Last night, lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I started thinking about lessons learned, and lessons yet to come. I’m struck by the way Max simply adapts to whatever comes his way.
When we were traveling – moving from one town to the next every day – he just jumped up into the car when asked, got out when we arrived, and knew the whole check-in drill at the hotels.
Home was whatever room we were in each night. Neighborhood was wherever we walked. Friends were everywhere.
According to the “experts,” for a dog, there is no future, no past, just now. “They” claim that dogs have no sense of time. I’m not sure I buy all of that.
Since Max came into my life a little over a year ago, I’ve observed how he has an amazing internal clock. He wakes up every morning between 6:40 and 6:47 AM – probably at the same minute every morning if I paid enough attention. How does he get me out of bed? With a soft little “Mffph!” not a bark as much as a little whisper.
And he knows that every evening between 5:30 and 6 I will ask him if he wants food. If I don’t ask the magic question on time? He starts to hover around me, looking searchingly into my face. Almost as if he’s asking Where’s my food?
In a few days, when I begin packing up my bag, staging things by the front door, he’ll realize that this little interlude is coming to an end. This home, too, is going to be left behind. And he will be ready to get in the car and head on down the road. Ready to get back into the travel groove, as we head towards our real home.
I do find that Max lives in The NOW, more than willing to lie at my feet while I write, sit in the car while I drive, and walk with me to town if that’s what strikes my fancy. Play comes in waves as he re-discovers a toy tucked in a corner, or remembers that his favorite ball is on the bed, the couch, or under the coffee table.
Having to slow down after our car crash, I’m trying to be more in The NOW like Max. Afternoon naps, morning walks, last walk of the evening observing the sky… Slowing. Pausing. Seeing. Being.
I’ve learned a lot from that dog. And I expect he will continue to teach me, silently, soulfully, with that deep abiding patience that he works so hard to maintain.