A little white dog, who noticed that his life was changing after about 10 years, began to call to me. Maybe he was calling to anyone out there who would notice his changing situation.
I heard. I don’t know what I heard. What I know is that in mid March I began to long for a small companion dog. Our dearest old dog had passed away of a good long life in October, and our zippy brown dog had made a happy home on a farm with a friend. But I noticed something in me, longing for a small dog.
I scoured adopt-a-pet.com and petfinders.com daily. Zeroed in on a couple of Havanese in Indy. Applied, was interviewed, references were interviewed. We were then give notice that they did not have a Havanese that was a match for our family at this time.
The following Saturday, I asked my hubs to go with me to the Help shelter here in town. We walked in and to our left, was a small white dog, whose name I “knew” was Alfred even though the sign said Ziggy (shelters and rescue groups name incoming pets alphabetically). He was forlorn, frazzled, and watching. We looked at all the dogs, then asked if we could open Ziggy’s cage and pet him. Once our hands were in the cage, he shivered and quaked and licked us, and looked terrified. I knew he was my dog. So, I pushed my way to the counter…there were a lot of people there looking for dogs…and let them know I was ready to adopt Ziggy. Paperwork done, they told us we couldn’t take him that day because he needed to go to the vet for shots and teeth extraction (6, yikes).
He came home to us 4 days later, to the unknown, the new, the foreignness of our home. We came home to him. It was a mutually calling to one another.
This is why I haven’t blogged on a Sunday morning since April from my blogging bench at Starbucks. I work all week and on the weekend I can’t bring myself to leave him yet again. He is sweet, and growing in his trust in us and his ability to communicate, and our respect in noticing his communication.
a cock of the head
a “ruff” and directional body language
a baleful look of “you’ve got to be kidding”
We named him Alfred, Lord Alfred, calling him Alfie most days. He helps Kurt with the acupuncture clients and he walks me every morning at the golf course.
He makes me notice. Notice and wonder. Notice and question.
I love this dog.
So, lets talk about noticing. It began on the golf course. Out on the fairway I saw a person, so I kept Alfie on the leash (normally he lets me free walk without the leash) only to discover that up close it was a flag.
Another time I was sure, as I looked from a distance, that someone was wandering around my car in the parking lot. I could see them move from back to front. Only to find that it was shadow and light and position of the one looking.
There was the time I called Alfie back to me with a little treat because I saw a delivery truck backed up to the clubhouse and didn’t want Alfie to go charging it. It was just the overhang of the porch (not to mention the clubhouse is permanently closed).
And last week, as I rounded one of the corners on the path, I noticed a tree. Tall, strong, and elegantly bent over. The under canopy a riot of branches, providing an umbrella of interest. How had I been walking underneath this beauty for 3 months and not ever noticed it? How?
Each time, with each faulty view, I saw something. What I saw spoke of an interior fear or anxiety, or battle ready posture against someone or something encroaching on my lovely morning walk with Lord Alfred.
Each time I was wrong.
I began to apply this nascent learning to my human interactions. Maybe that facial expression doesn’t mean what I think it means. Maybe the words chosen by someone to express something don’t mean what I thought they meant. Maybe my assumptions and the opposing assumptions are both right at the same time. Maybe I need to look closer, longer, with a mind that is softer and open-er.
And what if I am right but someone has mis-noticed me? What is it in them that is keeping them from a wider understanding of me? Is it something I can change and offer?
O Wisdom that opens our eyes,
dilate our views
to see what is real
to detect what is fantasy
to get a hit of remembrance
of the inner state that we can change and grow and become.
Turn our noticings into knowings
our vision into multidimensional understandings.
To your eye sight, heart sight, in sight,