She has been with us since Easter 2007. She has been through all the highs and lows of our family for the last 13 years. She was here when our son was born. She was here when our dog Jasmine was preparing to die. She has been a loyal and kind companion all these years.
I asked her if she would like to share her views on life with us.
Here is our conversation. I thought you may enjoy reading her…
Question (Me): How are you?
Answer (Tara): I’m OK, just feeling a bit slow and tired these days.
Q: What do you think of humans?
Tara: They are funny. Nice and weird at the same time.
Q: In what way?
Tara: They don’t seem to know what they want! They change their mind. They say one thing and do another. They badly want to go somewhere, but then they don’t go.
Q: What would you like to tell them?
Tara: To slow down. To rest, to eat more, to live more. To get out, have a laugh. Everyone is so serious. There is so much tension inside and in between people. Just relax and enjoy yourself!
Q: What’s your advice?
Tara: I think humans need to get out more. Going outside help them to get outside of their own heads. The human’s head feels like a prison. People seem caught up in repetitive thoughts and patterns. Things seem to go around in circle in there, people need to step out of it, to break the loop: Go out, do something else, challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone.
Q: How do you challenge yourself Tara?
Tara: I try to not always react the same way. I’m often caught in my own patterns too. I try to remember to not always react the same way. Like when I meet another dog: I try to remember to not snap at them and not just react out of habit. It’s the little things like that.
Not acting out of habit, but also being aware of what’s happening in front of us. It’s real. It’s life. And we need to see it for what it is: a unique moment which will never repeat itself again. Of course I’ll meet another dog again, or perhaps the same dog, but it will not be exactly the same. The time of day or the place might be different, I might be in a different mood… Like that dog, that yappy dog who lives down the road, the brat with all his fancy coats and jumpers. I used to snap at him. I always meet him on our road. He used to snap at me. Now we don’t bother anymore, we both know, we don’t need to do it. We rose above all that. No need for tension or loud noises. We know. We have acknowledged each other and we know we are no threat. He protects his person, I protect my family. We know where we are at. Somehow we managed to break the loop: We don’t need to do it anymore. One day, one of us decided to just snap out of it and as soon as one of us stopped doing it, the whole thing stopped. Just like that. So if we challenge ourselves to snap out of our own patterns/habits/usual reactions, we can change and even make good progress.
Q : Have you made good progress?
Tara: Yes. I understand things better now. I’m wiser. I don’t need to live at super sonic speed or shoot off like a bullet. I know that everything I have is here and will be here. It won’t be taken away from me. Before I thought I had to make the most of it before it was gone. Now I know I don’t need to.
My life, my family, it’s here, it’s real, it’s all here and it’s mine. Whether I run as fast as I can or not, it doesn’t run out.
Q: Did you think you’d run out of family?
Tara: Yes, I thought it might change, disappear. That at some point there wouldn’t be any left.
Q: How are you feeling these days?
Tara: Stiff, slow, tired, but much of the same. I’m still Tara. I’m still me. I do my own thing more now. I have my own experiences, my own life when I’m asleep and when I’m awake. It’s like having two lives. My sleeping life is very rich. My awake life is much of the same really, very predictable.
Q: Is it boring?
Tara: Depends. Everyday goes by and the same things happen. Same routine more or less. Things might not always happen in the same order but same things get done: walk, breakfast, sleep, walk, dinner. Sometimes there are a few extra things thrown in, like dog biscuits. I like those.
Q: How can we improve your life?
Tara: I like easy, slower walks these days. I like just slowly going around the local park, taking my time to smell everything. I struggle to keep up on long walks at times. I tend to prefer less ambitious, easier walks. No need to over complicate things.
Q: Do you miss your Daddy?
Tara: Yes! It’s like a piece of the family is missing. I’m sure he will be back. He always come back. I know he is OK, he had to go to do things. He always has to go to do things then he comes back and the office door will be more open again and I’ll lie down with him.
Q: Any message for him?
Tara: Look after yourself. Eat well, rest well and remember when you are upset, it shall pass. It’s just a piece of reality, it’s just right now, then you will calm down. Things will calm down. Life will cam down. It always does.
Q: How would you feel about going on a long journey abroad to meet him?
Tara: I don’t mind, but it sounds complicated. It sounds like you don’t really want to uproot everything and go. I don’t know why but you seem to be the one who resist it.
Q: I’m worried about you, as you’ll need a new injection to be able to go…
Tara: I don’t like going to the vet. Will it hurt?
Me: Possibly a bit at the time, then you might feel a bit unwell for a couple of days.
Tara: Will I be able to sleep and rest?
Me: Yes but you might feel a bit funny and then we will have to go in a long drive in a car, a long journey altogether to go and meet Daddy, in a new house, with new smells, new woods, new everything.
Tara: I don’t mind. I will go with what you guys do. if it makes sense to do that then OK.
We have moved houses a few times before. It’s both scary and exciting. As long as I’m with you guys, that’s OK. I’m older and tired now, so I would prefer it if it’s quick and easy. I don’t want any drama or things to be complicated. I want things to be easy and smooth.
Tara: I can do it. I can make it. If that’s what we do as a pack, I can do it. I have life left in me. I don’t mind.
The hot weather was hard on me a few weeks ago. Now I feel I can breath more easily.