This is weird, unbelievably weird.
So with that as a warning, you may want to read one of the letters on this page, which could also be weird, or look at a Charlie Hall cartoon that can be …
This is weird, unbelievably weird.
So with that as a warning, you may want to read one of the letters on this page, which could also be weird, or look at a Charlie Hall cartoon that can be undeniably weird.
But if you love your pet – it could be a dog, a cat, a bird, a fish or even a pig – you have a special bond. Well, if that’s you, read on.
My sister and her husband, Edward, had a wonderful dog named Tucker. He must have had some cat in him because he exuded an air of independence. Sure, he’d wag his tail and give you a foxlike smile from a shaggy collar of tan hair. It was an acknowledgment, a greeting, but he didn’t bound over to get scratched behind his pointy ears or to bestow licks. He had his place and he was quite content with it.
Claire cared for Tucker and as he aged, first losing his hearing and later losing his mobility, she knew the time would come to end his suffering. She would have to put him down. She dismissed the thought to adopting a second dog to keep Tucker company, maybe to reinvigorate him and to give her company on the woodland walks she loves. That wouldn’t be fair to Tucker who was there as Edward lost his long fight to Parkinson’s.
When it came time for Tucker, Claire wasn’t in a rush to get another dog. She was going to see what happened. Both her daughters have dogs, so she had canine visits along with grandchildren. Dogs are a part of the family.
Then, earlier this summer, my niece and her family were off to visit her husband Thor’s family. Could Claire dog-sit Nixie, their two-year old Portuguese water dog? Claire welcomed the company. I got periodic reports that Nixie loved swimming with her in the Deerfield River, is exceeding smart and she loved Nixie racing to the window to check on the patio chipmunk although she feared Nixie might jump out the window. From the practical point of view, she pointed out that Nixie needed to be sheared every six weeks or so. Tucker shed which aggravated Claire's allergies. Nixie doesn’t. It was obvious Claire had found a companion and it was going to be difficult when it came time for Nixie to leave.
They had bonded and this is where the story approaches the realm of the surreal.
Claire lives in a rural area on a dirt road with houses far apart. Dogs roam, but Claire never feared Nixie would take off. While rambunctious and playful, there is a hesitant side to Nixie. She’s not comfortable going beyond her known boundaries. When they went out, Nixie was reluctant to go any farther than where they had last been.
So, when neighbors a couple of houses away invited Claire over, she wasn’t surprised Nixie waited for her at the property line. She urged Nixie to go ahead, to lead the way as Tucket did. Nixie didn’t have the gumption. Claire wondered how she could get Nixie to overcome her hesitance. She stopped waving her hands in the direction of the neighbor and urgings, “come on, let’s go.” She stood silently and mentally visualized crossing into the neighbor’s property. Could she project that image to Nixie?
Nixie looked back at Claire and then walked into the yard. What had just happened? Had the dog gotten the picture or was this coincidence?
But they hadn’t arrived yet.
There was another property line, another boundary. Nixie understood this and stopped again. Here was an opportunity to see if there was a communication. Claire visualized walking into the yard, but then added something. They would be going to the back door of the house that was out of sight. Claire imagined taking the path to the back door. Nixie knew what to do. She went to the back door.
We’ve heard of horse whispers and maybe Claire has tapped into a talent that she didn’t know she had until now. Could she have unconsciously projected images to all the dogs she’s adopted over the years? Might we all have the ability of projecting images to the animal kingdom if not among ourselves? Verbalization has its restrictions. Images can communicate so much more powerfully.
I had to try it.
Sitting at the dinner table I visualized cutting a morsel from my pork chop. Ollie was watching me intently. Without any command, without as much as blink, he lay down.
He got the message, or did he?
I sliced off a morsel and gave it to him. I completed my picture…or had he projected that image?
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