Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two Sides of Me

A wise friend observed that P-dog and B-dog seem to be two halves of me. Yes that is so.

For years I've called P "my little empath" because she seemed to absorb whatever I was feeling at any moment. Especially the bad stuff. She's so watchful. Her shiny black eyes sparkle even in darkness, beaming right into my soul.

But what of the situation now? If I were to identify traits of my own with those of the dogs during this awful drama where would I even begin?

I've spent hundreds of hours journaling (here and elsewhere) about how the dogs are aspects of what I want and need but I'm not sure I have the self-awareness or honesty to identify how the dogs are aspects of what I am.

So I'll pour a glass of malbec, stop thinking so hard, and see what comes out without censoring myself . . .

Right now, meaning in the midst of the 30DR,

P-dog is:

* conflicted and unsettled--her behavior snaps between pleasantly normal and anxious and mean, as if she's just not sure how to "Be"

* gentle and loving and wants nothing more than attention and kindness . . . except for when she wants to be left entirely alone

* unusually protective of her treasures--not in an aggressive way, but in a worried-they're-going-to-be-taken-away way (for example, a couple weeks ago I brought home a deliciously massive knuckle-bone for each dog--B-dog gnawed on his but P dragged hers into another room and just sat there with it for hours; today I gave each dog another precious treat--a vanilla-infused cow cheek--and again B devoured his but P brought hers to her hiding spot beneath the bed and sat with it; I could find no evidence that she even nibbled on its edges). She has always remained calm when I remove a treat from her, and she continues to seem OK with my capricious removals and returns of treats (more of my training/testing her) and I don't know what would happen if B approached. Usually, when they're in the same room with treasures they take them away to other places until one of them gets distracted and wanders off, which is when the more vigilant dog grabs and hoards both. The loser tends to just accept the outcome. This has historically been true of both B and P. Because I've kept them separated the past week I can't say what would happen now but suspect P would growl.

* scared--she is fearful of bodily harm. She remembers B injured her and doesn't want to take any chances. She believes B is dangerous.

* wishing she and I lived here alone.

* tense about this whole fencing-off-the house and changing-all-the-rules-about-the-furniture thing.

B-dog is:

* worried. Something is wrong and different and he doesn't like it and doesn't know what to do about it.

* bored. He's not getting to explore as much. Discovering the passageway (i.e., the pass-through fireplace) between the two confinement areas was fun but now that's gated too.

* afraid of P. She's freaky and doesn't seem to like him.

* missing me. He wants to just have mellow time together, without all the tension.

* oblivious. Feeling like things are really basically okay.

* Itchy. If I'd just scratch his rump more often and brush his fur he'd be pretty content most of the time.

* misunderstood.

OK, well there you have it.




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