Friday, February 9, 2024

Invisible string


 Have you read the book The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff?  I used to read it to my daughter.  It would have been more useful to read it to the dog who has always been a little too attached to me.  But, that attachment made Charly a fantastic off-leash dog – especially for running.  She would always come back to me. 

Charly was a cagy escape artist when she was very young…especially when we lived right behind a bagel bakery.  She would sniff around the backyard, and then when I was preoccupied with my baby, she’d ooze her body through a gap between the fence and gate, and cross the alleyway.  Mostly, she would eat the discarded bagels around the garbage outside the bagel store, but a couple times she went inside – it’s so hot with the oven baking for half a day that the back door was rarely closed.  Eventually, she’d walk around the block and scratch at the front door, sit on the front mat, and wait to be let in.  I knew she would always return.  I actually did not worry.  The string stretched but could not be broken.


Now, as an old dog without the bagel store for a neighbour, Charly escapes the house not to chase squirrels or prowl the neighbourhood.  She just comes to find me, watch me, and eventually fall asleep nearby even if her bed is concrete.  This “Find Mom” exercise starts every morning when I come downstairs.  She finds me, lays down near me, and falls asleep.  Awake!  “Find Mom” begins again.  The extra challenge now is her deafness.  She uses her eyes and nose, and I think sometimes the vibration of my walking or the smell of my toothpaste, to locate me.  The pace has much changed, but our string remains strong.

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