Wednesday, September 1, 2010

About a Dog




There's a little head resting on my ankle as I type. I get so used to the furry weight that I forget she is there. But she is. Always. She is simply there.

When I go to bed at night she tucks herself up behind my legs. When I nightmare she tucks herself in closer. If I wake to grainy images still running though my head and a dark, too-quiet world, she is there. When I wake in the mornings, twisted in my sheets, she is there. When I drag my limbs from the tangles and wonder how on earth to put my feet on the floor and begin my day, she is there. When I creep into my morning with  a sodden heart from a night of crying, she is there. As my boys bang and fuss and race about in my morning chaos, she is there. If I take five minutes to sit with a cup of tea and gather my head, she is there.

Some days ebb and flow better than others. She ebbs and flows with me. Some days find their rhythm without my forcing the hours along. Together we barely notice how time moves around us.
Some days are bent only on crashing me on the rocks of all alone. My arms dangle by themselves until a little wet nose pushes into my hand.  She is simply there.

She has no answers. She asks no questions. I don't have to tell her how I am feeling, but if I want to she'll sit for as along as I sit, and listen. She watches me yell at the walls when no one else is home. She knows I cry in the shower. She also knows I laugh at lady bugs and dance when it rains. And we love cupcakes. Both of us. Even though we know we shouldn't eat them, we do.

And we write. Since she was a tiny handful we have written together. She was there for all the midnight hours of my first draft. And for the stolen daytime hours of my second and third drafts. She was there during the chaotic hours, both day and nigh,t of my fourth draft. And she is with me now, as I attempt the fifth draft of my memoir. If I am at my computer I know where she will be- with me.

This I know: Dog is not Woman's best friend because Woman is such good company. Dog is Woman's best friend because Dog is there. Always. She is simply there.


What about you? Do you do the long hours with someone who is 'simply there'?

(photo: Me and my chihuahua "Lion." Yes, you read that right. Her name is Lion :)

37 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful tribute!

    I miss having dogs. We had two, but we couldn't bring them with us when we moved to Europe. Now I write alone, and the flat feels incredibly empty. I'm ready to have that constant presence around again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lion, the lion-hearted :) Well, you know that for me, it's a dog too. Whenever I need a laugh (or a blog post), or a walking companion, or someone to play with - to remind me that life is fun, I never have far to look. He's usually right there, chewing on my sock or stealing my underwear, but right there :)

    Lion is gorgeous :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Alison and Wen. Dogs are truly wonderful people :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love dogs! My bubba (a black lab) is there all the time. I feel bad for him though - he doesn't get nearly as much lovin' as he did before our son was born. We went from being our baby to the dog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved this and do truly understand! Multiply that by three and you have my writing gang :D
    I wrote a similar post called "Oh, it's you."
    Have a good one...
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

    ReplyDelete
  6. My dog, Korah is there but lately she's getting old (in every single way). I hope she hangs in for a few more years b/c we've built some memories together.
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just blogged about my writing companion - the Footprints mascot, Sophie! Okay she is only a toy puppy but at least I never have to clean up doggy doo-doo ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I write a lot about cats, but in fact, it's Bosco the AUSTRALIAN shepherd (wink) who is always there for me. I would be utterly at sea without him and love him to distraction. He is napping right next to me as I type this. Soon, he will help me get ready for work. He loves mornings!

    This was a wonderful post, Tab. And by the way, I am loving the short 'do!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a sweet post! No, no pet sitting at my ankles. I love my kitties though and if they were inside I'm sure they'd be cuddled up next to me.
    Love your pic!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tabitha..what a lovely tribute to your pet. I could just visualise the two of you together. Its too bad that I don't have a pet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shows the faithfulness of our pets. Sometimes just knowing they are there is enough. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  12. After my husband passed away 12 yrs ago next week. I was left alone with just my cat called...wait for it.......Tabitha.
    She was diabetic and needed two insulin shots a day which I gave her, After the last mourner had left the house the cat ran up to our bedroom and me-owed at the bed as if she knew what had happened, I picked her up walked from one room to another saying "It's just us now Tabitha" she put her head under my chin and gave a loud purr.......That's when I broke down in tears .sadly she only lasted another 2 years but she was fourteen, had a good life despite her illness, One could never forget Tabitha.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was so beautifully written and such a tribute to your little dog.

