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Posts Tagged ‘Greeting’

shiloh on dandelionsRecently as I was spending quality time with my beast out on our trail, I realized that there is so much I can learn from her.

She loves to walk! Even though she is my fair weather walking friend, rain will rarely keep her from exercise in the fresh air. I could really learn from her in this. She could be a mail carrier, because neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen my beasty from their appointed rounds an exercise walk. If I was not such a conditional walker, and was more like the beast, I would be more fit, and probably more relaxed.

Then I started to think about other beastly activities and how they reveal her approach to life.

My beasty has herder blood coursing through her veins, and we, her family, are her herd. She follows us from room to room, resting in the doorways of the rooms where we rest, cook, eat and spend time together. She barks when anyone (flies included) steps one foot onto our property. She always lays between us and guests, until she has reached the point that she accepts their presence with us as safe. She struggles to relax when one of us does not return home for the night, pacing from door to door, sniffing the air, and listening with the greatest effort to discover why her person has not come home. I admit that I too easily forget how important time with my herd is, how my presence with them does not have to be about what we are doing together so much as just being together.

From those who adore the beasty to that certain one or two who wish she would go for a long walk, and not be able to find her way home, whenever any family member returns home she greets us joyfully. It does not matter if we pat her head, speak to her, or walk right past her with no acknowledgment at all, she follows us, wearing the look we call the ‘happy dog look.’ If we have been gone for a number of days, she greets us with excitement, pawing and noises that sound like cries of joy. Her love for us is not dependent on anything … not how we smell (and some of us smell), not how well we respond to her needs, not how often we take her for walks. Her love for us is only dependent on one thing …

we are hers, and she is ours.
(sounds like
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”
Song of Solomon 6:3)

That is the meat and potatoes of why she loves us … she is committed to us … it is her job, and she would fight to the death to protect any and all of us.

Imagine how our world would be different if we humans took on that perspective with those who are ours, and whose we are? I think we could all learn from such commitment.

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Cat or Dog?

Comparisons between cats and dogs are often extremely hilarious … and accurate. Cats have been largely viewed as intelligent and stand-offish whereas dogs have been viewed as dumb and faithful.

In the past we have had cats who, when we had been away for a number of days, would greet us (if you can call stretching on the sofa a greeting) with a sneer, followed by an arrogant walk to the litter box. Then, they do not acknowledge us for days.

We have only had one dog, but, when we return home to her, after a number of days (or weeks), she comes running to us, is excited enough to leap from her own skin, and does not leave our side for days.

The cat acts resentful for not being tended to, and upon our return, would only communicate bitterness and resentment.

The dog forgets what is past, and is so thankful to have her people back in the den.

I have learned that I (gulp) am a cat.

When I have been hurt, or am feeling untended to, or ignored I often respond like a cat would. I avoid the ‘offender’, or stick my tail up in the air and walk away, when they approach. I, like a cat, try to make them feel the way I have felt.

I wish I could be like my dog, who can forgive AND forget.

I think that maybe the dog, who we see as dumb, isn’t so dumb after all. Maybe the dog knows we will fail, so it is not a shock when we do. Or maybe the dog understands unconditional love. Or maybe, just maybe, the dog sees us as more valuable than they see themselves, and so they are able to love with a consistency that says more about how committed they are to us, than how deserving (or not) we are to receive their love.

Just sayin’.


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