Well I’m not sure where to start back into this discussion I’m having with no one and everyone all at once. Things change sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly…but inevitably we can anticipate that everything will change. In the past few week my life has made a rapid turn around in a way that I find hard to even conceive of. In fact I’m almost afraid that if I look at it too closely, I will analyze away the joy and levity I feel in my heart. But, it is not my nature to let things just emerge; hopefully one day it will be.
An old friend of my husband;s and I has come back to town. The person that originally brought us into the world of professional music and who inspired me to stretch beyond my self-imposed limitations quite regularly. he seems to think we’re doing him a favour by letting him stay with us while he gets on his feet, but I think the whole thing is quite reciprocal. He is helping us get past a few hurdles we seems to have gotten stuck at. He is equally close to us both so the balance in the house right now is very nice. It seems all the kids are on their best behaviour because he doesn;t have any kids and he will talk to them like adults and he has adult expectations of them, which is making us raise the bar a little around here. It’s about time.
And I’m not saying everything is perfect. It was a little tough the first few days. he was very self-absorbed, trying to “find himself”, that the diatribe of past reflections became a bit much, but I have to remember that i was certainly in that place at one time as anyone who chooses to listen to the voice within knows is the first step to understanding the bigger picture.
But this is change. It doesn;t have to be bad all the time; it’s about time I figured that out too.
My mother ended her chemo and radiation yesterday. Another huge WOW. That was a terrifying experience for us all. There were sooo many people praying for her and directing their positive healing energy towards her that surely she benefited. Case in point: She didn’t lose her hair or become sick even after 6 weeks of seriously intensive chemotherapy and radiation. This is an act of Grace of which I could never be unconvinced. We joke that she didn’t even get the only real “benefit” of cancer, which was to lose weight. She gained 50 pounds in the process…thinking that since she was going to be at a point in the future where she would not want to eat (like it shows in all the movies) then she was going to let her appetites run freely and fill herself up so she wouldn’t become too thin. But, she never got thinner. The doctor’s loved it, she admitted wasn’t a big fan, but could live with it deciding that her health would become her number one priority after the treatments and their effects abated. Pretty awesome lady.
Then there is change number three; his name is Archie. His SPCA description said that he had belonged to a street girl for 5 years and therefore was extremely well socialized. They said that Archie was a truly exceptional dog and they were looking for a special kind of home for him. I don’t know what it was that made me jump on that dog but there I was writing a little considered response to the Kijiji Ad – and please believe me when I tell you I was NOT in the market for a dog. This just happened.
So the people write me back. Because of Archie'[s breed type, pit Bull, there is a special organization of folks, all volunteers, who work together as experienced trainers and handlers of pit bulls to try to change what they claim to be our misperceptions about the breed.
“Well”, I think, “this is all nice, but I have enough crusades and I really don’t feel like taking on another. So please count me out. ”
And yet my actions are not listening to my fear response. I feel as though I will continue forward with this as long as the process is easy; as long as the road presents itself to me. I would not force it or try to imply my will in this, which was clearly that I was not in the mood for any more CHANGE in my life. But there it was. I tried to have faith that i would not be given more than I could handle. I realize that we don’t choose when we’re called to do something, even if we don’t know why. We can ignore it, but we’ll just get called in a different way and maybe with greater challenge. Also, it felt like an opportunity to try to “practice my faith” about how the Universe functions in relation to positive forward moving intention. It was like my own private metaphysical science test.
First I ahve learned the really get honest about my own intentions. Am I pulling a “Mary Pooppins ” with a person or animal, as I have in the past, to try and take the spot light off my own interior responsibilty to dealing with life on life’s terms? I had to check my intentions as well. Why was I attracted to this miserable looking sad skinny pit bull> For God’s sake! I have spent most of my life terrified of dogs. I had one try and surgically rearrange my own when i was a young girl and have never quite shook the fear. But Archie wasn’t in that category. A part of me felt as though I couldn’t understand why Archie was living somewhere else; that he should just come home now.
The first tests came when I decided to fill in the adoption form for fun. I sent in short humorous answers, some of the questions being clearly for new dog owners. I was surprised at the immediate response, so I relayed a message back and we opened a dialogue about Archie. I expressed my concerns openly and honestly and Irina would respond with intelligent answers that made sense.
The day I had planned for a visit to the SPCA (I was dreading that in a big way), I ran out of steam and they had an emergency come up. It was cancelled but we rescheduled. I thought that maybe this was the sign that i was not going to have to adjust to a new “being” in my house. I would avoid a change and I felt relieved. But instead, I received an email shortly after saying that the volunteers had seen the website for our farm and were really eager to bring the dog to us and do the home visit at the some time. I liked their tenacity and vigilance about ensuring proper dog/environment fit. I was also grateful not to have to introduce a city born street dog to my farm animals without capable experienced handlers around if something went awry. If Archie was going to have a chance he would have to display the utmost gentleness with people, especially when he greeted them. I could feel we were all a little nervous as I’m sure Archie could as well. But he passed the tests of all of our keen observing eyes with flying colours. Kids surrounded him and touched him all over and he only showed signs of raputurous joy. Very gentle not move so as not to knock anyone over, I watched as Archie soaked in the love like a very dry sponge. It was lovely to see.
But everyone (even dogs) has an issue and Archie’s issue seems to be cats. He almost gave Kahlua, our very old declawed (she came like that) house cat, an aneurism his first night on his sleep over. I have not seen her in 6 days now but the kids and Graham assure me that she is upstairs, alive and well cared for. They feed her and change her litter every day. Archie and I will have to work on the cat issue. He just sees them as big fun play things until they fight back.
Archie has slid into our house with near effortless ease. We had too much activity the few days after he came and he became quite unsettled. His worse behaviour was pacing and not finding a soft place to snore.
Archie snores, and smiles and talks like a parrot. he grumbles and when he’s really happy he nearly purrs.
When unhappy (which is whenever I or my husband leaves) Archie “tweets” like a bird. We still haven’t gotten over how funny that is. Our friend Archie is very vocal.
Each one of us have taken things out of his mouth, in mid chew, and he never makes a sound. He only talks when he’s very very happy.
Jake has taken to him happily. They play like “real men” and when called down they both settle. It’s lovely to have two dogs who listen so well that i don’t have to worry about them hurting each other.
Jake is better exercised with Archie around, that’s for sure.
Archie was lame for one day last weekend,. I think he pulled his stifle wrestling with Jake the enormous black lab/mastiff cross in the deep deep snow.
Archie has been quite a change. I didn’t sleep my second night thinking he was going to kill Kahlua, but then the next day one of the barn cats practically walked over his face and he did nothing. I can see that it’s not an unmanageable problem and so I begin to relax.
Relaxing is good.
The dogs are balanced, having Graham around is nice for someone to talk to about things you don’t talk to everyone about. Everyone needs a friend like that. And Archie, well he can be found faithfully snoring on his “Archie Bunker chair” which he adopted his first night home and has claimed as his own from the get go.
Welcome home Archie.