Monday, October 10, 2011

I want to love like my dog does

We had a kitchen accident the other night. A falling knife, a dog who assumes that anything which falls in the kitchen must be food.... You can see where that lead to. What that simple retelling doesn't say is how Shane and I both worried that she'd been blinded at first (one cut is on the skin of her lower eyelid and it bled HORRIBLY, right into her eye) and how bad Shane felt for not setting the knife down properly. Visions of midnight vet calls, stitches, blindness in our beloved dog's left eye, all went rushing through my head but thankfully didn't happen. The cuts are small and the one somehow managed to miss her eye.
The crazy part, though, is the dog's reaction. She didn't yelp when she was cut, and she didn't freak out at all until we started making a big fuss over her. She did not like getting cleaned up (and who does like having people mess around with your eyes?) but we gave her some treats and within five minutes of the accident, while we were still reassuring ourselves that she could see out of that eye and that she'd be fine, she was wagging her tail. She spent most of the rest of the evening comforting us. When all was said and done, the bleeding stopped and our hearts not pounding so much, we took her back to the bedroom so that we could all snuggle together. Pepper laid on her back between the two of us, belly up for plenty of rubs and neck scratches. When she rolled over it was to put her chin on Shane's chest and sigh a little bit with contentment. There was no blame in her eyes. She didn't resent him (as he felt she should) and she knew that he was upset so she set about trying to comfort him, even though she was the only one hurt.
I looked at her little face and thought, I really wish I could be like that. My dog loves with her whole heart, and aside from a little jealousy (why would the humans want to pay attention to the cat?) she loves unreservedly. She has separation anxiety, but when we're home she doesn't scold us for having been gone. I realized a while ago that she barks and lunges at people, bikes and cars when she's on the leash because she thinks the leash is for my protection, and she needs to warn others away. (I know this is true because when she gets to walk off-leash, she doesn't have these issues. As soon as I take up the leash, others become The Enemy.) My silly little dog wants nothing more in the world than to keep us safe and snuggle us. (And to eat, but that's beside the point.) I want to be more generous with my love, the way she is. I want to be more grateful for the time I have with people. I want to be less demanding, and less critical. I should go take notes from my dog.
I found this fascinating article about things to do with leftover milk jugs and thought I'd share it. I've mostly switched over to paper cartons, but next time I feel the need to buy a whole gallon I'll save the jug and use it for one of those ideas.
I harvested the last of summer's bounty this week. The pumpkins and other winter squash (I think one might be a spaghetti squash?) are sitting on the counter to finish ripening. (There are five altogether.) And I pulled in the last of the lettuce, since the frost has killed most of it. I could harvest a bit more rhubarb, but we have plenty in the freezer and no freezer space left anyway. It'll be better for the plants if I leave them on as well, so that they're stronger next year.
The cherry tomatoes and the pepper plant at work are still going strong, though. Still not too many at one time (the pepper plant has only produced three peppers) but enough to help out a little bit. One of the peppers went into a marinade for tonight's dinner (pork tenderloin) and I pulled 10 little tomatoes off the plants today so those will combine with the lettuce for a salad.
We're doing quite well with our plan to eat out of the freezer. We've got a meal list going so that we know what else we can make. Planning ahead is absolutely essential! But we have so much food in the house we really don't need to buy more than the trimmings. I'm looking forward to all kinds of meals. Pot roast tomorrow with family (our younger brothers and Shane's cousin, who's a freshman at the U, are coming over), and soup later this week. Homemade sourdough bread, pecan pie cookies, chicken pot pie. Yum!
The only thing missing is the snow. Where is it this year?

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