Friday, January 23, 2009
A simple wish
I heard it for the first time while driving home from town the other day. At first, I thought I probably had heard it wrong. Then, the singer crooned the line again.
It went something like this: Oh Lord, let me be what my dog thinks of me.
Not a bad goal, I thought.
Then, I got to wondering: what DO my dogs think of me? What do my horses think of me. What do my cats think of me? And, Lord, what about my family and my friends?
I can answer some of those questions. Others, I have no idea.
I think my dogs like me. I get that impression every time I'm outside tripping over their bodies and telling them, "Ya know, there's 20 acres here. Why do you have to take up my space?"
Then, I feel bad cuz I know they love me. They tell me so several times a day in many ways that only dogs can express: licking my hands, jumping on me, smiling at me, running alongside me every step of the way wherever I go.
I think there are rare moments when they're not happy with me. That's when I call them to "beddy bye."
"Beddy bye" means they must come to the garage and stay there with the door shut because I'm taking off in a vehicle and won't be back for a while. I don't want my dogs outside when I'm gone because I worry about their welfare. When they're in the garage, I know they're okay.
And, whenever I return, they make up for any amount of disdain they may have felt after hearing that door close and knowing they were stuck in there for a while as SHE went off by herself WITHOUT their smiling faces and wagging tails accompanying her.
Now, when I think about the horses, I'm figuring the emotional attachment I have for them may be stronger than theirs for me. I think they trust me, and they may even like me, but I think they generally view me as a means to an end: hay, grain, grass, treats, freedom, etc.
Like the dogs, however, whenever I leave and come home, they're just as eager to greet me. They know the Lovestead rigs, and the instant I turn into the driveway, they come trotting from wherever they happen to be and stand at the fence to issue the horse "Hello, don't waste your time inside, get out here and feed me some more" greeting.
Still, they're good friends and companions, and I can't imagine life without a horse or two around---even if they ARE hayburners, fence chewers, hourly poopers, etc.
When it comes to the cats---well, we all know the independent minds of cats. It's really kind of hard to read a cat, although my mother thinks she can read her cat Rowdy's mind. She says Rowdy's been telling her lately that he wants to go to Ruth Ann's. He does so by getting in his cat carrier several times a day.
This is the time of the year when Mother takes Rowdy to Ruth Ann's little styling shop at Ponderay for his annual coiffure. Mother swears Rowdy knows the calendar date, so he's been hinting to her a lot lately.
Yesterday Mother made an appointment with Ruth Ann for early February. Once there, he'll get every strand of his fluffy hair combed and she'll give him a bath. This year he doesn't have big tags to remove, so it will be an easier job for Ruth Ann to do her magic at making Rowdy feel like a million dollars.
And, surely, Rowdy will thank Mother and Ruth Ann a million times over.
I've never seen a lot of gratitude from my cat herd. I do know they like humans because we have salty skin and that's good for licking. We have bodies to rub against, and we have laps for drooling while purring.
We also keep those dishes of Meow Mix and water full, and we're pretty good about changing the kitty litter box fairly often. If we don't, they let us know their thoughts by leaving a kitty poop pile just outside the box.
Now let's talk about the humans----family and friends. I wonder just how many people from these groups think of me like my dogs do. I have a distinct feeling that I would really NOT want to know that answer.
It's pretty darned hard reading the true emotions of humans, although I'm fairly confident that in some cases that they couldn't care less whether I lived or died. In others, they're nice only when they want something.
Often, in these cases, they haven't got a clue that I know they're being nice just cuz they want something, and that I'm tempted to point that out, but I also figure that getting along with them beats the alternative, so I go along with their intermittent niceness.
In other cases, family and friends' outward emotions are pure and positive, and their sincerity just plain make syour day---just like the dogs. Still, we wonder what we could do in some people's eyes that would make them think of us like our dogs do.
Of course, if they start wagging their tales, taking up our space in a 20-acre field and start licking our hand, that might kind of cool the relationship.
Oh, the complexities that crazy song lyric has awakened in my mind!
I guess I'll just have to move forward, pat people on the head, feed 'em when they need it, throw a frisbee or two for them, take off running alongside them, occasionally tell them, "Good human," and hope that some day everyone will think of me as my dogs do.
What a goal! Not a bad one to work on.
In "THE CHASE IS ON" category, Annie just sent me the link below. You can go to it, register and vote for Chase. She says you can also click on his picture, read about him and see a video.
We would very much love for Chase Mikkelsen of little ol' Sandpoint, Idaho, to win a spot on the Seattle Sounders Soccer team next Sunday, Feb. 1.
So, if you could pass along the link to all you know and encourage them to vote for Chase and to continue passing the word, that would be wonderful.
Thank you so much. He has worked hard for this goal and is very deserving.