Sunday, August 18, 2013

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Grace, the beagle, has been lounging all afternoon. She had a full morning, which included an hour long walk on the Keystone trail, lots of sniffing, getting a scrambled egg in her dog food bowl (a Sunday morning ritual), barking at the dogs next door, and finally, an afternoon of lounging and napping. It's a dog's  life for sure.  I envy her. She doesn't have a plan for the day. Instead she watches us to see what's up next. We read the paper and have coffee on Sundays so she followed that cue and slept on a pillow. When Georgette finally got around to putting on her walking shoes, Grace noticed and sat in front of the front door in anticipation of a walk. She was right. When Georgette was making breakfast, she heard the crack of an egg and saw the  bowl go into the microwave and knew that "egg" was soon to be served. As breakfast was being cleaned up she hung around the dishwasher looking for opportunities to lick a  dirty plate or spoon. With the morning  rituals completed she went into full lounge lizard mode. Here is what the rest of the afternoon entailed:

1) Nap on the living room floor then wander to the crate and nap for a while.

2) Listen for the dogs below us to be let out then go racing down the steps and down to the fence and bark like there's no tomorrow.

3)  Wait to get scolded and chased back into the house.

4) Act like you didn't do anything wrong and show only minimal or no signs of remorse.

5) Retreat to the bedroom and lie in the sun.

6 Nap some more until you hear the vacuum or the dogs next door.

7  Repeat as often as you feel like it.

I'm never sure what is going on in that head of hers. Don't have a clue. I do know that she watches us like a hawk and anticipates her next move based on some cue that she sees or hears. She can be sound asleep on the couch, but if Georgette gets up and goes into the kitchen, her ears perk up. If she  hears the refrigerator door open, she gets up on the arm of the couch and peers towards kitchen. If she sees any kind of plate or bowl being brought back into the living room, she goes on full "I might get some" alert. She usually does. As I'm writing this, she is lying on the floor with her head between her paws, half asleep but also remaining vigilant, looking up from time to time with those beagle eyes so as to not miss any important cues.

Grace doesn't have any plans, goals or personal improvement objectives. She isn't trying to live up to her potential or make her mark on the world. She doesn't have a financial planner, a retirement plan or a life coach. She has no fear of impending doom or regrets about things she has done in her past. She has never had a performance appraisal, but she did a report card from doggy daycare that said she was "the cutest beagle ever!" Yes, it went right to her head.

Grace is having a good day. She will probably have a good day tomorrow even though she doesn't  care much about what is or isn't planned for her. I envy her. I've sent too much time in my life regretting my shortcomings or poor decisions and equally as much time worrying about the future. In short, I wasted a lot of time along the way. And yet, in spite of myself, I'm having a really good day today. And with a little bit of luck, I'll probably have a good day tomorrow.  So today, at nearly 61 years of age, I'm going to try to live a little more like Grace lives. Listen for the cues, then wait and see. Lounge around more than work. Be open to what the day brings. Bark more with less remorse. Live in the moment. Wag my tail when I feel good. Always be glad to see those I love and who love me back. Act silly at the most unexpected times. And perk up when I hear the refrigerator door open.

1 comment:

Raining Iguanas said...

That middle photo with Grace gracing the rug with her face says it all.