It is 4:30 in the morning and the house is alive with dog play. There is no curbing the enthusiasm. It has always been this way with Nora, but now the energy of the two of them sends me to the coffee pot before I’ve barely swept the sleep out of my eyes. Luckily the daylight is breaking too and moving into the day at this hour feels completely natural. I’m a little sleep deprived, after four nights of preemptively taking Yogi out to pee at the sound of stirring and whimper from the crate every three hours or so. I’m not complaining. There’s something cathartic about being all in, dedicated to the process of surrendering to this little being. It’s inevitable, even after training many dogs and knowing all the signals, that I will miss cues and there will be accidents, but so far so good. We are all settling into a rhythm. I have grown accustomed to fishy teething breath and relentless curiosity that demands a vigilant watchful eye when puppy is loose.
The place on the couch next to me that has remained open for many years is now occupied by the warm presence of puppy.
It’s not that Nora hadn’t been here. Her presence is strong, but she I think, for her own traumatic reasons, didn’t get a chance to bond like Yogi is doing and doesn’t know how to put her head in my lap. She maintains a very rigid boundary, even though I can feel her desire to be close. She must feel that she has my whole heart. But maybe it is a dog thing after all, learning how to be affectionate is something they need to learn from each other. I watch as she periodically moves her nose close to Yogi, as if to explore a different way.
Nora’s curve for trusting who she seems to be is a slow one in comparison to the fast curve of puppy growth. And their curves are already intersecting beautifully.
The sun is coming up. Yogi is stirring in her crate after a brief respite. Nora stays ever vigilant on her mat in front of the fire, just a few feet from the crate.
The meadow now fully enclosed in spring bloom seemed to happen overnight and provides big space for testing old and new limits. Even Yogi has found his own path to getting there, I love watching his little white body dart through the narrow space at the edge of the raised garden bed next to the house, where he emerges into this full view.
The path that Nora and I walk in the woods, the one that was so open to sky just a week ago is also now a focused symphony of green, further enclosing us in our established place of unbounded freedom and connection.
She seems more playful out there this spring, darting in and out of the water with confidence. I think I see her watching for where I will engage with her in this place, perhaps there is an opportunity for growth here too.