A few weeks ago, I shared the story of Bob, my current cabana boy. Bob and his burly dog, Max moved into my guest house over a year ago. For a year, Max only ventured outside when my dogs were in the house. If they happened to see him, they’d chase him back through his doggy door. They’d gnash their teeth if they spied him through the sliding glass door. I would go and visit Max; I felt sorry for him, for his dad was gone much of the time. He spent endless hours alone–unhealthy for a pack animal. Dogs want to belong.
Like some of our children, Max was a victim of bullies. He was lonely and afraid. Even though, I made numerous attempts to introduce him to the group, they refused…unless his dad was present. Surprisingly, two weeks ago, Max wandered up on my patio and came through my doggy door. Given the mid-afternoon, Phoenix heat, my five were all asleep in various locales. No one took notice. And on that very afternoon, Max moved in. He quickly adapted to our routine. He knows his dinner is served in the laundry room, as each dog has an assigned space, i.e. office, powder room, playroom, kitchen. (Yes, with six dogs, I need separation at meal time.)
Further, like the rest of the pack, he understands I am the Alpha. It is my way! (Wish my own children understood I run the pack!). Curiously, though, Max quickly assumed another role–chief body guard of Sue. I can not walk from room to room without him beside me. He follows me around the pool as I brush grit from the walls. When repairmen come, I must banish him back to his own abode, as the hair raises down his spine and his teeth are in full display. No doubt, he is my protector!
Certainly, I was hesitant to bond with Max; he is Bob’s dog. Yet, most of us want a haven to belong. We don’t like being made fun of or ostracized. Each of us has something to share; each of us wants to further the greater good. So for the most part, the rest of the pack is relieved to not be #1 in guard duty of the old witch. All is well.
I shall never understand why Max ventured into my house two weeks ago. Perhaps his loneliness fueled his instinct to just belong. Hmm. Wonder if there’s a lesson here?