Walking the dog
I have a dog. Or rather, I have Me and there’s a dog that go with Me. He’s called Liam. A beautiful mongrel with deep dark eyes and the body of an Irish Wolfhound shaped like a sand brown terrier. We walk a lot him and me. He’s very gentle and receptive following everywhere I go. He likes walking with me and always stands at the door when he senses that there’s walking about. But there’s things that he doesn’t like too. He dislikes sharp sounds like fire crackers and gunshots. That makes him very anxious. When that happens, he wants to turn back and for the rest of the day he’s reluctant to go out again. On those occasions, still following me obediantly, the stride is quirky and hesitant. Instead of trotting beside me or sniffing around, he kinda drags himself behind me. Constantly searching eye-contact and a sign that there’s time to go home. He’s insecure and fearful and he shows me.
Still, he would never turn his back on me and leave for the security of home sweet home, never. It’s deeply rooted in him that I’m the boss and I, not him, decides where to go when. I doubt there’s any conscious thought about the situation but an innate pattern of behavior he’s following without being aware of anything besides the anxiety and the relief. He can never be free as long as I’m there to care for him. Strange isn’t it. The thing that keeps him safe is the very same that creates his prison. All in good will and according to common sense.
When I’m not walking with Liam, I sometimes wonder who’s the dog and what’s the boss?