Observing my Lucy and her responses sometimes reminds me of my own hypersensitivities. I am sure many autistic individuals identify better with animals in many ways than with neurotypical humans. Temple Grandin’s now famous book tells us that “Animals Make Us Human” – if by being ‘human’ in this context means more insightful, kinder, more caring, and more aware of the state of ‘being’, of pneuma, then yes. Lucy has made me a better human being.
I ordered a set of lovely red boots specially made for Greyhounds, all the way from Canada. This online shop had all sorts of things for Greyhounds. This was after Lucy’s accident, and I ordered them to protect her wounds from the elements when we were out walking. Unfortunately, they took too long to arrive and she had already healed by then. Anyhow, it was raining the other day, and so I decided to try them out on her.
She hated them. For some reason, no matter how tightly I wound the velcro around her ankles, they kept sliding off. What was worse, she decided to try to take off the front boots by nibbling at the velcro. Funny thing was, she was ok with the once on the hind paws. They’re a darling looking set of boots, but I don’t blame her for disliking them, they didn’t fit well. A pity.
This whole experience reminded me of my own search for comfortable shoes. I once had 200 pairs. All very expensive. Salvatore Ferragamo was my favourite because their shoes were most comfortable. Still my favourite, even though I can no longer afford their shoes on my meagre scholarship stipend. Anyhow, regardless of the number of shoes I once owned or now own, I still have the habit of only wearing about 4 pairs. The rest are sort of like eye candy, or a sense of ownership.
I guess the preference for only a few very pairs, worn repeatedly, is more in sympathy with Lucy’s focus on sensory comfort and nothing else. These ones are my sneakers. A pair of dark green soft patent leather Ferragamo, black suede and patent Geox, moss green suede Bally, sable calf leather Ferragamo, white calf leather Acupuncture, cheap black boots bought in an alley in Hong Kong, and wine red Doc Martens lace-up boots. I have not worn any of my other 30 pairs (all that is left of my old collection from my former glory days of fashion) in a year now.
Having far too many than I need is a human thing, not a doggy thing.
At the end of the day, Lucy knows better. What’s comfortable. What’s better for our senses, will ultimately be better for our mental functioning and emotional wellbeing.
So here they are. Lucy’s shoes. And my shoes.