Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Winds of Change Do Blow

UntitledI love the Disney animated version of 101 Dalmations. I especially love the bit at the beginning showing people who look like their dogs. I think of it often as I get to know dogs in real life and boy does it hold true. Sometimes it's not the way they look, it's something deeper but the comparison always holds. I think I looked like Emily to some extent - a little off proportion here and there but an attractive, work horse design. I know that we were, temperamentally, the same. She covered up her feelings until they exploded, usually over someone who just didn't understand.

I don't think I look anything like Ed at all. He's svelte and quick and muscular. A little goofy, too, but it's not what you first notice. Our personalities, though? Well, I can't deny it. At the top of a long list we are both highly sensitive to change. While he can roll with the punches of a mutable daily schedule any larger shifts are a huge challenge. I am only beginning to understand, after an incident with a substitute dog walker and some related class work, that new people are a gigantic stressor for him. He's often really good in new situations, even with crowds and a lot of attention focused on him, but the factor that keeps his poop in a group is me. When he doesn't have my cues to read about who to accept and who to banish from his kingdom he regresses fast and, quite literally, furious.

Untitled Yesterday I found out that our beloved dog walker, Sarah, is leaving the company. She is a textile artist and, though I'm not privy to her reasons, I assume she's going to concentrate on her career in one way or another. I have it in my heart to be happy for her. I do! I want to be doing what I love, too, so it's fantastic to see that as possible. While I was out this afternoon buying a small goodbye gift for her, though, I found myself on the edge of tears. I'm going to miss her! I've only laid eyes on her maybe five times total but I'm going to miss the hell out of her. I know that this sounds a little insane and someone is probably wondering if they should warn Sarah immediately but I promise I mean no harm. She was just such a fantastic fit for me and Ed. I'd begun to think of her as a constant, even planning what to give her for Christmas, so I set myself up for this news to be a shock.

Ed exhibited his typical acting out behavior when he first met Sarah. She immediately asked what I did to help him stop reacting in those ways. She listened to what I had to say and she worked with him carefully and consistently over time until, after several weeks of getting at least one great report, this week I got three notes in a row that were extremely boring because he'd been a good boy, nothing to put on record or to ask. He likes her. He trusts her. He even listens to her. He's made huge strides with me lately as well and I'm sure that a common approach from both of his regular companions has a lot to do with that.

Tonight we're meeting the new guy, Felix. I hope I don't burst into tears and embarrass myself. I'm actually looking forward to it and I'm sure that he's a good and capable person. I've read his resume, he's got the goods, and I trust Melissa and Adam not to bring in any flakes, especially not for Ed who has given a few of their walkers (and Adam himself) a run for their money. I consulted with Rikke, our trainer, about how best to do the intro and we have a plan. I'm sure that it will all work out...eventually.

But I'm going to miss Sarah a lot and Ed will, too.

1 comment: