The Comfort of Dog


There is nothing more comforting than the sound of four padded feet plunk-plunking up the stairs behind me as I retreat to my den to write. Pup is always there with me. He takes his place on his cushioned bed in the corner, lets out a deep sigh, and dozes off. I know if I glance back at him he will lazily open his eyes and return my gaze. How does he know I am looking at him? Perhaps it is the cessation of my typing that cues him or the sound of my body turning and the quiet pause as I watch him. Another deep sigh issues from behind. I pause, sip tea, and listen to the rain. I treasure these moments of calm quiet with pup.

In the kitchen when I cook he lays on his blanket and regards the entire process. Every time I look at him, his eyes are wide and fixed on me. He waits for me to finish so we can play. “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you,” Kavir jokes that this is Rio’s song as he watches us so intently and unceasingly. It makes me laugh and I sing quietly while I chop summer squash and tomatoes, peppers and green onion for stir fry.

Every move you make, Ill be watching you.

Pup had a stomach ache this morning. He whined softly for me to hurry as I readied to take him out to potty. The urgency of his request wasn’t immediately apparent to me and later I felt bad for making him wait an extra moment as I lingered in bed then sluggishly dressed. He almost always waits until the end of our walk to poop, but there was no waiting today, as soon as we got to the grassy area by the sidewalk he had to go. I think I just fed him too much before bed last night. Usually I scoop out his daily ration of kibble and give him some in the morning, use a bunch of it for training throughout the day and give him whatever is left before bed. It might just be a small handful of kibble. Yesterday I worked all day and didn’t get much of a chance to play training games with him. I was tired when I got home, snacked instead of making dinner, and then got ready for bed around 9pm. Rio had a whole bowl of food left, probably over half of his ration. I gave it all to him before bed. In hindsight that probably wasn’t the best idea. He has a sensitive stomach I guess. He was otherwise fine, full of his usual spunk. One bout of diarrhea is probably where this will end; it happens from time to time, probably nothing to worry about. We’ll definitely take another walk before I leave for work to give him another chance to go.

Early this morning my head was spinning full of “shoulds”. It was full of things I thought this morning needed to be, a twisting mental list of what I needed to get done. Then my sister texted me to remind me I had made a commitment to write. I decided for the moment to forget about everything else and take this rainy slice of morning to write about my life with Rio and to contemplate the peaceful meditations of a sleeping black dog. It was probably all that I needed.

Eckhart Tolle wrote in A New Earth, “When you want to arrive at your goal more than when you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed.” So get back to doing what you want to be doing. Rio is awake now and we are going for a walk.

Let’s go!

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