Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lenten goals and Charlie's teeth cleaning saga

Charlie has two states of mind: intensity and passivity. When he is not sleeping or cuddling with one of us he is going crazy chasing his toys, following us around the house, or demanding our affection.

In comparison, I oftentimes feel like life is too frantic and intense. This week we kicked off the annual season of Lent and instead of giving up something this year, I've decided that I'm going to actively work on doing something this year. Like Charlie, I sometimes feel like I'm constantly active, devoted to liveliness, headed a certain direction, and focused on accomplishment. While there is nothing wrong with living a full life of activity, there is much to be desired about moments of serenity. Solitude is important for relaxation, reflection, thinking, and listening. My goal is to practice some sort of mindfulness every day. I want to create a routine of carving out moments of time for rejuvenation. And since we will have an infant in our home in a couple of months, I'm anticipating that creating mindful habits will be necessary.

While I focus on more mindfulness, Charlie is basically unable to maintain a calm serene state for any period of time, unless he is under the influence of mood altering substances. This happened this week for his annual teeth cleaning. The vet sedated Charlie to do some serious plaque removal and the effects of the drugs lasted for almost an entire day following the appointment.

When I arrived at the vet in the afternoon to pick Charlie up, he calmly came out of the backroom with the staff, not pulling on his leash at all. He cautiously, with his tail curved down between his legs trying to wag, approached the other patrons in the waiting area to sniff them. He was unable to jump up and meet them as they commented on his cuteness. While I appreciated this obedient side of Charlie, I knew it was an induced state keeping his true personality down.

Things really were not normal when I put him in his kennel in the back seat of the car on the way home. He immediately laid down, rather than protesting excitedly and making agitated monkey sounds the entire time he was in the car. 

Usually when we get home, he runs around the backyard and onto the porch steps waiting to go inside the house. But this time, he just couldn't quite get his back legs to cooperate with the front ones as he casually strolled along the sidewalk and carefully waddled up the two steps to the back door.

I was quite amused when he didn't care to follow me around the house once inside. Normally Charlie will run up and down the stairs to keep up with me but those same stairs had now become a daunting (and almost dangerous) proposition. A drugged up Charlie was quite hilarious. I could tell the poor guy wanted to break out and act like his crazy self, but was just unable to figure out what had happened. The sofa, left in a reclining position, was where he finally planted himself once he bravely took the leap to get up there.

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