Two years ago today I left my stone house in the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego and hit the road. My first destination was a nice motel in San Diego where, on September 18, I’d deal with renting a van, meeting up with the very nice person who brought my car out here, and saying goodbye to friends.
The journey taught me something about “together,” or, rather, my dogs did. I had a very old Siberian husky, Lily T. Wolf, then 15 years old. She, Dusty, Mindy and I made the journey home together. I was worried how Lily would make the trip. I’d thought I should put her to sleep rather than “putting her through” two days on the road, life in a cabin, etc. etc. but… Lily wouldn’t have missed the journey.
Dogs. Some people think they are good company for me. My mom thought they were surrogate children. I think they’re dogs and dogs have unique dog virtues and, on that journey, I learned something about them I hadn’t known before. I learned what it means to be part of a pack.
We humans are pretty arrogant with our opposable thumbs and forward facing eyes, but we don’t know everything. Lily was a very happy traveler. Mindy acted as her seeing eye dog at first in the new house (Mindy is an Australian shepherd, after all). Dusty was very careful of his girls and of me. They NEVER would have thought of moving without ME.
Oddly enough, they were helpful — I can’t say exactly HOW. It wasn’t like they could carry boxes or make decisions about real estate — it was more their perspective on things. As long as we were together they were calm, happy and curious about everything.
What a lesson. I don’t think the move — which could have been traumatic as it involved losing my job, uprooting my life, leaving behind my dream home — would have been the thing of beauty it was without them.