Charlie was in an odd state tonight; most nights she will crash on the couch until everyone gets situated, then comes moseying down the hall to bulldoze her way onto the bed. Usually this is followed be a mighty sigh, and you know she’s down for the count and you’re safe(for now) from a slimy face lathering.
As I was preparing for sleep by destroying brain cells as a result of staring at a tiny glowing screen, beside me I heard Charlie’s high pitched whine, and looked over to see her staring intently back at me. It wasn’t her usual “it’s all about me” stare, but this one had a peculiar intensity to it.
To be honest, it was kind of creeping me out, especially when she wouldn’t come any closer when I called her, and the memory and manner of Stevie’s passing leaped unbidden to my mind. Her almost ultrasonic whine continued, so I put down the stupid phone; what does this girl want?
Her shadow on the wall momentarily distracted her, and I reached over touched her paw. So intent on whatever she was intent on, she almost jumped out of her skin, and Charlie is not a jumpy girl. Since she has came to reside at the Casa, I have never once seen her start like that.
“That’s it”, I said to myself, “this post can wait”.
As it turned out, all she really wanted was some undivided attention, the kind of attention that our ancestors shared with their dogs in a time before the addiction of smart phones and their incessant electronic chatter. Attachment is one thing, but genuine bonding is another entirely, and bonding is what happens when people and dogs, and other people, for that matter, take the time to really communicate without distraction.
I think that this is why we like to camp well away from any cell coverage, as it removes the temptation to tune in, much like I can imagine the life of a nomadic Mongolian tribesman or a pre-colonial explorer. I like to think of a time, those long winter nights of long ago, when mankind had time to to really connect with those around themselves on more than a superficial soundbite-style level.
So, as usual, Charlie got what she was after, albeit with a very different approach than she usually employs, and is also usual, I ended up with a faceful of dog spit, with special coverage given to eyes, ears, and nose. Of course, Ajax, officially the Most Jealous Dog in the World, had to join the party, although Mia and Don Marco boycotted the whole undognified proceedings from beneath mom’s covers.
So what’s the message? Don’t know that there is one, except maybe put the phone down and go mess with the dog for a while; time is fleeting, distraction is endless. It will all still be here when you get back…
We’ll leave the Charlie Bravo on for you.