"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday 11 February 2019

Going to the Dogs

K and I are alpha one and two to "the girls", a pack of three miniature dachshunds. As K says, they are 'love me' dogs and nothing I'm going to mention below should be taken as dislike for them; they are sweet and gentle and, yes, sometimes annoying. 

The girls teach me a lot. Most of the time, they teach patience and persistence. For example, they know if they patiently wait a while, and at the same time, stare at me, I will pick them up, give them a cuddle, and share the chair. I have sometimes had all three at once; a dog pile! 

They know the pure joy of warming themselves in a sunbeam. They know that if you need it (and do a dance worthy of Snoopy), your human will give you water and food, or, more importantly, she will open and close the door... and open and close the door (yes, it would be good to have a flap in a door, but it isn't practical here). Open and close the door....open and close the door.... open and close .... open and close ....

Dogs are sometimes highly instructive in other ways as well; in the same way that being in a big city teaches you love for the peace and quiet of the country. 

Our girls protect and defend our territory, and they have conversations with others who defend theirs. Every little noise or movement outside sets off alarm bells. They bark furiously at anyone who walks by, letting them know where the boundary is. If another dog should happen to bark, even a kilometre away, they are compelled to answer, and answer again and again, until the other dog hears them and answers them back. 

What am I learning from their hyper-vigilance? When you have a dog, you can relax and let them be vigilant. It also reminds me that for a very long time I have been a bit like them; noticing and responding too much. 

Social media is sometimes a bit like that dog barking in the next block. Perhaps I am the strange one, thinking it is wrong to be tied to this constant flow of information from "friends" that I enjoy hearing from - but also, more often, advertisers and others who try to manipulate me. No stranger to being thought strange, however, I've made a conscious choice to limit myself to one or two times a day for checking emails and such. 

No, I'm not going to become like a cow in the pasture, paying no attention to what goes on around me. My phone is fully equipped to receive and send messages, and it is somewhere nearby most of the time. I've no illusions that the world needs my full attention, however. The time is right to be a bit less like a doe in the forest, or our girls - ears twitching, ready to respond to every tiny noise.