Dogs do not sneak quietly into my life with built in good manners.
Misbehavior! Gasp! Say it isn’t so… First they are overly generous with their friendly greetings and not one of them is under 50 pounds. Then there’s jumping. Mostly they reserve that for me. It is no fun to have your feet swept out from under you so that one lands on unmentionable places with a dull thud. Last but not least there’s rough housing…with each other. That wouldn’t be so bad. I admit it does use up some of their endless energy. The dilemma is that they do it within inches of me. My smallish self becomes an unwilling participant in their romping games. Remember that dull thud I mentioned before. Yep, there we are again…
Yesterday afternoon I set out on a walk with Dobby on a leash – we are diligently working on good manners. Miss Ellie came too, not on a leash – she already has good manners. We three musketeers headed to the pond, as we do everyday. Ah, a lone mower was at work in the field. The dogs were content by my side but definitely curious about these happenings in what they consider “their” space. I could see their thoughts ticking away at the idea of a new friend!
He was preparing for this afternoon. There will be a couple hours of skeet shooting for out of town guests. Miss Ellie will be frightened by the sounds of the gunshots. She would never have made a hunting dog which is fine with me. Ellie will stay under my feet until the shooting stops. She likes it best when I take her to a large closet and turn on a loud fan to drown out the noise. I sit on the floor with her, crisscross applesauce and pet her gently until she calms and falls asleep.
It hurts me to see Ellie so afraid. She doesn’t understand. It’s a helpless feeling for both of us and all I can really do is be near so that she knows I’m there with her.
So, I veered from our usual walk on the north side. We reversed our footsteps and took the path to the south instead. Across the creek, through the young pines, onward and upward. At the top of the hill rests a very small very old cemetery…
I looked once….I looked twice…I looked three times… no doubt about it; there was a young bull inside of the cemetery!
My first thought was that there must be a break somewhere in the fence – I explored carefully. The chain link fence was completely in tact and the gate was quite closed. Hmm… He stared at us. We stared at him. All of us were perplexed at such a strange occurrence.
My second thought was to simply open the gate and let him out. I wasn’t afraid of him. But, after all he is not my bull. Perhaps he was separated from the herd temporarily for a reason that I didn’t know. You never know…
Meanwhile, a lovely milk chocolate brown cow wandered up to give us a verbal “what for”. She must be his mother. Now, whether she was admonishing us to go away or to open the gate and set her son free, I can’t be sure. There we all were locked in some sort of weird time warp event. No one in any danger. No one knowing quite what to do next.
Now came the phone call which began like this – hello, this is suzanne. I have rather an odd question… I heard light laughter on the other end and the phrase – it’s always something! The friendly lady said – thank you samantha, I’ll be right over to let him out. Yes, samantha. I guess on the phone on Wednesday afternoons suzanne sounds a lot like samantha. I’m good with that. It makes me think of Bewitched and what girl doesn’t want just a hint of magic in her days.
My musketeers and I continued on our walk content that help was on its way. Yet, I was left wondering of the young bull. However did he get in there. How long had he been trapped. I’ll say this much, the cemetery does Not need to be mowed. How long would it take a bull his size to clean up a grassy area that way. It’s a riddle I’ll probably never have an answer to…
I could have stubbornly kept on to the pond as I usually do and not ventured to the south. But, you know that feeling when something changes. You can’t quite explain it but, there it is. And you change with it… Maybe you ease into the changes or maybe you fight them. Either way, you find yourself on a hill next to a cemetery staring at a bull who needs you. Only five minutes ago you didn’t even know he existed. Now, he’s touched your heart and you are forever different for it…
I know…forever is a long time…but sometimes the biggest changes happen in the smallest moments…
I could write all day about what brought me to this one place in time. Every moment is that way though, built upon others before it; a single step on the winding way to an unknowable future. To be honest, there were storms on this path that I would have gladly done without. Nevertheless, there I am… learning from All of it…not just the good stuff.
Simple really… I walked a different way, saw a bull, made a phone call, the end. And yet, it stays with me. I still see him alone and helpless with no way out looking into my eyes…the key to his freedom as simple as a hand upon a gate.
At times in my life I am Ellie shivering with fear of what I don’t understand. Other times I am the bull alone and helpless…not seeing the gate…not knowing how to open it for myself. I am even the cow unable to communicate my heart’s desire. I hold all of these moments until I need them again, the lessons of them. I need reminding often.
When something lands softly before me or crashes, as something always does…to remember how it feels to be on the other side of the fence or to shiver in the unknown…to give from my heart with compassion and my hand in gentle kindness. I’m never only on one side or the other.
There will always be something and the answer will always be love.
ellie894 October 11, 2018