Have You Ever Been Left Behind?

Yesterday I broke the one and only doggie rule we set before we got Kanti that we had not broken already.  I was so pre-occupied when I left the house for an appointment that I left Kanti inside.  She has never been left alone and loose in the house during the day while we are not home.  My mind was racing around some ideas and interactions from the morning and bouncing forward to the meeting ahead.  In that swirl of energy, I grabbed my things leaving Kanti standing in the laundry room.  The truth is that I did not register that she was standing there looking at me.

As I got into the vehicle even more ideas and thoughts joined the circus in my mind, and I still didn't realize that something was amiss.  The back window of the vehicle was really dirty; it was going to be hard to see out.  I would need to use the washer feature right away.  I was concerned about brushing against the car as I climbed in, since I was not graceful enough to slide in, never have been.  I was vividly remembering my mother telling me forty years ago to walk like a lady.  Telling me didn't do the trick.  Yesterday morning, I still walked like me, and I climbed into the car and then did this little maneuver that helped me untwist my clothes.  After I was all settled and my clothes were back in the right spots, I shifted into reverse.

When I was backing out I momentarily wondered where Kanti was.  Why couldn't I see her in the back up camera?  Was she along the side?  Nope.  She was nowhere to be seen.  Was she out in the low lands chasing an errant coyote off the property?  That was possible, but a little odd because she would never let a vehicle come and go without racing over to check things out.  In that moment with an extra fifteen Kanti thoughts added to the already overloaded brain circuitry, I thought it would be wise to go back into the house and check.

I walked back through the open overhead door tramping into the laundry room; there in front of me was the most bewildered looking German Shepherd you have ever seen.  She was patiently waiting for her human to come back and set things right.  She knew her world was not quite right.  If we were gone she needed to be outside on guard duty.  There were coyotes to chase, deer to herd, strangers who might visit that she had to deter.  She was standing still, watching the door, and waiting for me to make it right.  Her head was tilted to one side as she listened for the signs that I was coming.  Her forehead was wrinkled because she was thinking hard.

When I saw her I laughed out loud releasing her from her stance.  She had been frozen in place, uncertain of what to do next because the world as she knew it had tilted from its axis.  The sound of my laughter set her free and she bounded over to me determined to help me get it right this time.  She was not going to be left inside again.  She was going to be ready to slide through the open door and take up her guard duties outside.  Kanti's world was not the only thing that re-adjusted when I laughed.  Mine did too.  The layers of thoughts slamming around in my brain magically retreated to the cranium filing system, closing the drawers behind them.  It was as if all the noisy kids suddenly left the McDonalds playroom, a calmness descended, and I got it all to myself for a while.

I realized in that calm and quiet moment that I had been leaving myself behind, forgetting to make time to laugh.  I had been caught up in the noisiness of living and failed to retreat to the simple and serene.  I had eliminated playing from my life.  To rectify the situation, I made myself a promise.

This week I promise to play a bit, to laugh often, and to retreat to the simple and the serene every now and then.  When I feel myself getting swirled up into the craziness again, I will remember Kanti's face and the quizzical look she had when I left her behind.