I came home today to the excitement of having a big Crate and Barrel box waiting for me. I ordered a new coffee pot, and it had arrived. I love coffee, and my coffee maker was shot, and pathetic according to a good friend who is a master of all things coffee. I carried the big box into the kitchen and began the agonizing process of getting through all the wrapping to the actual coffee pot.
The dogs were all outside when I bought the box in the kitchen. I didn’t think about it, It didn’t occur to me that it was a trigger, a symbol, a reminder from his past. Tristan was halfway through the kitchen door when he saw it, terrified he froze and backed up. I acted calm, like it was not a big deal and I moved the box from the kitchen. I could see his sweet face through the glass door, very concerned look on his face. There he sat, he would not come in, I tried leaving the door open and walking away…nothing, still he sat outside looking in. The schnauzers went back out and I tried using the “treats” strategy. Nothing. I waited, just to give him time if he needed to get his head around it, calm himself down. When he is upset he yawns repetitively, paces and gets the “look”.
I thought it would help, I thought I could just click the leash on and we would walk in the house together. I thought wrong. He took one look at the leash in my hand and belly crawled frantically across the yard shoving himself under a bush. I put the leash down, and slowly went to him and kneeled down beside him. He was trembling, shaking so hard. I did not touch him but I laid down next to him close as I could and just started receiting the first thing that came into my head which was the song “I walk the line” (I know, I know, blame my Dad the Johnny Cash fan!) Why didn’t I pick a nice soothing song like that Sarah McLachlan number they play during those heart wrenching SPCA commercials that goes on, and on, and on.
I was saying the words to the song in a soft voice almost like I was reading a lullaby…“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time,I keep the ends out for the tie that binds, Because you’re mine, I walk the line…” I could see the back door from where I was lying and both schnauzers had their noses pressed against the glass watching over their big brother, “I find it very, very easy to be true, I find myself alone when each day is through Yes, I’ll admit I am a fool for you, because you’re mine, I walk the line…” then I saw my neighbors back porch light come on, lord I wonder what she must think. ” As sure as night is dark and day is light, I keep you on my mind both day and night. And happiness I’ve known proves that it’s right, Because you’re mine, I walk the line…” Minutes pass slowly and finally Tristan relaxes his tense body and slowly lays his head down on my arm. It was over, without moving his head he looks over at me as I slowly move to get up, I manage to carry him inside like I have done so many times before. I am reminded that sometimes we all just need a little help, no matter how far we have come, no matter how much we have changed… things can scare us unexpectedly and we just need someone to be there.
You give me cause for love that I can’t hide
For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide
Because you’re mine, I walk the line