It’s a dogs life

They say dogs and owners look like each other over time. I’m really hoping that is true because my dog is skinny and really struggles to gain weight! Except yea, oh wait, he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I don’t know about all that, but I do know that my stupid dog forgot he had a dog door. When I leave for work I always leave him treats, a chew and tell him I’ll be back. Today, he was outside barking at a truck when I left so I just put his treats out like usual and left. I get home after work and he’s standing outside staring in the back door at me. I open the door to talk to him and he runs to the water and drinks and drinks and drinks, throws that up and drinks some more, then realizes he has treats. He had been outside all day despite the fact the dog door was 6 feet away — unobstructed. When he thinks I’m going somewhere and there is a chance he could go, he’s right by my side! When I’m just moving around the house he’s always in front of me trying to anticipate where I’m going like he knows all about me and my routine. Then he’s totally dejected if he’s wrong. He likes to lay on my bed and look out the window, keeping watch on his backyard domain. Until the time he jumps off the bed barking at a bird through the window, when he can easily run after it by using the dog door. I tell him, “Genius, you could use the dog door!” He looks at me and then runs out of the room, like, “Oh yeah!”

And yes, I remember, this is the dog I do not want. But we have learned to love each other and he is teaching me so much about myself. I have STRONG reclusive tendencies and he feeds that as I fall into the trap of I’d rather just stay home with the dog, I don’t want to leave him at home alone too long, I can’t leave him somewhere he’ll be traumatized and it goes on and on.

I’m sure I’m not unlike many people who life has taught us to be guarded. When we moved to Temple with little kids into a new neighborhood we became fast friends with our neighbors who had little girls about the same age as our boys. Then he was transferred and they moved. We were sad. Then a family moved in next door that had two little boys about the same age as ours. We were so excited. But their mom did not like us. Every time her kids were playing in the front yard, if we went out front, they went in. The kids would then play with each other through the fence, if she ever caught them, they went in. I invited them to story time at the library and she always politely declined, I quit trying. I’ve sadly never really been very neighborly since. I never wanted to invite that kind of passive hostility into my life again, so I’ve operated on the premise that it’s just better to smile and wave from a distance.

Then school finally starts up after a six month break because of the COVID-19 pandemic and our Head of School chooses the theme: “We’re better together” based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” Hmmmm?

Then I saw this:

guilty! Then I saw this:

oops guilty again! Maybe I’m more like my dog than I realize. Then this blog post shows up in my mail box:

You my sisters, you and I have the opportunity to collectively believe that Light is greater than darkness. We have the faith that will move mountains, make a better way, and bring hope to a world fraught with scarcity and loss.

Perhaps not on our own. On our own we seem tiny and impotent. But collectively, I feel us illuminating hope beyond what anyone has seen, heard or understood.

Jami Amerine

I think what the stupid dog and I have in common is that we are both slow learners, unless it involves treats! And even then we may still just be in it for the treats. I’ve found that when God wants to teach me a lesson I’m slapped in the face by it over and over again. I’m starting to get the feeling that I need to work on this “humble and approachable” thing. And suddenly, the dog and I are exactly alike as I forget that I am loved and treasured and everything I needed was right there all along. Not to even mention that historically we know policies of isolationism have rarely lead to anything good! Policy change is slow and uncomfortable. But not impossible.