Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the Freedom of the Canine

I wish I let myself be as free as my dog.

If he's excited, he runs circles around the yard, sliding on the mulch, knocking over whatever can't get out of the way, no holds barred.

If he's tired he sleeps. No guilt. No anxiety about when he might wake or what needs to be done.

If he's hungry he eats. If he's not he doesn't. I realize not all dogs are grazers but ours is and I love that he'll leave a cup of food in the bowl all day on days when he's in the crate and not needing the energy. Then he'll eat a double portion after a big run. He keeps himself at a perfect weight. Food is simply food. Not an obligation nor an obsession.

If he's lonely he does something about it. He'll stick to my leg until he gets a pat on the back. He'll lay beside the couch when it's not nearly as comfortable as his bed, just to be close to the family. He'll hang out inside when the kids are inside, even though the door is wide open and he obviously prefers fresh air.

He's all inclusive and he's not shy about it. If the whole fam is downstairs and I'm lounging in bed then he'll sit by my side until I'm up with the rest of them. If the kids are outside and my husband and I are inside, he is obviously torn and will solve his dilemma by barking to get in and then whining to get out in rapid succession. He loves us all and just wants us all to be in one place to make showing that love easier! Maybe he has herding dog back there in his lineage somewhere.

He has incredible intuition and acts on it. He knows our neighbors love him and will run to them ears back and tail down to get some attention. He can tell if the person knocking on the door is new to the house and he barks like he means it. He knows which babysitter will let him up on the couch and greets her like none other. And, of course, if someone is upset, he's right there.

He does what he wants, when wants, and yet obeys when necessary. He follows his instinct with abandon. He gives love freely and expects reciprocity. And finally, he worries and wines anytime I'm on the yoga mat. And in that final way, I guess we ARE the same.