Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Dogs truly are opportunists. An open door, a left over pizza crust, a soft pile of laundry. If it's there, a dog will find it, use it, take it, claim it. Nyxie did just that last week.

We had just come in from the pool, arms weighed down and minds distracted. Dinner time was underway and the beers we'd enjoyed were keeping us mellow, glowing. Our new front door is not what I'd call reliable. It'll swing open if not shut securely with an extra little shove. Nyxie was waiting for her dinner, prancing about happy to have us home again. Then she saw it.

The front door was wide open. This NEVER happens. We are careful. It's usually like a NASA airlock to get in and out. Careful is an understatement. Poor T, she hadn't shut and locked it as we've told her to do time and again.

I can only imagine what went through Nyxie's mind. "The door's open. Hmm. I'll go and see what's out there". Or was it, "Freedom!! Freedom at last!!". Maybe it was just pure glee at being outside without being tethered to a human hand.

I, incredulous that she would've left, was looking for her in the bedroom. She was on the landing heading down the stairs as Matt ran out after her. Nyxie turned and looked at him, big toothy grin on her face. He called and she came straight back to him. Our good girl. (Keep in mind if this had been Arwen, I'm quite sure that my last memory of her would've been her big fluffy tail bouncing along as I watched her run away.)

T was stricken. I never thought a little girl could look more anguished and panicked. My poolside beers were keeping me even-keeled. I was reeling but steady - my baby girl was almost lost. Well, she knew where she was headed, but I would've been lost. There was no scolding needed. Everyone was safe and together. I'm quite sure the lesson to close and lock the front door was learned. Poor girl - I hugged her and she exhaled, letting the tension and fear go.
So why did she come back? Dinner? An automatic behavioral response to the word "come!", drilled into her as a tiny whelpling? I want to believe there was more. Maybe a combination of these two, but primarily a sense of "I don't belong out here alone". And she never will.

So the opportunity was there and she took it. It just wasn't as good as it seemed at the time. What do they say about the grass looking greener on the other side?

Monday, June 14, 2010


As I sit and type this, I hear Nyxie huffing muffled barks from behind my chair. This goes on for hours. She is ever vigilant, ever watchful and always ready. I'm not sure what she's ready for, but I suspect she'll know "it" when "it" comes. Or so she'd have us believe. Sometimes there are full-on barks of alarm. We've heard nothing of course. Maybe a beetle hit the front door hard enough for her to hear. What a dangerous world we must live in from her perspective! I'm not ungrateful for her protection, but I'd love to set her at ease sometimes. It must be stressful to maintain such a vigil. And all for the safety of her pack. Arwen's pack. All the while, Arwen just lays there with eyebrows raised. I can almost hear her whisper,

"Silly dog, don't tire yourself for nothing. I'll tell you when to worry"

I went back to work today after a week's time off. I can honestly say I was excited to see my friends and catch up on the week I missed. And then there were those who's perspective continues to be negative and dismal. This I didn't miss. This is the energy I'm working on rejecting. It can take a single negative comment or attitude that'll spread like cancer. I'm teaching mini-Matt about this. I don't see this as stuffing your feelings at all. Rather like looking through a different lens.

I know I sound like some kind of sap, but after a week away, I'm recharged. Stronger, confident, positive. This is the energy Arwen exudes. The calm confidence of a leader, of a matriarch. After a week with my family, I know better who I am and Arwen continues to show me how to get there.

Now if only those silly beetles would quit hitting their heads against the door...

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Summer's here and I'm officially on vacation!! After a long progression of workweeks strung together like a prison sentence, my time's been served! Well, more like I'm on probation. Regardless, I finally have some time away from work. And my first day away was spent poolside. The Africa-hot heat and the scorching sun felt like Crematoria. (Any of you Chronicles of Riddick nerds know exactly what I'm referring to...I know you're out there) The only relief was the pool.

Ahhh, yes, the pool. Living in an apartment, it can be a real crapshoot. Who will be there? The aging hippies with their Pink Floyd and Keystone beer cans? Or the family made up of 35 kids under 7 and one eighteen year old sister? Or maybe the couple looking for a little privacy? You never know what you're going to find. Yesterday it was just a couple of sets of adults, doing their own thing peacefully. No kids, no obnoxiousness. So we played with a beach ball and I tossed sinking rings for mini-Matt to find. Mellow.

By the time we headed back home, we were tired and moving slowly. The heat having sapped our energy. I walked into my bedroom to a growling Nyxie. She barked twice until I hushed her and she realized who I was. Letting her out of her crate led to a full round of sniffing.


Imagine experiencing the world through scent.

"Looks like her. Acts like her. Definitely doesn't smell right. I should bark!"

And with all our advances in technology, we've just recently identified that dogs can use their noses to do such amazing things like sniff out bedbugs and cancer. CANCER! What lucky schleps we are to be befriended by these amazing creatures. Have you sniffed your dog today?