuff .... very insightful. It is VERY hard to put your trust in someone else like your pets do. To trust that someone else prodding, cajoling and motivating you to keep going when you have convinced yourself that you just can't is beyond our nature sometimes. However, sometimes it is truly what we need to do!

Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
07-13-2016, 12:18 PM
Takes skill, courage and intelligence to write such deep thoughts my friend.
What is most important is not how many stones may lay troublesome in ones path but rather to what end one travels that path and how much are they willing to sacrifice to reach that greater destination...
Trust and Truth are two peas in the same pod--when one has been taken away the other feels the loss.
Having myself, walked a path much akin to the one you seem to be on (more than once myself) I say-
every step in defiance of that whisper that cries out to give in and give up is a blow that magnifies with each new day's passing..
Once upon a new mount, the ride is gentle, the winds are fair and life then rewards the determined soul...
When in hell , don't stop--keep on walking... many paths lead out if one but continues to walk with purpose..--Tyr