Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Journal for September 23--Final Night Caring for the Poodle

I've been away for a while.....busy....Will start posting on different topics very soon...MOVIES  books....
Ways we re-invent ourselves....
My dog-care activities has defined me in new ways...
Hope you enjoy this true anecdote about my poor unfortunate blind charge....

Piper the blind poodle is a poignant study of a dog. Her milky eyes "stare" in the direction of sounds or light, and when she cocks her head and "looks" at me, with her vacant pupils, she resembles an ancient statue, or "Little Orphan Annie".
Among her ailments is a skin condition that leaves her hyper-sensitive to being touched. When she does approach me for a walk, she rubs against me as though starved for affection, but when I try to pet her, she snarls menacingly. She snapped at me once.
She is ever-vigilant for her owners, and will spend long minutes standing completely still, facing in the direction of the front door or the garage, listening for a familiar voice.
With me, she is very cautious..... And for someone like me who loves to be close to dogs, it hurts a lot to know that she prefers to keep me at a distance. I am unaccustomed to creatures, canine or human, being cautious of me.....Holding me at arms length, as it were.... That kind of caution makes me feel blue, unwanted, deficient in some way.
I gave her her space, sat with her each night in the family room, and talked to her in a gentle and friendly way.
Last night.. she walked near me, touched her nose to my hand..... Then, she walked across the room, picked up her squeaky toy frog, and squeaked it for me, in playful challenge.
All of my self-doubt melted away in that moment. She is a smart dog, as it took her only a week to lose her fear of me  (!)

1 comment:

  1. Awwww! Piper is so lucky to have such a warm, kind and empathic dog-lover as you to watch over her, Tom. She may have been slow to warm to you, but she got there in her own time with the help of your patience and sensitivity. It warms my heart to read this and your other stories of caring for dogs because I can totally relate to what you are saying and doing. Thanks for sharing a sweet story.