Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't Forget To Breathe

Another weekend with Basil Diva Dog and Ginger Puppy. It was very low key and lovely, though it’s true that Basil Diva Dog is getting older and slowing down quicker than one would suspect.

While he’ll still greet me on first arrival with a wagging tail, he chooses to forgo our morning and late afternoon walks. And while he still does endless circles around the first floor of the house to make sure everything is where he last saw it three seconds ago, most of the time he wedges himself into the back of his crate and doesn’t really come out for much.

Which puts me in the position not unlike Shirley McClaine in the opening scenes of Terms Of Endearment. The one where she’s a new mom, and she thinks there’s something wrong with the baby since the baby isn’t making any noise, so she goes over to the crib and jiggles the baby until it starts crying and then she leaves, satisfied that everything is okay.

So while I’m not pulling Basil’s tail to get him to woof and prove to me he hasn’t died in his crate, I have started to make it a habit of reaching my hand in there (waaaaaaaaaaay in there, since he’s wedged himself into the very back of the crate, the below picture is deceiving, he can flatten himself against the back of the crate when he wants to), and resting my hand on his back or side, waiting to feel him inhaling and exhaling.

I can’t see in there when I do this, so I really am relying on nothing more than the sense of touch, waiting for him to take a breath. And since he’s old, and usually deep in sleep 80 percent of the time, it can take him a little longer than normal to breathe. And I’m crouching by the crate, not being able to see anything, stretching into the void, finally making contact with his furry side, and waiting, waiting, thinking… breathe. Please please breathe.

And he does.

I wonder if that’s another snapshot of God. We’re just spinning around in our stupid little circles and cycles, and we don’t know what’s going on, and sometimes we’re asleep, sometimes we’re asleep when we’re awake, and we don’t feel the Hand Of God on us, resting there on our heads or something. God probably doesn’t need to check on us to make sure we’re still breathing, since He knows everything anyway. But He’s there anyway, even if we don’t know it, can’t feel it, or can’t see it.

Which makes me feel somewhat better.

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