If there’s one thing that discourages a jealous dog, it’s competition.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Of course like everything that sounds simple there’s a journey involved in getting to the bit that’s simple. And at times the times the ‘simple’ bit is anything but easy.
If you were to tell me in the depths of my depression that competition was all that was needed to discourage the dog – that having other, more enjoyable things around me would make life easier to manage I would probably knock you flat. And I hit ‘like a girl’. When I am unwell they probably do knock the edges off things, but enjoy … ? Perhaps. I certainly need help to initiate the diversion and the routine. Ah … the old ‘r’ word. Yes, I must admit – it does help. I just hate it. I never feel like it and it’s damn hard to do. Especially when I still lack the sense of enjoyment of anything.
But further on – about eight months ago I gritted my teeth and reestablished contact with a long-lost world. The friend. The ones I lost contact with during a couple of years of withdrawing from – well – life in general. Initially it was very tentative. After all – who would really want to be friends with me, right? But no, contrary to my very localised opinion friends welcomed me back with enthusiasm … on-line, phone calls, coffees, visits and finally a trip to see someone who lived a long way away for a few days (I was very nervous about this one) which was lots of fun. I now have friends who I talk to again regularly and see when our schedules allow it, an old school friend I catch up with regularly, friends kids who are excited when I come to visit and people who miss me if I’m not around. I never thought I’d see the day. I’m still not sure I believe it. By rights I should have black and blue spots up and down my arms from where I have been pinching myself but if it’s not true, I’m not planning to end the dream any time soon.
Today is my first day at home after a couple of weeks on holidays – staying with the same friends that I visited earlier in the year. I was originally going for a few days, but the family with whom I was staying voted unanimously that I should stay longer – so I did. I visited with other friends and their families on the way home, including one family not far from home where I stopped in filthy weather with an hour’s notice to drop onto their couch for a night.
Amidst all of this my dog stayed at heel without challenge. This is amidst ongoing bungles with a return to work plan that has been drawn out for months.
My dog is shy around people who value me.
I need to remember this next time he pulls me in close to home.
A black dog needs a little competition from people who care. He just wants me to believe that there aren’t any. I did once and it turned out to be a lie. I must remember this for another day.
My dog lies.