We’re dog-sitting for a few days while Andrew and Allie are on vacation. Chevrolet Beyoncé is small and blackish-grey.
I’m not a dog person, though we’ve had a dog in our house for fourteen of the last 21 years. Shiloh was with us for thirteen years. A couple years after he was gone, Jude lived with us for a year. When Nancy’s dad went into assisted living, so did his dog. With us. And Chevy comes to visit from time to time.
Dogs help me discover when something is wrong with me. With each dog, I hit moments of frustration. Usually in the middle of the night when the dog is on the deck and, as a result, I’m not in bed. I get annoyed. And then angry at the dog. And then I realize that the problem isn’t with the dog. It’s with how much resilience I am lacking. It’s with how overextended or overcommitted or worried I am.
And then I have to apologize to the dog and start looking through my schedule and my heart.
Chevy, in particular, has tried to teach me about focus. On one visit she sat staring at a squirrel on an oak tree for thirty minutes. Standing at the base of the tree, looking up, completely focused. Understand that she has never caught a squirrel. Ever. But that reality doesn’t keep her from trying. And from watching. I would give up. But she has this primal purpose. And she lives it.
At the moment, Chevy is teaching me about release. While I was eating yogurt and walking around, she was following me. Not barking, not nagging, just watching closely. But when I finished and sat down on the sofa, she jumped up on the other end, laid down, and fell asleep.She didn’t complain about what might have been or worry about what could be, she rested. Until I moved.
I’m still not a dog person. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to be taught.