I get by. Occasionally in my allotted news time in these plague-fraught weeks, a tear takes me unawares. Oddly it is not in response to numbers of casualties I can’t quite comprehend, but upon hearing of some act of outrageous and spontaneous generosity – stranger to stranger. My tear is small, but my spotted springer senses it is there, and he drapes his spry and pliable body across the contours of my lap. As he melts into me, some of the tightness dissipates, and soon I relax into the warm fur contact.
Yes, my staying at home companions are canine. My twosome, although devoted, are night and day. The Golden is the king of the couch. Taking it easy is surpassed only by treat time. The springer is indeed rightly-named, bouncing through life. He gets me up and out, rain or shine. I tap into my own inner pep as we play rollicking ball games. The fancier the fly I throw, the more aerial his catch. I cheer; he wags. The game is all that matters.
With the limited mind set of my own species, the homebound policy might feel restrictive. Not so from the pooch point-of-view. What could be better: we, our pack of three, are together, all day every day. For weeks, for months. This is the jackpot. I might mind that meals are make-do. Their bowls of the same kibble with garnish are always exciting. Oh food! Oh stuffed toy! Oh belly rub! Oh squirrel! Oh snuggles into my bed! Oh sleep serene! This is one way to look at living.
More and more I realize that if I am open to learning, they are here to guide me. Joy is not a perfect past, a future without care. Joy is the immediate. With them I live in the moment. Our pattern is established.
At daybreak with the first light, my eyes open. The spaniel hears eyelashes! I get a few canine kisses. Tails thump with delight. I believe they smile. “We are wonderful. You are wonderful. We have this day. Let us rejoice in it.”
My hands rub the soft fur of each dog. They lead. I follow. And once again fling open the door to a brand new morning.