I’m told there are over 12 million dogs in the UK. Many of the 3.2 million pets acquired during lockdowns will have been dogs. With us all being pretty much shut in for so long it must have seemed like everyday is Christmas Day for dogs who need our company rather more than self sufficient cats.
Our new found freedoms have been traumatic for many dogs who are having to be taught how to take care of themselves even for short periods.
Some of us solved the problem by getting another canine companion, though this can have its downside; partners in crime and all that. My sister and her husband thought it would be good to go and sit in the car for ten minutes as a start. They soon realised this wasn’t working when they saw Holly regarding them quizzically from the lounge window. So they had to drive aimlessly round the block. Ten minutes soon turned into twenty. Fast forward a month and they’ve pretty much solved the problem and Holly’s good for two or three hours now. We’re solving our problem with Millie by bribery; a treat she really has to work at, so she forgets we ain’t there.
However dog owners deal with the issue, it’s clear that all their dog wants is to be with them. Their delight in our return has to be seen to be believed, such joy, even if we only went out for five minutes to post a letter!
This puts me in mind of one of Daniel Ladinsky’s Love Poems From God. It’s very Jewish; reminds me of Psalm 51, also evokes the Importunate Widow, who knew how to make a fuss and weep loudly.
My Bet with God
Let go of my hand, I would
Weep so loudly,
I would petition with all my might, I would cause so much trouble
That I bet God would come to His senses
And never do that again.
Let’s never forget that it’s His hold on us that keeps us safe, not our hold on Him.