Isla is the most affected by our new, old family addition. She is a new girl. A girl with a dog to love. Thank goodness because she has gobs of love to give and I can't always field it all. It comes at me in swirling cyclones and sometimes, I find myself ducking when I should be opening my arms wide, simply because I'm daunted by its fullness, its depth, its pulling power.
Now it's Ruby's turn to get caught up in the cylone. To be smothered with little girl love. And I have noticed a slight break, a lessening in the urgency of Isla's need to express love and affection. But I do have to be ever vigilant that she isn't suffocating, or strangling, the dog. I did catch her trying to play wheelbarrow with Ruby in the kitchen the other day.
|One for me, one for you.|
|Isn't that delicious?|
But I think Ruby has benefited from our reunion as well. When I first saw her after we got back, she seemed diminished, tired, old. That's because she is tired and old, and, according to the vet, five pounds overweight. (Staying with grandma, who keeps cookies in every pocket, can do that to you.)
Right now she is lying with her back against the back door. Her entire side is undulating up and down in time with her breathing. Inhale, exhale. It sounds like she is struggling to get enough oxygen but maybe she is just congested somehow. Do dogs get congested?
But I fluctuate between seeing her as an old dying dog and seeing her as the floppy, silly puppy she has always been. Just today, on our lap around the front meadow, I looked back to see her trotting gaily along the back stretch, suitably behind me as she prefers to be, her ears flapping like black washcloths in the wind, her nose up fishing for scents, her tail wagging. Just like old times. A happy dog.
It brings me joy to see her trotting happily through the grass. Just like she's my kid. My first born. I have to wonder what she thinks of me, of us, back here so suddenly, just picking up where we left off with nary an explanation. Does she need one, or does she know.?