Being aware of what is around us is the essence of enjoying our lives as they pass by. Jon Kabat-Zinn's book title "Coming to Our Senses" is just what I mean: taking the time to pause from thinking, calculating, willing, planning to use our senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling. I like to think about the chickadees and nuthatches that come to our feeder and their world that is free of human politics and our clashes of symbols and ideologies and abstractions. I realized that the election on Tuesday would be upsetting and depressing for many people. I thought visiting the world inhabited by dogs might a place of rest and refreshment.
We have two neighboring households across the street, one slightly to the west of the other. Through various happenstances, both recently got new pets. Again, without collaboration or mutual planning, they both got males of the same breed, Pomski, a cross between husky and Pomeranian. I have been told that the body sizes of the two breeds make it better to get puppies by artificial insemination. Both dogs are less than one year old. But a 9 month old Pomski is very capable physically, bouncing, scenting, lively and able to behave outdoors on a leash and stake quite nicely.
We don't hear a great deal of barking. The main thing that gets the dogs alert is another dog being walked along the street. The two Pomskis have learned to play together and they seem to feel that any other dog coming by ought to have the good sense and manners to play, too. That is not often what is on the mind of a dog owner taking his dog for a walk.
Recently, one of the men built a large enclosed area and the dogs are often allowed to play at large in it with no leashes or other restraints. It seems to me that playing and romping with each other is the high point of their day. On their staked leashes, they can see each other. There are plenty of times when one of them is inside or otherwise absent and the one outside alone stands erect, alert and on point watching intently of a sign of the other. When a person practices mindful attention, he would do well to copy the obviously emphatic and unrelenting focus a Pomski applies to looking for his buddy and any sign of upcoming fun.
This morning, one man had to go off on an errand but told his neighbor it would be all right to take his dog off the leash and take him over to the enclosure, where his pal was waiting. Removing the stake leash went smoothly but the second the transporting leash was attached, the dog was off like a shot, trailing his temporary leash along. The neighbor made a fast grab and secured a grip on the visitor. As usual, once both dogs were in enclosure, they ran and leaped and knocked each other over repeatedly. The two of them are the very picture of joy and give anyone who sees them a lift.