For those of you who have read my musings, it will come as no surprise that I enjoy three wonderful dogs. Our relationship is truly symbiotic and benefits me at least as much as I benefit them. Just two days ago, I saw further evidence of this.
My morning ranch chores are predictable. I begin with a stop in the pickup at the stock tank where I feed the ducks and fish. From there it’s off to care for and feed the horses, feed the cattle, and then two additional stops at the new ranch, Hidden Falls, where I am growing catfish and bluegill in two different bodies of water. Following this predictable pattern, my tasks on the ranch vary.
I must have been distracted the other morning as I rattled down the hill in the old gray goat (a 1999 Dodge ranch pickup) as I missed turning on the trail leading to my first feeding stop. Bella, our Border collie, became perplexed and immediately sprang into action. As an aside, Border collies are incredible at picking up patterns and re-enforcing them.
In any event Bella suddenly left her front right seat of the pickup where she chooses to ride shotgun and hopped over to where I drove. She stuck her cold nose in my ear and feverishly began to nuzzle me. This rousted me out of my daydreaming. I realized what had happened and halted the pickup, backed up, and took the trail leading down to the stock tank to my first stop of the morning.
As soon as I had begun backing the pickup up, Bella settled back into her usual place, contented her human was finally acting in a predictable way.
Just as dogs fill the crevices of our emotional lives with trust and love, so too do they assist us in other even more tangible ways. Bella again reminded me of the many ways she and the other members of our pack keep me on the straight and narrow and fulfill their expectations.