Friday, April 17, 2009

Home Base Bliss

Thank God for the birds chirping outside or I would forget it's Spring. Sometimes I'm wrestling with issues from my past like someone dealing with snow removal and the snow never stops coming. There's got to be a time and place when you just forget "dealing" with stuff and you decide to just breathe, take a deep breath, smile, relax, and be -what feels like to you- slightly irresponsible and carefree.

Harry is content and at peace- and that is amazing because he got clipped and shorn the other day, like a sheep at the shearers. But this was a different experience for him. The truth is, the grooming place where I had been taking him really didn't care to have Harry return. They said they would groom him if I really needed to bring him in, but there was a sound of resignation in the woman's voice when she said it. I knew what she meant: don't bring that skitzy, nervous, pooping dog in here, please!

So I didn't. I found someone who comes to your home, parks in your driveway, and clips and cleans your dog from the little shelter of her minivan equipped with doggy bath, generator, air conditioner, grooming table. And this sweet woman was not some battle ax of a woman, but a sweet talking blonde wisp of a thing. Harry loved her.

She spent three hours in her van with him and when he emerged, he looked like a little lamb, and acted like one too. He wasn't cowering and acting neurotic and rushing to a corner to hide for three days, like he would have if I had taken him somewhere to get groomed.

"He kept staring out the van window and he knew where he was, so he didn't seem to be that scared" she told me.

It's good to feel like you know where you are- that you're safe at home base. I do happen to know several people who struggle with fear of leaving home, fear of open spaces, fearing of treading new ground in new places. I have a lot of empathy for anyone who struggles to come out of their shell, out of their home, out of their past.

It's a lot of work to clip a nervous dog- and its a lot of work to stabilize someone who is nervous and full of anxiety but maybe doesn't have all the words to aptly describe why they're experiencing what they're experiencing.

My husband and daughter and I are celebrating our dog's recent experience with Success. This past grooming experience was successful. The dog is no longer matted and dirty and his ears are clean and healthy now. But more than that, he's not traumatized or further induced to avoid the groomer with even more hysteria. No, he might just walk out, the next time, and greet the groomer happily, and jump into her doggy spa van and let her do her thing.

So I'm thinking that maybe I should also try to deal with the things that scare me or trouble me by deciding if I really do need to deal with them head on, feet first, plunging into them like a scared swimmer jumping into ice cold water. Maybe there's a way to find better places, better relationships, better scenarios. Maybe I can spend more time authorizing myself to choose better and choose wisely so I spend less time as a victim or as a unwilling participant in a scene that I didn't have to enter.

All this wisdom and musing can be attributed to the fact that I got to observe my dog go through something that, this time, wasn't an ordeal. This time it was palatable. Next time it might even be enjoyable.

And that's what I'm heading for: enjoying life, enjoying the fruit of the labor of my hands, enjoying the journey. Because there's choices along the way. And I want to make good ones. I don't always get to choose what I'm going to go through- but when I do, I want to choose well.

Now I'm off to walk the dog and notice the birds chirping. It's a good day.

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