They’re up to something. 8 pairs of mischievous brown eyes are passing an unspoken secret code amongst each other. Nervous flicks ripple through well-toned muscles. They are quiet for once. All of them. Quiet.
I’ve been home a few hours. We have had some play time. I fed them. We romped around the yard together. What are they up to?
It is a lovely evening. A cool front has chased the humidity out of our little corner of Virginia. The sky is a perfect summer blue. A breeze tickles the poplar tree’s leaves.
Time for a little yard work. I cozy in to hand trim some fence line. I adjust my ample self on my little bench. I pick up my clippers … and it happens. Eye to eye, they all crowd around me. A sea of 8 dogs, all moving as one – a collective consciousness – here for an intervention of sorts. The words are not my language, but we have been together for a long time, I know what they are saying. “Why do you never have time for us? We know that what you do, you do to keep us safe and healthy, but you are going through the motions, you are not present in your actions. It is time for a change.”
They are right. Nothing like being brought up short by a pack of dogs. “So how do you propose we change this, oh gang of mine? I do want to be present. There is no point to having dogs (or people for that matter) in your life if you don’t embrace them. But that doesn’t pay the bills, kids!”
The collective reply is forthcoming, delivered amongst the wagging tails, the smell of fresh grass clippings, and my own frustration of inadvertently creating a life that revolves around work and chores. “Put the skills you have to work for us – let us help! We play, we sniff a few things, we roll in gross stuff, and we sleep. We fiesta, then we siesta … and along the way … we think we are pretty entertaining … so you be who you are, we will be who we are … and we will Fiesta/Siesta together!”
And so it begins! Me, 8 dogs, 2 cats and a chinchilla – all rescues of one sort or another – all of us working as a unit to find the party side and the peaceful side of life.