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48. A white ball with feathers

Sir Oliver's Granny

We did our evening walk with sir Oliver as usual. In winter now, we during the evening in the dark. Whenever sir Oliver is sniffing the ground, in the dark, I tend to watch him closely to see if he is not eating anything along the sniffing process. Which means that I am walking quite a bit with my head bend down.

At a certain point, on 1 third of the walk, I slowly looked up. Sir Oliver was peeing and I had a moment to look around. While lifting my head up, I saw a white ball on an old rickety fence. I blinked my eyes, not sure what it was I saw. Looking again, I saw a white ball, but now with feathers. Feathers! I did bend a bit forward to have a closer look. It’s a chicken!

At the same time I was in denial of it being a chicken. My mind said: nope, not possible. The physical reality gave me feedback, saying: yep, it’s a chicken. So I looked again, maybe it is a fake chicken like an ornament, went through my mind. Then the chicken’s head moved, I was a little startled and stepped back.

I told my daughter, look a chicken, there’s a chicken sitting on that rickety fence. My daughter had  a look and went more or less through the same phases I just went through. Now that we were positive that it was a living chicken sitting on a rickety fence where there should normally not be a chicken, we said: and now?

I suggested she would ring the bell of that house, since I had sir Oliver on the leash. To ask the residents if the chicken was their’s, or whether they know who’s chicken it is. Normally my daughter would not just go and ring anyones bell, but now when there was a chance of an animal being in danger, she grabbed herself and rang the bell.

It took a bit before the man opened the door, waving with €20, thinking that my daughter was the courier that would bring him and his family the food they had ordered. My daughter explained the situation with the chicken and the man turned out to not be the owner of this white chicken. He said: just let the chicken be, don’t worry.

We did worry. There was a busy road on the other side of the house, dogs running around unleashed. We didn’t want the chicken to get hurt or even killed. On the other side of the road there is a gypsy camp and they do have chickens. So the bird might have flown across the road. I suggested to use our Nextdoor app, where citizens of this district in town communicate with each other. At least then we could ask if someone had an idea who’s chicken it was.

Then when almost home, my daughter wanted to go there again without sir Oliver,  to see if the chicken was still okay. Before it seemed as if the chicken was sleeping on the fence. When she arrived the residents told her that they had called the emergency number and asked for an animal ambulance. I had no idea we could have asked for an ambulance for a chicken, so cool it was possible. Taking the chicken home with us to a house with cats and a dog was no option.

Later that evening my daughter asked on the Nextdoor app if someone was missing a white chicken. One lady responded, thinking that the chicken probably belonged to the gypsy camp. The chicken is brought to an animal shelter where they already have more chickens.

What seemed to be just a normal walk with sir Oliver, became a rescue story of a white chicken. And sir Oliver he never looked at the chicken, he might not even have seen it. And if he had, he had not known what it was. A white ball with feathers.

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33. Dreaming

Sir Oliver's Granny

Day dreaming is for some of us a way to escape reality for a moment. For others dreaming is their worst nightmare when they close their eyes at night. Sir Oliver has no problems with sleeping, let alone dreaming. For dogs dreaming is a quick way to process their day to day experiences as well as traumatic experiences, which takes them longer of course to process. In the beginning sir Oliver dreamt a lot with a lot of movement throughout his entire body. Now he is fairly quiet when sleeping, except for his snoring of course.

For me sleeping, is touching my pillow with my head and I am gone to dreamland, and waking up 6-6,5 hours later to get up again. I hardly remember if or when I have been dreaming, and after last night I did remember my dream. It was such a nice example of how things come together and how we can learn from our own dreams, that I would like to share it.

There were 2 events that happened before the dream was fabricated. The first event was a question, one of the 2 men of the foundation, asked me. The question was whether I had ever let sir Oliver’s leash slip out of my hands? My answer was no, we’ve got quite a solid leash that goes around my wrist, and I absolutely try to avoid this from happening. I did notice that the question had touched upon a fear inside of me about loosing sir Oliver while he is following trails and I am not able to get him back to me. The foundation has been warning new caregivers that we better keep the Beagles on a leash, so that’s what we do. I had been suppressing this fear, saying to myself that it was not cool to scare myself off with having these thoughts, while it is not something that is already here yet to worry about.

Then the second event was the visit of my parents and them seeing sir Oliver for the first time. At a certain moment my mother wanted to go to her car to get her coat, she opened the front door with sir Oliver standing in the hallway, without any leash or someone holding him back. I was shocked of the sudden action of my mother and her not being aware of what was appropriate in that situation. As soon as I understood what was happening, I grabbed sir Oliver by the collar so nothing happened, though it scared me.

Subsequently I had the following dream last night:

I am rushing out of a house, walking into a front garden and seeing a platinum blonde middle aged woman holding my dog onto his collar, while he is pulling to escape her and the garden. She ends up holding the collar in her hand, while my dog goes off outside the garden.

The woman is now outside of the garden with my dog’s collar in her hand. I am standing inside the garden and a wooden bar fence, up until breast height, is in between the woman and I. The fence feels familiar and the whole scenery gives me the impression that it is my front yard and my home. Not that I recognized any of it.

When I am in front of the fence I tell the woman, who is still standing on the other side of my fence on a dirt road, to go after my dog and fix the situation. Somehow I feel restricted by the fence and order the woman to go after my dog. The woman starts running, which makes me all of a sudden decide, to follow her and my dog. After 200m/656ft the road turns into a bridge over a wide and wild river. Brown water with chambers and splashing white foam is underneath us. My dog runs over the bridge and then jumps into the river. I yell at the woman that she has to go after him. I somehow had the impression that she will have a better chance in succeeding. I hear bystanders say that the dog has no chance to survive in such cold water.The overall feeling  I have is one of loss and not being able to fix the problem myself, feeling restricted, and following the woman to make sure things are okay. And then I woke up from the alarm of my phone.

What I can see and take with me from this dream is my fear to lose sir Oliver. I can see that the blonde woman I am as well, only the version of me I would like to be, with a wooden fence in between me and who I want to be as a temporarily restriction. Where in my dream I am looking through the eyes of the person that I consider to be me, I order the woman around, check her and want her to do miracles for me, in order to force my control onto the situation.  Here I can see my bossy character that is sometimes in my way, this character is in the process of change. As where the woman indeed let sir Oliver escape, and I did blame her for that, while at the same time she took responsibility for it without hesitating one moment, not panicking and blaming others, doing what was needed without being a rebel like I mostly are, and not doing it her own way. Somehow I had faith in this woman, as she was quiet and doing what needed to be done, even though she had fucked up, when she lost sir Oliver.

Looking back on my dream, there is one wooden fence in between me and who I want to be, so it’s time to not paint the fence again, but disassemble the fence, a bar at a time. My fear of losing sir Oliver brought me in a way a gift, through dreaming about it and sending myself the message to have trust within myself. I had faith/trust in this blonde woman, the woman I want to be, so I do trust myself as long as I do not let the fence be up and let fear make me bossy, dominant and in control. So I will gift myself the word ‘self-trust’, as I have seen who I can be in a stressful situation when I trust myself.