‘What does it all mean?!?’

Declared in an existential way, shaking a fist at the sky whilst standing alone on the peak of a craggy mountain.

Well, not really, in more of a quiet, less dramatic way, whilst frowning into a coffee cup. Cauta is in the corner, splayed out, chin to floor, still, breathing heavily but seemingly relaxed. Or is he? Is he bored? Is he cut off? Depressed? Sad? Lonely? Or, just having some down time, chilled and peaceful? And why does this wondering consume so much time and energy? Trying to work out what he is feeling and respond to him, all the time feeling it is not enough. Why?! On the surface he has so much more than he has ever had, but still I worry. Perhaps it is just exhaustion from the epic walks, perhaps it is just a state of adjusting to caring for a dog. But sometimes I wish my ‘wondering’ would give me a break.

Perhaps this is akin to what the child psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott, would call a state of mind of ‘primary maternal preoccupation’. A long sounding description of the state of mind of being a new mother, where your baby is your whole world and all encompassing. Now Cauta is not a baby, but this has resonance all the same. It is rare to have a thought unconnected to Cauta, he is ever present, even when down doggy daycare with his mates. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, where was I before him? And who are we now? And when can I get any work done?!?

Cauta now snorts and twitches in his sleep. Eyelids flickering. So my question is answered, he was relaxed. But then the doubts, is he supposed to sleep this much? Does he get enough play opportunities? Should I be interacting/enriching/building a bond/entertaining/ mind melding/jedi force training him?? Oh.my.days. Enough already. Maybe sometimes I just need to let him be. And I need to let myself be.

So if there is a message in this week’s odd rambling, perhaps the Beatles got there first, as they sanctioned, ‘Let it be’.

Cauta ably demonstrates this on an outing with a new dog, the lovely Della, she is half the size of him and twice as wise. After his usual goofing around, clumsily inviting her to play and then awkwardly persisting, he comes away with me for a chill out. When he returns he looks for a long time at Della, and then, instead of rocketing over and crashing into her, he quietly follows behind. Where she sniffs, he sniffs, when she shakes, he shakes. He has become her Padawan and pads in her footsteps. He seems to soak her up and gazes after her when we part. He let her be and in turn she let him learn. Thank you Della.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLEKlBxLBfI

http://squiggle-foundation.org/winnicott/

 

Padawan Cauta is learning.

Image courtesy of Jemma Stedham.