Well, we were reunited yesterday with George. Our dog. He was pleased enough to see us again, if much leaping up and licking of the face is to be taken as a sign of doggie pleasure; and we to see him. We have missed him on our journeys. He was well provided for, however: Lisa, who takes good care of him while we're away, has a King Charles Spaniel of her own, another (brown and white) Blenheim named Chaz; and another of her charges is a third King Charles, a ruby (chestnut brown only) named Abigail, so George was not without a peer group to run around with. We wonder if he misses the company of his own kind now. Anyway, there he was, sharing our bed with us again last night after a three-week hiatus. He likes to nestle in the crux of things, especially between human legs if he finds one of us sleeping on our back. Otherwise, he contents himself with the crook of a knee or close contact with a back.
You may think that George is spoiled, and this is undeniably true. But Ellie always reminds me that there's another way to look at it: that we're the spoiled ones, with a faithful pooch who brings so much pleasure into our lives. And if you look at things from a Buddhist point of view, our fellow creatures on the planet deserve their happiness no less than we do--and perhaps have a better sense than we of what true happiness might look like. Certainly, for them, it's not a matter of material possessions, and I don't get the impression that their minds are full of worries about the future or the past. George manages pretty nicely in the present moment, thank you. He does have one serious attachment--to the tennis balls he loves to chase. And I must confess that he suffers--untypically for his breed--from a little animosity, directed mostly toward other dogs whose acquaintance he has not yet made (he's quite friendly once he gets to know them); and, sometimes to our embarrassment, toward small children, whom he seems unwilling to trust--again, until he gets to know them.
So we're happy to have him back in our lives. Carly will surely understand. In case other readers had not picked up on this, I'm sure he won't mind if I share with you that he's another infatuated owner of a King Charles Spaniel. And "owner" of course is the wrong word entirely. We share our homes with them, but they remind us constantly that their spirits are their own.