when it was just Mummy and me, the time before George entered our lives.
It was a bonding time. I was learning the ways of the human world while Mummy was learning about my needs and realising how her life was changing because of me.
But as we got to know each other, I quickly benefitted from her “separation anxiety” from me – and so our journey began. But when George came along, things changed.
I stopped sitting on Mummy’s lap when we’re in public transportation. Why? Because George was at first afraid of moving vehicles and Mummy needed to hold him. Then it became an expected thing. So for a change, it’s good to be back in prime position.
George also took over all the loving and attention from everyone while I took a back seat. So I got it all this time – to be honest, I can do without all the craziness.As with everything else, I had to share them with George. Sometimes I look on wondering what had happened to my world?
So for a few days, it was nice to be reminded of the times when it was just us. When we went for walks, just the two of us. The places we went to together before it became a huge logistic travelling with two dogs.The time away helped to make us feel so much more appreciative of each other.
May’s comment: This last trip to Burton Bradstock was an interesting exercise. It was after much thought and regret that I left George with friends. I knew we would all have fun and Darcy and George would have run like crazy in the fields chasing each other. In the end, I think it was for the better.
One reason being us going for a two-hour walk – up and down the cliff side. I had Darcy on the lead the whole time for the fear that she might run off the cliff side. She walked beautifully with me, waiting for me as I gingerly made my way down some of the steeper slopes or she walked ahead of me, waiting for me to pull myself up the steps. It would have been difficult if I had the two of them, even though one of the boys would have taken George.
The other, spending time with Darcy, albeit in the midst of a highly excitable entourage, it reminded me of our bond. When the kids were running excitedly, she had the best recall! LOL! As the various mothers screamed after their kids, Darcy was the only one that stopped and acknowledged my calling her. And she would come running back to me while the mothers ran after the rest. They commented, “If only our kids are as good as Darcy!”
At the dining table, Darcy sat quietly under the table while mayhem took over – iPads, earphones, game apps, great indecision about what they want to eat and constant reminders of “eat your food!” If Darcy had her way, she would have eaten every morsel on the plates and every crumb on the floor. Instead, she sat under the table and at times looked up at me hoping for some hand-me-downs.One night after the ensemble of children have gone to bed and the Seaside Boarding House was sighing a huge relief as the noise decibel greatly reduced, I went for a little walk – just me and Darcy. The summer sun was just dimming at about nine in the evening. We went to the edge and looked down at the crashing waves on the beach along the jagged cliff side. I was standing there in the twilight of the day, taking in the view and felt an immense sense of loneliness – to be enjoying this breathtaking view on my own, except for the lead I was holding on tightly.
The unruly kids, the constant noise and the tireless mothers who keep after their children may seem exhausting but at the end of day, they returned to their rooms, a family.
Darcy did what she needed to do at day’s end, and together we walked back to the house. I wasn’t ready to go back inside, so we sat for a moment on the swing on the patio – just the two of us as the light of day faded.With the sound of the sea washing up ashore, I thought about how far we’ve come. This warm furry body sitting on my lap is so much a part of my life. If I had been on this trip with my friends and their kids without her, I would have felt empty.
We began our journey together five years ago. She taught me to get out of myself because she needs me everyday. Five years of early morning rises for walks, picking up poo and feeding twice a day. Days of worry when she wasn’t well or fighting for her cause because she’s “just a dog” to some. To those, I waste no further thought than they are just another unfeeling human.
She has given me companionship and a sense of belonging. I know she doesn’t understand most of what I say to her, but she will at least listen to my voice and probably just waiting when the word “treat” would come from my lips. But she’s a warm cuddle and when she sits on my lap, I feel an immense sense of “us.” I do not deceive myself in thinking she’s the answer to all my needs. I know she is not human and there are many things she can’t do for me. She will also leave me one day, not on her own accord. But for today, she’s a part of my life.
I am thankful for friends who enjoy spending time with us (George included), and I still hope that someday there’s a “Mr. Darcy” who will marvel at the beauty of the world with us. For now, I have a Miss Darcy for hugs, cuddles and a happy companion on beautiful walks.I don’t even want to think what my life would have been like the last five years if Darcy has not been a part of it.