Time for a 15 minute write — the dog is rolling around a toy that releases food when she turns it. this is helping her slow down when she eats. I could have used one of those at several different times in my life. We are working on sit-stay, working on heel, working on walking with a loose leash. We are testing and pushing each other. Yesterday was her first bath at a pet store up in Strawberry Village. Is this what I want to be writing about? Yesterday, on my self care day, everything was all about Sophie. Even the time that I took away from her, letting myself go to the cafe for some writing after her lunch (the first time I’d left her alone when I was by myself — the Mr and I together had left her alone, walked out of the house together, but this was the first time she and I said goodbye just the two of us, and the first time I walked back in to let her know I’d always come back), I spent writing about her or listening to a podcast about training your dog to walk on a loose leash. I guess that’s what new furry-baby-parenthood is like.
We had a couple of frustrating walks yesterday, she and I; she was too excited (how I hate using that phrase for a puppy — isn’t it her job to be excited?) and I wasn’t doing a good job of calming my own self down. I thought about how dogs can read and respond to emotions, and how, when I’m tense and anxious, she’s going to sense and react to that. And that stressed me out, too, given that I have spent the last 30 years feeling tense and anxious a good percentage of my everydays. So here’s another thing she’s going to get to help me work on — my quality of presence, being actually all the way here, being solidly in this moment with her — calm and focused, clearly in charge. Since these are all things I’ve actively avoided being for a number of years, it makes sense, I guess, that I’m frustrated and in the midst of a serious learning curve.
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Last night, under the full moon, there were three, and then four, big fat birds out on the hill behind the house — owls? They, their silhouettes, were giving off these smallish screech sounds, somehow smaller than their bodies would seem to allow for. One took off flying while I sat on the concrete stairs and watched, a huge wingspan, slow, steady downbeats, pushing air away, heading for another grove. It looked like a small convention, something full-moon related.
More wild animal news: we walked, Sophie and me, within spitting distance of a young male deer yesterday (his antlers just barely poking up and fuzzing around his forehead) (‘spitting distance’ is kind of an awful phrase, isn’t it? and so imprecise — in reality, we were on one side of an asphalt road, and the deer was on the other). Sophie didn’t notice the deer — not only were we working on heel, but she was paying close attention to me while we were in the midst of the lesson, for a miracle. the deer, of course, noticed us. I’d stopped at the bottom of the hill when I first saw him, a ways away, and tried to encourage him to go ahead and cross the road. My deer(-speak) is rusty, though, and he didn’t get what I was saying, just stood there and watched me, us. Wanted to see what we were going to do. So I had Sophie keep on heeling, we crossed to the far side of the road, and she ended up being more concerned with the storm drain that we had to go by (these totally freak her out) than the fact that there was a huge animal just 10 feet from her. The deer watched us with his big eyes; I made eye contact with him several times, said Thanks the last time. And as soon as we were a short ways up the road past him, he went ahead and long-0legged it across the street and into the neighbor’s backyard.
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Today’s write: Give me something from your natural world, the nature pushing its way into and around your life, even (especially) if you’re living in the city. Take 10 or 15 minutes, and show me the trees growing through fencing or wires, the daises pushing up through sidewalk cracks, the bird dances on fence posts, whatever nature you notice and that wakes up up this morning.
Thanks for all the patient, persistent wildness that lives in you. Thanks for your creative brilliance, and, always, for your words.