When we aren’t looking

25 05 2020

Good things come to us all by themselves and with a sense of rightness for the moment we’re in. This is the gift of the unexpected. Some call it serendipity.

I wasn’t looking for a dog to take on right now. There were tons of practical reasons not to, especially in a period of such fragility and uncertainty. But the heart doesn’t listen to reason. Intuition doesn’t respond to cold logic. All I know is that my heart leapt when I heard he needed a home. Then, when a saw a picture of young Teio – pronounced TeeeOh – it set something in motion that I needed to follow.

The yearling whippet is living with me now and we’re getting used to sharing a space. He’s getting to know my rhythms and routines. We’re learning each other. His energy is most undoglike. Soft, curious, very alive. He can stretch out his limbs and take up the whole length of sofa. He’s tall and lithe with almond-shaped melting brown eyes. It’s like having a lovely young gazelle to stay.

Except he has surprising outbursts of puppy behaviour. My work room appears as if a crowd of three-year-olds have just finished a rip-roaring birthday party. Shredded bits of paper, plastic and twigs everywhere. Furniture askew. Rugs rumpled and a disorderly play bed bang in the middle. I look at the mess and my heart heaves with happiness.

In his first hours, Teio followed me everywhere, moving from room to room, checking, checking, checking, his jittery claws clipping the wood floor. I wondered what I had done. Would he ever settle? Would I ever get any work done?

I put his soft bed on the floor next to mine. He jumped into it and looked up at me. I wished him goodnight and turned to my book. The next moment he leapt in one smooth movement to the space at the foot of my bed. There he now sleeps soundly, dreaming, a mushroom coloured velvet bolster, slender white legs twitching as he remembers – what does he recall in his sleep, I wonder as I watch him, thinking how strange it is that he should leap into my life almost when I wasn’t looking.

This gift of new young life is both messenger and metaphor. I think this young hound has come to show me how to be happy. How to trust. How to hope. How to love no matter what is happening in the uncertain world. How to remember to dream.


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