When You Can’t Shake Your Shadow

Me and my shadow, well in this case lupus is my shadow, go everywhere together.  It isn’t that I’m afraid to go alone or for that matter be by myself.  But I can’t say the same thing about lupus.  Lupus, it would seem, goes through phases of being actively involved in whatever I’m doing or resting.

Of course adding the four-footed one to that equation means that it is very rare indeed when I find myself alone these days.  Not that I’m complaining about the four-footed one in my life, heck there are days I wish I could steal her energy.  Lupus on the other hand seems to have no qualms about stealing my energy.  Frankly I should learn that trick from lupus, but would I want to do that to the four-footed one?

And the problem with all of this is that well for starters my bed is getting crowded.  Crowded with my body, the four-footed one claiming a great deal of space for herself and lupus.  Lupus just sort of slips in and takes over whatever space it can find.

On top of my bed being overly crowded the house seems to be shrinking.  Now this is partially due to the four-footed one being overly active, so she now appears to be here, there and everywhere at basically the same time.  (She’s done grown now.)  Lupus on the other hand seems to be growing incredibly huge without any food (well other than my energy and such) at times.  Sure sometimes when lupus is hiding the house goes back to it’s normal size, but when lupus is more active I’m afraid it will burst out of the house and up through the roof!

These past few days as the four-footed one and I have gone for our walks, lupus has tagged along.  Not right besides us because there simply isn’t enough room on the sidewalk for all three of us, but just behind us.  I have been tempted to outrun lupus, but I know deep down that I can’t outrun lupus.  I’m fortunate if I keep it walking way behind me and give it the slip when I cut across a corner and duck behind a tree.

I fully realize that lupus will always be a partner in my life, wanted or not, but I’d like to lose my shadow a little more frequently if I could.


Some Individuals…

There are certain individuals who cannot resist a good puddle.  It doesn’t matter how big the puddle is, it must be entered with much enthusiasm.  Don’t worry about how dirty or clean the water is either, that’s not the point.  The point is to enter into the water and just enjoy it.

The problem with these individuals is that their joy upon entering the puddle cannot be restrained.  It is as if the water loosens the control and restraint they show throughout their lives.  And thus the great splashing must occur.  It isn’t their fault really.  I mean they seem unable to control themselves.  I try to remind myself of this when I encounter these individuals.  Well that and give them a wide berth because I’d rather not get splashed or soaked if it can be helped.  For the record this strategy has worked fairly well so far in my life.

Until.  Until I discovered that the four-footed one had found puddles.  When she was younger she wasn’t sure what to make of them.  Then she started walking through them, but not splashing.  However now, well now she has found the joy in splashing through puddles.  The bigger the splash the better.  (I’m pretty sure her theory is to splash the water up over her back.  I suspect this has very little to do with her getting wet and a great deal to do with getting as many casualties as she can.)

It is impossible to give the four-footed one a wide berth, not when she’s attached to me via a leash.  And this time of puddles are a given.  Pulling her away from one results in letting her get close or into another one.  It also means that this time of year I end up getting wet, from ankles to above the knees, depending upon the size of puddle she has managed to find.  So if you should see me out and about wearing rain pants and there is no rain present, please just don’t comment on my odd attire.  Just know it’s to protect myself.  From the splasher that suddenly entered my life.

When It’s Not Just A Blanket

The four-footed one got a new blanket.  A nice, soft blanket designed for her to sleep on.  Evidently the four-footed one has other plans for this blanket.  To date she has not once slept on the blanket.  She hasn’t sat on the blanket nor has to even stretched out once on the blanket.  She has, however, taken the blanket and waded it up in to a large heap to toss her toys onto.

She has used the blanket to hide her favorite ball, just in case I’d get up in the middle of the night and start playing with the toy.  She has used the blanket as a tripping hazard in the event I should be carrying a whole bag of food and trip over her blanket, thus she would end up with more food to eat.

So I tried to remove the blanket, however she won’t have any of that either.  She needs her blanket, just not in the way that I thought she’d need the blanket.  I guess it makes sense, who am I to decide how she needs the blanket or even to decide that she doesn’t need the blanket because she is using it in a way other than I would have used it?

So here’s to all those things we opt to use in ways other than they were intended or how others would use them.  Because we all have a different way to meet our needs.

…And Action

Sometimes you need to take action rather than talk about it.  In the case of the four-footed one this means you might bark about your food etc., but if you really want your bowl filled, bring your bowl to your human.

This morning she proved she has mastered this skill and is branching out.  It started with brining her food dish to me so she could be fed.  After that she went to her toys and apparently expected me to follow her.  When I didn’t she barked.  When I failed to come when she called, she brought me a pink dinosaur to play with.

