There is something to be said about being witnessed.
In all our mundanity, in all our glory, sadness, successes, and failures, and even goofiness—being seen by another sentient being is, without a doubt, a beautiful form of love.
Dogs love us. They cannot help themselves. For though they may be in our lives for a few years, a blink of an eye, really, we are their whole world.
I was Grom's world, no doubt about it. Grom was my 14 year old pug. He passed a few months ago. The older he got the more integrated he became in my rituals in part because he became more dependent. In the last few months I was cooking for him, Grom Grub. I was carrying him to bed at night and lifting him up and out with in the morning. He would sit in his bed watching my every move.
I had forgotten what that feels like: being watched, being witnessed.
Today I borrowed my neighbor's dog. They need to rehome her so it was also kind of a test-run. She is about 40 pounds or so, black, sleek, long legs, part Lab and something else. She is young. We walked around the neighborhood and I held her on a short leash as she pulled mightily.
I have forgotten what puppy energy is like. Well, sorta. Now that I think about it, she reminds me a bit of That Man who Matters to Me's dog. So that was curious. Curiouser was the fact that she pretty much fit to-a-tee, the description that I had offered to a friend who had recently asked, "When are you going to get another dog?" My reply was, "When one appears that needs me." (And, subsequently fits the physical description of the dog above mentioned.)
After we walked I brought her in and just started doing some chores. I loaded the dishwasher, made a salad, fed her some tidbits. We played ball in the living room, went and laid in my bed, then we sat on the porch and I picked up my journal. I snapped a few pics and I found myself easing into what used to be my routine with Grom.
As we went about our little mundanities I began to, even more deeply understand what exactly it was I was missing: being witnessed. Her liquid brown eyes followed my every move. She, charmingly kept wingding up under my feet.
Even without a bond formed over more than a decade, we found an easy rhythm with each other that felt so soothing and comfortable.
It is unlikely that she will become mine. I don't think the circumstances are quite aligned for it, but I feel so much appreiciation for her for showing me, for reminding me what I do love about having a dog. And also for extending a sense of permission for me to continute to take as long as I need to heal from the death of my best friend.
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Thanks for reading,