    Blessings.
    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  14. This reminds me of a book a friend read, called Dogspell: The Gospel According to Dog. I think it parallels the Christian concept of a relationship with God to our relationships with dogs. I hear it's utterly charming. (Google books link: http://books.google.com/books?id=aUSW0ow4n2MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=gospel+according+to+dog&source=bl&ots=qZ4xCDHwoU&sig=BouxZX0xYgiZ8TWV2PIXfEPBxY8&hl=en&ei=70d-TPtmhqaeB7vhrPAB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false )

    Your posts are lovely, good lady. That memoir'll shine after so many revisions, too. Keep at it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Aww, Lion! How sweet and ironic, I love that! I have two dogs and I love that they are always there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My dog, Buddy, is my constant companion. He shadows me wherever I go with his unconditional love. We can learn a lot from our doggies, can't we? So sorry you are having such a hard time, Tab. Would it help to talk? I'd be happy to call you.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have to admit that I'm not a dog person, but that was a beautiful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Boy, I wish my husband would let us have a dog! You both look so adorable and comfortable with one another, the perfect fit!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am never alone with Louie. He is my shadow and my companion. His are the eyes I look into as I express all my fears.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My dog lays at my feet under my desk when I write. I don't know that I could do it without him there.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, my Laura helps me write EVERY WORD. Dear one, I know just how you feel--except that every canine friend is different, so in that way, maybe I don't know ANYTHING!!!

    Ditto what Karen said if you need a human voice. patti@pattilacy.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. You two look made for each other! What a great pic! I have my little mini-dachshund, Sophie. She is attacking a towel as we speak. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awwww what a gorgeous picture! My two dogs dream of being lapdogs but at 35kg each it ain't happening ;p I think my cat is always there. She likes to sit next to my screen and poke it with her tail (not so good when you have a touch screen..)

    http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. My hubby! This post is so sweet, and I love the picture. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love this!

    Having that someone there is what makes it easier to go on when the day gets rough. I'd have to say my Beloved Spouse Creature and chipmunks. I can't be with them when I write, but knowing they're there, caring about what I'm doing has made all the difference. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I used to have two dogs when I was a little kid, but one of them died of a heart attack and the other one was given away. When I'm out of college I want to get a dog, because I feel like he/she will be there for me just as much as your dog has been there for you.

    As for right now, my friends are 'simply there.' They call me up on the phone or talk to me over the internet, even though they aren't physically here, they are here. Just their words, just their voices, are enough for me to know that they are 'simply there.'

    Write on with always someone by your side!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This was a lovely little dedication. :]

    My cat Albert is always trying to get up on my computer desk while I'm typing. And then when I shove him off, he comes up to sit behind me on my chair instead. Of course, I can't get mad at him.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I know exactly what you're talking about.

    I have a little one beneath my desk curled up on her pillow as I write. She's a Yorkie and has been there for me over ten years. I love her to pieces. There's a picture of her on my blog. She's helped me write many books, has been there through good times and bad times, but mostly she's "there".

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes. My simply there person is my 3 year old. He is still in love with me. My other 3 older children come and go, but my 3 yr old is my constant. Starry eyed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you everyone for you comments. I am glad I am not the only one with a furry friend to get them through long long hours :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I guess the person I reconnect with when I write is me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Not yet. Love the image of your dog being there with you. Okay, sometimes my cat is there - but it's on her terms.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Jason- I love that. Yes. Me too.

    Mary- yep, that is cats for you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love dogs and cats. Right now we only have a dog. She's my constant companion.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I LOVE this picture of you and Lion. As I write this, Grace, my 18 year old Siamese cat sits at my right elbow (thinking about how to work her way onto my lap). If it's not her, it's her two sisters, or Toby, the world's most magnificent Golden Retriever. I'm so blessed and so relate to this post.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Can I just say: I love love your hair cut . . . mine was this short for a long time and I've been growing it out a little - now seeing yours, I want my short short hair back!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog- following here too :)

    ReplyDelete