Later on I discovered my shoe in the middle of the kitchen.  I don’t leave my shoes in the kitchen ever.  And if I were to leave my shoes anywhere, they’d be together, not just one random shoe in the middle of the kitchen.  So I put my shoe back and sure enough shortly there after it was back in the kitchen.

Did the dog want to go for a walk?  Did she need to go outside?  Nope.  Apparently a shoe on the kitchen means feed me.  Who knew.  By the way when she wants to go for a walk she brings me her leash, or st least today she did.  When she wants to go outside, well she hasn’t shown me that action yet.

Through The Window

A lovely day to sit in front of the window, watch the birds and read, Beloved declared. And so that’s what we did.  Reading, writing, marking and commenting while the four-footed one frolicked happily on the floor. That is until Beloved went to see what he was going to cook and opted to make a fast run to the store for much-needed ingredients etc.  He took the four-footed one with him leaving me to carry on where I wast.

A few birds decided to perch on the windowsill near me which is when I noticed it.  Not at first, at first I simply enjoyed the antics of the birds. But I noticed that there was something a bit off about one of the birds, something not right with its feathers, I had assumed.  Until I looked more closely and realized that seemed like a set of messed up feather was in fact a smear on my window.

After more inspection I realized that the smear was on the inside of the window and it wasn’t alone.  The whole window from the bottom to a certain height was covered with smears, whorls and odd marks.  And just above that height was what appeared to be the dried remnants of a spray. Upon closer inspection the odd marks appeared to be very closely matched to someone’s nose.  A specific someone in the house who is vertically challenged and happens to have paws.

Now for the record, I have never seen the four-footed one at this window.  Sure it stands to reason that when the blinds are up she’d be intrigued by the sights out of that window.  I just haven’t seen her there.  When he returned, Beloved assured me that she likes that window.  She likes to bark at the various sights and since the window is rather long as well as tall she has an incredible line of sight.  So when she barks, she is right near the window.  She also likes to press her nose on the window he said.  And the whorls?  Her tongue he said with the tone of a man in the know who was also a man getting ready to wash the inside of the windows.

Perching Dragons

A brilliant red dragon perched ever so carefully on Beloved’s foot as he sat in one of the big chairs that face the setting sun.  Curled up in his lap was the four-footed one.  The dragon kept watch over the sunset while the four-footed one slept and Beloved was lost in his thoughts.

I stood there, watching them for a period of time.  Watching the way the light reflected its different hue so softly against Beloved’s.  The four-footed one seemed to be at peace with her day, she had no need or interest in watching the soft apricot light give way to darker reddish-orange glows as the sun continued to set down.  I could have stood there watching forever, except that wasn’t possible.  Not with the crease deepening on Beloved’s forehead.

He is the sort of man, my Beloved, who will tell you nothing is wrong even when he is dealing with his world shifting in him.  He will smile and ask on about you and never give you one moments reason to give pause.  And it was no different when we came back from an outing for shoes today and I asked about that faint beginning of a crease just there.

He said it was nothing and went off to face out the big picture window while he did some research.  The four-footed one may have noticed that crease grow deeper, changing shape as time went one and they played together.  But if she did she wasn’t sharing.  And now, with the sun setting and the dragon silently keeping watch, the crease had deepens to the point of being worrisome.

And so I disturbed them, to offer him a cup of tea, which he smiled and turned down.  Instead he patted the chair beside him and pointed lazily out the window at the last rays making their way towards the ground.  He said nothing until it grew dark and he was lost in the soft darkening shadows.  And in that growing darkness he spoke softly, sharing his concerns, as though he couldn’t say any of it while the sun was up.

We sat there, in the darkness, the words heavy between us.  Try as I may, I could not ease those concerns, but I could sit with him.  Sometimes that’s all any of us can do, and hope we have a perching dragon to watch over with us.

Networking or Neighborhood Watch

The four-footed one has been keeping a careful eye on the neighbourhood. She knows when people are coming and going.  She sees the cats slinking around the various bushes, waiting for the birds to abandoned the trees in favour of the ground.  She keeps tabs on the garbage collectors, the mail being delivered and the children making their way noisily.

The four-footed shared her information.  Not with me.  Not necessarily because she doesn’t want to, but because we don’t share the same language. But when we are out and about visiting other dogs, she seems to share information.  The same as when someone comes to ring the doorbell.  She alerts her network of watchers, just in case.

Her network, unlike mine, is far-reaching and tight at the same time.  But her network is not unbreakable.  With the right offer of a distracting in the form of a delicious treat or perhaps a nice toy, a hole forms in this tight network.

Suddenky one of the watchers misses seeing something, and someone slips by unnoticed.  There is a gap in the information pipeline leaving the potential for an unpleasant surprise or an unwanted visitor.  Not that you can tell the four-footed one any of this.  She believes her network is solid, because she forgets how a small thing can distract her or her friends for a period of time.