A Lesson Learned from My Dogs

Sometimes I get frustrated with Remy and Henry. Remy always barks to go outside the instant I start doing something. It’s like having a toddler and trying to have a phone conversation. Here’s how it goes –

Remy: “Why are you doing dishes? I need to go outside!”

Me: “You were outside 30 minutes ago and did everything you could possibly need to do. I have to get these dishes done.”

Remy: “But…but…I need to go outside!”

Me: “Forget it. You don’t need to go out. You just want to go out.”

Remy: “Fine. I’ll use that high-pitched bark that makes your right eye fall out and roll across the floor. You’ll have to take me out as self-defense.”

Lessons-Learned

Inevitably Remy wins and I head to the door at which point Henry, who has been watching the exchange carefully, runs up; “Oh! You’re going outside? I didn’t really need to go but if you’re going I’m definitely in!” Poser. I think he puts Remy up to the whole eye-popping-out bark.

It was the same today. I sat down to write a recipe and Remy instantly began to bark. My husband, M, who would normally take them out if I’m at the computer was doing dishes. I’m sure this was a double-whammy for Remy. Both of us busy? It was the perfect opportunity to drive us crazy

So I hit “save” and took them outside. Normally I can’t stand being out there unless there’s something I need to get done. Today started out no differently. Since I was outside I decided to check the garden. I got some green peppers, zucchini, and a few banana peppers. That kept me busy for all of five minutes. I was ready to call the boys in when something happened.

As I was walking to the porch I actually felt the sun on my skin. It felt wonderful. Remy and Henry were lying in the grass. They weren’t doing anything. Sure, they’d walked around a bit when we first went out but they weren’t playing, sniffing, or even piddling. They were just lying in the sun.

I climbed the stairs fully intending to call them but I didn’t. Instead I dumped the vegetables on the kitchen table and went back outside. The potato pots really needed to be emptied and the potatoes stored. I needed to wash the vegetables I’d just picked and get them ready for storage. There is also a lot to be done in the garden this late in the summer. But I didn’t do anything.

The dogs watched me carefully when I came back out. I’m sure they expected me to either go do something or call them inside. But I sat down instead. They were still watching me somewhat suspiciously, as I stretched my legs out and leaned back. The sun really did feel marvelous.

Suspicious-mind

Suspicious Henry

After a couple of minutes both dogs started to ignore me. Henry rolled in the grass with obvious delight. Remy flopped on his side and stretched out his entire length. And I sat.

Oh, I admit I kept thinking of the things that needed to be done and I fully intended to get up after a few minutes and get to work. Yet I didn’t. For almost twenty minutes I simply sat in the sunshine. I realized I was no longer thinking of what needed to be done. Instead I was just feeling the sun and the breeze. I was listening to the birds and the insects. I was just there.

Just-chillin

Relaxing in the sun

The dogs finally got their lesson through to me. Sometimes you just have to stretch out in the sun and do absolutely nothing. Who knew that the dogs would figure out what’s good for the soul long before I would?

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