I read an interesting post this morning from Something Wagging This Way Comes, about all the ways dogs are useful in our lives. And it got me to thinking: in this techy wonderland we’re all living in, with our devices blinking at us through the night, surgically attached to our palms, and now with Google Glass perched like little henchmen from Hell over our ears, could our dogs be our salvation?
This may be a stretch, one may well think, looking down at 6 Wieners jockeying for the position closest to my heart..ok, my morning apple strudel…as I enter the ” abandon hope, all ye who enter here” portals of the first multi tasking segment of my day: reading the Times, listening to the local news, catching up on the bills and directing the thoughts of my husband to the days activities I am interested in him pursuing. And then there is the fact that the dogs are, themselves, individually and en masse, part of the problem. I acknowledge this as blind, deaf –but hardly dumb– Fritz starts licking my iPad, having wandered off the smorgasbord of couch dyes he apparently needs for sustenance now. Then, just as everyone gets settled in their relative status-edifying positions, and I can direct the increasingly wall-eyed gaze of my focus on other earth shaking matters (like the fact my iphone won’t handle another update unless I delete a few hundred photos of which maybe two are not precious), Zulu the Cat slinks across the back of the couch, onto my shoulder and down into my lap, a black wraith of fine, wafting cat hair and dissension in the calm of Wiener Dog Zen. And thence to plant her butt on my iPad. My morning coffee starts the neurons in my brain firing like an assault rifle, my heart begins hammering out an SOS, and I explode like an overloaded circuit, spilling dogs, coffee, strudel, and one affronted cat onto the floor.
Also in the news this morning: a report that you can download an app that will let you meditate. When I finally stopped laughing, in an unseemly manner, I took a moment to consider that the expotential growth of technology has brought us, in just a decade, from small, unwired mobile phone calling to small, unwired mobile therapy. This is, in all truth, an exquisitely diabolical type of job insurance for computers. The crazier they make us, the more they provide, until our need for them is so deep we can’t even remember how to walk without Siri telling us to put one foot in front of the other.
Enter the dog. I cleaned up the spilled coffee, placed Zulu on the porch and mollified her with a kitty treat, hauled Fritz back on the couch, indicated to the others I had regained my sanity and they could rearrange themselves across my lap again, released my husband into the peace of his garage, and reopened my iPad and started checking text messages on my phone. I was into the business of soaking up more useless information than I would ever need about people I would never know and events that were never going to affect me, except on that Tao level where we are all connected, and God, that was another matter to be dealt with, and of course I needed to keep an eye on the dysfunctional Congress because as a good, voting citizen there was so much I could do to change that dynamic, right? And the Wildlife people were begging, beseeching me for money, because if I didn’t contribute five dollars right now—so little, and so convenient to give, just click here— the last Wolf would wander across my yard one day soon, skinny and unmated, and fall over and die in my peonies. Then as I was taking care of the animal kingdom, Facebook and EBay alerts started pinging. That was when Phoebe stepped in. Eyes calm, ears neutral and long silky tail gently swaying, she climbed onto my lap and stood very still, just looking at me.
As I looked back, she raised her nose and waited for my hand to brush her luxurious chest hairs. I reached in, and felt her quiver of delight as my fingers began kneading, finding her sweet spot, her back leg thumping with unconscious abandon. Looking at her face raised to Heaven, her eyes closed in the bliss of this simple interlude between two conjoined souls, at peace, absorbed in this moment, I, too, entered the expanding moment, and before long there was no chattering, quarreling, angst – laden world, no tasks to do, no deadlines or worries about future moments not even born nor past moments unchangeable, only this dog, and the sensation of this quiet give and take, like the calming roll of the ocean, infusing us both.
Try finding an App for that.