Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Daemon

Last night I dreamt I had three Petunias. Three energetic black terriers hopping up on the sofa, demanding attention. Not a Buddy in sight.

They were adorable and I loved them all and made them practice only coming up on the sofa when I invited them. Then I found myself worrying that maybe I hadn't taken all three to agility class last night. Or maybe I'd only done the jumps with one or two of them and the other missed out.

Petunia is being brilliant in agility. She seems to love it and seems completely unfazed by the other dogs in class. Last night a rambunctious lab approached her and she was just fine. I accidentally held my breath as some sort of herding dog approached her and she was still fine.

This Saturday morning we rotate into our regular agility class, which will include that pit bull we met last week named Phoebe. The one with the calm energy. I feel certain Petunia's relationship with the pit will go south only if I'm weird about it. This may very well, at last, be the thing that drives me to practice meditation. I need to be able to anchor myself to calmness.

But the business of having three Petunias has me once again in mind of Pullman's book The Golden Compass.

I felt cosmically directed to read that trilogy (three separate events pointed me to it) so I finished Book One a few days ago. If I were actually "called " to read that book it's likely because of its premise that every human has an animal daemon that is a mirror of him or herself.

The idea of dogs mirroring human emotions and behavior is one that has come up repeatedly in my readings about animal behavior as well. And I've admitted all along that my tension and fragmentation have influenced if not caused the problems we're experiencing at home. But it's more than just being tense and off-kilter. If I were to truly contemplate this thing, I'd find parallels in Petunia's need for affection, her bitchiness, her anxieties, and her outright joy in structured romping outdoors.

So three Petunias. Was I supposed to be one of them--maybe the one left out of the agility class?

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