People often ask me, “what’s new”. I guess sometimes they’re sincerely interested and other times it’s just something to say; something to stimulate conversation. My response is usually something like, “nothing really and I’m ok with it”. I’m a creature of habit – admittedly too much – and I don’t need a lot of new things in my life to make me happy. I have a blessed life and I’m thankful for those blessings. I think that’s probably how it is for Kali too.
Over the past year however Kail has had a litany of “new”.
Here is a brief recap:
Living in Taiwan, at some point Kali was a stray and on her own for an unknown time. Someone took her to a shelter. Thank God Taiwan Pawprint Dog-Friendly Society (TPDS) rescued her in February from the shelter because she would have very likely been euthanized within a week. She went into foster care with TPDS who in May deemed her healthy and ready for adoption in America. After a very long day that included a 14 hour plane ride with 23 other Goldens Kali landed in the US. We met her at the airport and brought her home. For the next couple of months there was a lot new for Kali: new smells, new sights, new bed. New canine step brother (little 10 pound Smokey), new human brothers and sisters, new parents, new rules. New EVERYTHING.
But lately, not so much. And I think this is a good thing for Kali who after a year (or more) of turmoil, change, and “new” has finally not had a lot of change in her life or routine. If asked today what’s new Kali would – like me – be able to say “nothing really and I’m ok with it”. Or as my elderly mother says when asked what’s new, “same old, same old”.
Dogs don’t need much. They don’t need constant change. They don’t need “new”. Mostly they just need us, our love, and our assurances that we’ll still be there for them tomorrow and for the rest of their lives. With a woof, a wag, and watchful eyes they willingly hand us their heart and soul and only ask the same in return from us. We comply and this is good.
American Poet Mary Oliver beautifully captures this sentiment in her poem, “Little Dogs Rhapsody In The Night”, which I share with you here.
LITTLE DOGS RHAPSODY IN THE NIGHT
He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I’m awake, or awake enough
he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent.
Tell me you love me, he says.
Tell me again.
Could there be a sweeter arrangement?
Over and over
he gets to ask it.
I get to tell.”