Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quiet (#atozchallenge)

I grew up in quiet. An only child, a large (too large, maybe) house, a father who worked a lot, a mother who believed in Montessori. I learned to read early. I spent a lot of time immersed in counterfactual worlds. Quiet is where I thrive. Quiet is where I feel at home.

But now that I have seven dogs, quiet is naught but chimera. Vain fantasy glimpsed as a shadow through mist.

Or fog. Dense fog.

Duncan & his favorite toy: any cardboard box.
There's the ripping sound of Duncan destroying a cardboard box or an old bedsheet. There's disputes about who gets to use which mat and when. There's barking, howling at sirens, roughhousing. There's nails scraping on the floor as they bolt out into the yard to chase a hapless iguana. And when none of that is happening, there's the clink of collar tags as they follow me around the house (yes, even to the bathroom).

Don't get me wrong. I love my dogs and therefore I love it, all of it. I love the company, I love the challenge of understanding their behavior and of getting them to understand what I want from them. I love to watch them interact with each other. I love to interact with them.

I love it so much, in fact, that I forget
the beauty of quiet.

And then one day I'll be at the beach with them and they all run off chasing after--well, whatever they find to chase, and I'm suddenly all alone with the wind and the ocean and the sun. And I feel recharged.

I need to remember.

I need to remind myself to get some quiet. Just a little. It makes me a better person--and my dogs are the first to benefit from that.

What do you give up for the ones you love? Have you found a way to recover it, even in bits and pieces?

~ * ~

Thanks for the visit, and a special hug of gratitude to everyone that's been coming back post after post to join the conversation. Every time you share a thought or an experience, an abandoned senior dog somewhere finds a loving home :)

Happy (Easter) A-to-Z-ing!


  1. Although we only have two dogs, I recognise much of what you are saying. At some point each day, one of us says or does something that sets Trevor off howling. Calling him in a falsetto voice will do it, or putting my hands up to my mouth as if I'm going to blow a whistle. When he starts, Ulysse joins in and we end up with a self-sustaining howl-in lasting for, generally, two or three minutes. Goodness only knows what the neighbours must think.
    Yesterday afternoon, we were walking them through country lanes, off lead. They were sniffing around a good few metres behind us, and everything was superbly quiet. I was bouncing plot ideas off my wife (she is very supportive), when we heard forced, heavy, almost distressed breathing. We both thought one of the dogs must have got into difficulties but, when we turned, we saw a young woman jogger, almost in the ditch at the side of the road, and in a state of high panic. Ever-friendly Ulysse was jumping up to her for a fuss, and Trevor was hovering around. Trevor tends to be the more quickly obedient of the two, and came to me as soon as I calmly called his name. Ulysse wasn't going to give up on the chance of a fuss, and redoubled his efforts. The poor woman was quite distressed. We gathered up our dogs, and she jogged on. We noticed later that she took a different route home!

  2. I guess we do need our quiet times and the time that we give to the ones that we love. And wow what a contrast for you living all quietly as a child and now no quietness at all! Must be quite a change!

  3. I have dogs as my A-Z theme this year inspired to some extent by the four dogs owned by my daughter. It's mayhem frequently with four so I can't imagine what it must me like with seven, good fun though I don't doubt.

  4. I have to have quite to keep my sanity. Constant background noise rankles my nerves.

  5. I can so relate to what you're saying Guilie, especially about the dogs following you to the bathroom! ☺ Our last dog passed away in 2007 and we don't have one at the moment, but because I use my home as a "doggie hotel", we usually have several here at one time. We experience those quiet moments when there's nobody booked in and can come and go as we please. I enjoy that, right until the moment the front door is unlocked and there's no wagging tail to greet me.

  6. I enjoy my quiet times. In the daily hustle and bustle a few moments of peace are refreshing.
    Dropping by from AtoZ
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere

  7. My first visit on this blog of yours, Guilie, I think. And I really like this post! Quiet is indeed something we all crave for, no matter how much we love all those who surround us.

  8. Lovely post Guille...almost poetic write...we all need our quiet times to recharge, introspect, refresh...
    I really don't know how I would have ever managed with 7 dogs let alone one...although I love these sweethearts! Happy Easter to you and your seven bunnies!

  9. Ah-ha! I thought this blog name looked familiar as I clicked the number! Hi Guilie :)
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

  10. 7 dogs! that's quite a rumble :D I long for such chaos. My childhood was filled with lots of barks and a some meows...

  11. I can so relate to this post. The youngest of three (all seven years apart) a great deal of my youth was spent as a single child. I love the beach and intend to retire in Charleston SC for that reason. Can't wait to get back to the serenity of it's simplistic beauty. Thanks for a great read

  12. I take care of my mom. She is disabled after being hit in two car accidents. We have also during the time I've been helping her had as many as five cats down to three cats and a small dog, to at one quiet peaceful point one cat and one small dog. Now we adopted a larger dog, a puppy. Things are crazy again. I try to once or twice a week take half an hour to soak in a hot tub. I journal or read while the hot water relaxes my muscles. Yet even here, I'm not alone. Closed bathroom doors are not allowed, and if you dare to do so furry arms reach beneath the door and whiny protests fill the air. The cat attempts to shake the door down. Anyway, that's my bit of piece and quiet.


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