|in the woods near the Burrow|
I love having him to come home to, or being able to say, "Let's go for a ride!" and have him eagerly run to the door. I enjoy his company as I do errands or travel, and we've all ready been on one over night adventure. I love taking him out for walks at all times of the day, but I'll confess late night walks in the dark, where I can star gaze might be my favorite walking time. We've been out many times all ready in below zero weather, and have pounced in 12+ inches of snow in lower Michigan. We are learning to walk in the woods together. It seems like the leash is a new experience for Toby.** We both need to have plenty of patience as we learn to read the other's signals. I love having him to cuddle with on the couch at night while I do my school work, or play Words With Friends! He loves belly rubs, and I enjoy the distraction.
|You smell familiar, yet new.|
|Berlioz and Toby|
Toulouse is still in that curious stage. He likes Toby, but likes to fain annoyance, too. He likes to lay in the middle of the carpeted walkway and then act grumpy as our gentle giant shakes his head, jingling his dog tags. As a cat, Toulouse is a show-off. He likes to jump from the floor to the top of the kitchen counters, or from one counter to the other in front of or over Toby. Toby just wants to be part of the action. He likes that I give him a kitty treat when the I spoil the cats! It is fun to watch such a big mouth eat such a little treat. He's lives up to his reputation as a gentle giant.
|Toulouse cautiously watches Toby.|
|Toby wonders how he can climb the cat tree to join the fun.|
|It's a dog's life at the Burrow!|
I have spent this past year truly on my own. In doing so, I realize what I miss the most in life is physical, human touch. I am a person who likes to be close to another. I do reach out and make physical contact with those around me. I invade personal space bubbles. I give hugs. It's a good thing I teacher first grade, because I am a first grader at heart! I like to listen to others, but I also like to talk. I have a lot of friends, and no real enemies. I am a happy soul.
I love to watch others, but I am secretly jealous when I see hands being held or little acts of love being shown. It's a good envy. I imagine my parents were like that, and their love created me! True confession though...I mostly miss having a hand to hold on to and being kissed. I miss running my fingers though an other's hair, or caressing their face. I miss a confidant to tell my secrets. I miss having a partner who will just share the burden of living.
Going through my divorce has reminded me that I am a strong woman. Although I miss those physical, human touch things, I am really fine on my own. I do talk to my animals, and let them snuggle on my bed, but so what. I am me, and I am free to share love how I want. No judgments now. I believe you get in life what you give. I choose kindness.
So, who am I to give advice?
and someone who has been hurt
and who knows loss.
Life is too short.
I have been saying this since my dad passed away in 1985, but I started living this when my mom died in 2006.
I heard a comment recently, '... being together for so long...you get bored.' WTHeck???
Don't let this happen in your relationships! Your relationship may end without you realizing it because you were bored. No matter what relationship you are in...same sex partners, long/short term relationship or marriage. I say to you, love one another. It's likely you've been through a lot together. Remember that! Reminisce. Remind each other of the good in your hearts. Think about what drew you to that person. Chances are, they have forgotten, too. Trust me on this..the world is a lonely place and it's not easy starting over. Touch your loved one! Hold hands when you can. If you are riding in the car, hold hands. If you are walking in the grocery store, hold hands. If you are heading back to your bedroom, hold hands! Simply touch one another. I'm not talking about sex, I'm talking about making physical connections. Reach out and push a hair out of some one's eyes, stroke their cheek, cup the back of their neck as you look into their eyes. Listen as they talk. Ask questions. Be engaged with them. If you do this in public know that if others see you, your love will be contagious. Maybe you can spark a different kind of movement. We all need to feel loved.
The lack of human touch was not what ended my marriage. I was married to someone who has a personality disorder. I still fear that I won't be able to allow someone close to my heart again because I am scared of being hurt. I just know I really miss human touch.
I know I can love another human again, too.
I am working on spreading love, understanding and positivity. I hope you will, too.
love warrior, animal lover, happy soul
*******I do not know Toby's history.
Here is what I do know, English Setters are bred to be hunting/gun dogs. They have gentle mouths because they are bird dogs. They flush out prey and then will retrieve their hunters trophies. They are used as a tool, not kept as a pet. They are not fixed, because it is believed that neutering or spaying diminishes the hunting ability. When an English Setter reaches about five years of age, they are finished as a hunter.
When owners turn animals in to a shelter, and most are kill shelters, the animal's fate is sealed to die. On the other hand, when someone finds an animal that was dumped, and brings it into a shelter, that animal has at least a few weeks reprieve to be reconnected with it's owner. Or possibly, even be adopted by someone better!
Rescues, like Above and Beyond English Setter Rescue, whom I worked with to adopt Toby, step in to find homes for certain breeds.
English Setters do make wonderful house pets. It is likely that I will never be able to let Toby off his leash as we hike in the woods...his drive to hunt is very strong, but given space to run and someone to love, he will have a wonderful life.