Someone once asked me to reflect on my childhood and figure out what I did as a child when I had a problem that felt overwhelming. My answer was immediate. I’d call the dog and cat (and sometimes the horse) and we’d head out in to the forest or fields to sit and ponder. My darling pets always stayed close by and comforted me. I usually brought food and this insured their devoted loyalty. It’s not that they weren’t by my side willingly; the food was merely to keep them by my side during our forest stay.
There are many things to distract an animal in the forest…always something interesting to explore, especially for the cat. I remember the cat wanting to wonder away after a while. If the cat wondered, the dog always followed out of interest. To a dog, the cat always knows where it’s at. That’s when the stash of cheese and crackers came in handy. They both loved cheese and crackers.
McDuff and Spunky—photo taken by my childhood self circa late 1970s.
(My childhood dog and cat hiking buddies. McDuff was a Bouvier des Flandre—we adopted McDuff because he was a Bouvier. We lived on an acreage in the BC forest; Bouviers are one of the only breeds that cannot be easily hurt by an attacking cougar or bear. Their coat is very dense and coarse).
To this day, my darling pets have never let me down. If the world seems insane, hanging with them brings back sanity to the moment.
My daughter Pip has been home with a nasty sore throat/cough virus. She’s decided to spend her day dressing the dogs and taking photo shoots of them. Like her mom, she knows first hand that her dogs are there for her when she needs them.
May you find the time to take a quiet moment to simply sit and hug your pet today. During that quiet moment you will suddenly become aware that you and your pet are truly one and the same…trudging through life as best you can.