A few times in the past year, I’ve been asked to dog-sit. I don’t mind, until the dogs hate me and then I get all, “If you could only imagine how little I care right now” on them, and count the hours until I’m free. Then there’s the other extreme: Kisses. Like, really? No dog’s tongue shall come within 6 inches of my face, so long as I am in control of my life. UNNECESSARY ATTENTION AND GERMS! BACK OFF!!!
I tell this story of when I was house-sitting/dog-sitting for my friend Mary. She had one dog, a recent rescue from an abusive environment, that just yapped at me and ran away. Seriously? Go outside and pee already!! Once, he got riled up at my presence (on the fourth day of my stay, mind you) he actually refused to leave the house to pee. Goodness gracious. High maintenance chaos!
Then there was the other dog, she loved me. She wagged her tail and followed me around, and snuggled up beside me. And wanted to kiss my sacred face.
For the love. NO!
Then I had a friend visit for the evening. We sat on the couch, flipping channels and Lulu climbed up beside us, giving my guest the stare down. We went over the rules, no face-licking, no make-out sessions, move back a bit – we’re not THAT kind of dog people.
Flip the channel. Flip. Flip. “LULU! Not happening.”
Flip. Fli-“LULU! NOOO!”
The entire evening, she would settle down, stare desperately at my friend’s face and then start the lean. Lean, a little bit closer, wait. Lean. And theeeeennnnnnn- Tongue-out. NO!
It was as if she was saying, “Can I do it…now? How about….now? Now…How about – NOW! AAAH! ALmost. Okay, okay, it’s fine. Maybe….now? I want to……kisssss. Oh. Wait. …..now? I Kiss you…..now?!”
I feel like I’ve been these two dogs all year long, a bi-polar approach to life. I arrived, riled and scared and chaotic and jumping between emotions like someone who had never had a sane moment of stability in her life. I yelled more than I care to admit. I cried, oh, how I cried! I would calm down, settle into a routine. Which lasted approximately 3 days. Then! Trust no one! Terrified and in shock. I lost a few kind attempts at friendship and love to this gunshy behavior. I know, and I admit it.
Then, I found a job and it’s related to my field and it just seemed like a great step in the right direction and I just wanted to be best friends and comfortable and easy, laid-back everything. Oh. Wait. It takes time. Hmmmm. Okay. I would take a moment. Then offer my ideas for development again. No. Wait.
Then I would try another approach, develop other connections – CHURCH! Let’s go to this place every week, and figure out how to be involved. Oh. Not the right situation. Now what?
Art! Let’s attend all the art shows. And doodle constantly and think this is the answer and. Wait. I’m not sold on this.
Running? Best thing EVER! Run. Run all the time. Call my friends. Get a partner. Thisisjustsogreat. Done. Pause. What now?
Dancing? I’ll go every week. I’ll improve. I’ll be social. Let’s gogogo! Aaaand. sick. Wait – huh? Why would I be social? I hate people. Crowds. Chaos. Take a pause.
Where to now?
Maybe this? Maybe that?! Maaaybe…wait! Slowly. NO! Stop. Wait again. Ish.
Things are brewing. Again. Throwing down roots. Being real. Signing a longer lease, getting permanent. OR! Could they change? Maaaaybe. Now?!