I’m becoming more patient. Trust me, it’s long over due and I’m not Gandhi. I was cajoled as a child for being impatient. I was that kid twitching and sighing dramatically when I had to wait for something. My kids will tell you I was never one of those long suffering patient mothers. I would give them 30 seconds to cooperate before they got the look, the voice, or the yelling. This tiny rise in my patience is a relief for me, too. It’s in part to trying to live my life aligned to “The Four Agreements”. I’m not sure if it’s a result of being satisfied and content with my life. Is it the continuing gratitude for not dying or being rendered wheelchair dependent. But last Saturday I lost my patience. I utterly and completely lost any ability to wait and watch and what pushed me over the edge was surprising and ridiculous.
That day, Beatrice the sweet Zen ranch dog moved me past my limits. I was tagging along with the boyfriend as he checked and mended a fence. Bea was with us because I love Bea and he always invites her along for the ride. But she was being a pain in the ass. She was trying to chew wires under the dashboard, she wouldn’t settle in to her “spot”, she kept wandering too far on the neighboring ranch, and she wouldn’t come when she was called. Her behavior was completely foreign to me.
I was incensed she wasn’t bothering to listen. Plus it’s not like I don’t have years of experience with a dog that would either blatantly ignore me or run the other way when off leash and beckoned back to me. I even found myself shouting at her in my “Mom” voice: that deep but shrill crazy woman voice I deployed for years on my sons and the dog. I gave Dr. Doctor a lame half-assed apology for screaming at his dog.
“I’m generally pretty patient with dogs but she is working my last nerve today.”
He just shrugged his shoulders because he had already lost patience with her. Bea was being very un Bea like that day. It took an act of absolute will power to not crawl through the barbed wire and stomp through cow pies so I could take the dog by the collar to make her LISTEN.
Once she finally listened to her real boss and started a slow amble towards with long pauses to sniff here, looking there and not bothering with a straight line. Again, the impatience rose in me like I was dealing with Kipper many years ago.
I love Bea like she is my own. The way I feel about her is as deep as the love I still hold for my long gone Kipper. She is a dear, sweet, and brave dog. But her behavior made me angry and impatient and it was best I strode away from the scene to cool off and take pictures. It was foolish to shout at the dog and I knew better, too. And wasn’t it ironic I was shooting pictures of a gathering storm when I was about to become the perfect storm of impatience and hormones? Was I shouting at the dog or was I shouting at myself to move forward?
“Why. Won’t. She. Come.” Was the staccato voice in my head as I watched her circuitous and nonchalant “obeying” of his order. When she finally made it back to us, he put her in the truck with a stern word and she sat on the floorboard, her face turned away, upset with both of us.
“Great, she is so sensitive, she won’t get out of the truck for the next six weeks.”
His observation made me soften towards her a little. She is a sensitive dog and her feelings do get hurt easily. But her stubborn behavior was odd; she is always quick and willing to please. On the way home we discussed why she was acting so strangely. The most logical theory: she was in heat. Discovering this made me soften even more. The old girl was feeling her hormones and they were making her stubborn. Been there done that Beatrice. My hormones were making me impatient. We needed to share a red tent.
The next morning, I was still mildly out of sorts, which is a rare state for me. It was cold and wet from the steady and much needed rain. I don’t particularly enjoy cold rain so normally I would have dashed to the truck without looking for the dog. But I wanted to apologize. Of course this apology was for my sake, Bea didn’t remember I shouted at her. Her face did look a little woebegone but she was dry so I knew she hadn’t ventured from her doghouse that morning, no doubt because she doesn’t like cold raindrops in her eyes. Never minding her dusty fur, I clasped her close and she melted into my shoulder and chest. I apologized for shouting and thanked her for being stubborn because it taught me a lesson in patience. I need to be reminded, that like Bea’s slow walk to the truck, the Universe unfolds in it’s own time.