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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mother Love

Singer did something that borders on sainthood yesterday. I had to put her in the crate last night before we headed out to our yoga class. She looked at me like, “Why are you doing this? Don’t you trust me?” I gave her an extra squirt of liver paste in her Kong and shut the door. When we got home, she came bounding up the stairs after I let her out, so glad to see me. Then she went into the living room, where Dakota was stationed on his kitty condo, as usual. Now, a lesser dog might jealously lash out at Dakota right about then, furious that he has freedom in the house while she has to be caged…like some sort of animal! But Singer walked up to Dakota and started licking him in the most loving, slow way that it brought me to a standstill. Her tongue gently and carefully swept across Dakota’s back, as if she were his mother, cleaning her precious baby boy. I so wanted my camera, but of course these moments are rarely long enough for one to run and get it. Jeff, who was reading, didn’t see it. Dakota stepped off his perch and turned around to give his fur a quick swipe with his tongue, like a kid wiping away his mother’s kisses. The look on his face said, “Yuck!” I think Singer was trying to show me, “See, I love my brother already, even though he looks like a squirrel…” I actually think Dakota looks like a raccoon—he’s a seal bicolor ragdoll, and his coloring around the eyes gives him that masked look.

Irish setters have these liquid brown eyes that are so easy to anthropomorphize. They exude such love and tenderness, and a sort of wisdom, too. Their behavior can be so impetuously childlike, it’s hard to see wisdom in them, but trust me, it’s there. It’s a kind of stoic understated wisdom, like they are saying, “I know you think I’m brainless, but actually, I know more about the important things in life than you would ever guess.”

Singer fell asleep with me on the couch last night, tucked in by my side, her head snuggled in the crook of my arm. Her eyes started to slowly close, like a tired baby’s, and she breathed deeply. She would make her eyes pop open to check on me, then the sleepiness overcame her and took her to dreamland. I woke up about a half-hour later, and we both got up to get ready for bed. It’s amazing how energetic the night air makes her as she patrols the yard one last time before ending the day. 


Marianne said...

This is breaking my heart. I'm so glad she has you. She must have been really lonely.

Singer's Mom said...

Oh, I was hoping it would HEAL a heart! Animals are such healers, don't you think? Their love is so pure and gentle. Dakota and Singer send their love to you (and I do, too!)