From my window, I see people leaving their dogs tethered to some post, chair or even rubbish bins (ugh), while they go into shops. Their dogs wait for them, mostly patiently, but sometimes anxiously pacing, whining or barking. I have only done this to Lucy once, outside the post office, but in the shade and a comfy place along the approach ramp. She was very calm and didn’t fuss at all, but even so, I felt really bad, and didn’t do it again. Another thought, apart from her distress, was what if someone stole her? I could never live it down.
Today, I was at the post office (left Lucy at home) when I saw a man bring in two huge Bassett Hounds. They smelled a little strongly – doggy smelly, not human smelly, so it was more bearable for me somehow. And I chatted with the chap behind the counter. He told me they don’t mind people bringing their pooches inside, so long as they were well behaved. I made a mental note – the next time I need to pick up a parcel, I will bring Lucy with me. Lovely! In Singapore, most public places are not pet-friendly, not even when the little pooch is quietly sleeping INSIDE a zipped up stroller! Oh well.
Anyhow, I have been thinking about our doggies and what they spend most of their time doing. Waiting. They are waiting for us. Waiting for our attention. Waiting for us to take them out. Waiting for us to feed them. Waiting for us to show them they matter to us. And how much time do we accord to them? I remember how I spent one agonising anxiety racked day waiting for Lucy when she went in for surgery. I cried, I sewed (made booties for her to protect her legs, which would be in bandages), I worried, I stimmed, and did it all over again and again. The one other time I waited for Lucy was when she went to stay overnight with the sweet young lady from the rescue group, so that she could do her Greenhounds test the next morning. I don’t have a car, and so the lady kindly came to pick Lucy up. But I wasn’t as worried, of course, because I knew Lucy would be well cared for.
She waits for me faithfully and attentively almost all day. Just for a few minutes of attention. And I do pay her a lot more attention than others do, especially those who have to work outside of home all day. Many people I know leave their doggies at home all day. My Lucy is a comparatively pampered pooch. But it isn’t just me pampering her, she fulfills a very important role in my life. She is my comfort whenever I have anxiety attacks – and that is often, apart from the natural autistic tendencies towards anxiety, anyone would be anxious in my situation of scraping the bottom of the barrel poverty, work burdens (even though I love my work, it is nevertheless stressful meeting deadlines and my own goals). Lucy wakes me up in the mornings and makes sure I have no time to wallow in bed in a depressed state of mind. Oh, and I could go on and on. But I will leave it for another longwinded post. This one should just be about waiting.
We owe it to our babies to at least let them wait for us in comfort and safety. These poignant photos from one of my favourite photoblogs, Hoevercraft Doggy, speak volumes. The title is haunting too. “We Wait.” No, I will never never leave my baby alone inside a car. Never. And I am determined to not leave her tethered anywhere in public, in the hot sun, next to heavy traffic, vulnerable to strangers etc, while I go shopping!