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  • Writer's pictureKathy Rumsey

Thoughts on grieving

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

So this morning I’m walking garbage cans down to the end of our driveway because it’s Tuesday and, well, Tuesday is garbage day. My three dogs were out with me playing in the front yard. Odin is definitely teaching me lots of lessons as a 130-pound dog with the brain of a puppy. The problem, sometimes, is recognizing the lessons. And sometimes the problem is not simply hearing a message, but listening to the message. I'm sure this has happened to you all before because it happens to me all the time -- I have a fleeting thought and in the process of having the thought, to thinking to myself "that’s a random thought", to justifying why I might have had that random thought to dismissing that random thought takes only a few seconds. Here’s how it went this morning - First, the thought: "Wow, Odin really loves being outside. He should really be wearing his Invisible Fence collar." Then, the thought about the thought quickly followed by a dismissal of all of it: "I bet I just thought that because now that the weather is getting nicer our neighbors will be outside more often and Odin loves people, and he might be tempted to get out of the yard to see those people." And that was the end of it. Five seconds, maybe. I go back inside and my two little dogs come with me because, well, they're little dogs and they don’t really like being outside unless someone is out there with them. Odin stayed outside as he does a lot. Fast forward a few minutes, and I’m talking with my husband about the day coming up and my phone is buzzing, but I don’t really pay attention because I’ve been texting with a friend and I just assumed that she had sent me a message. I’m not sure what made me look at the phone after maybe 30 seconds or so (um, call it intuition perhaps?). And I see a "Heads up" message from the Whistle app. What’s Whistle you ask? Only the best invention for keeping your dog safe ever made, thank you very much. No, but really, it’s a GPS tracker that I have on my dog's collars. (And it really is awesome, and you can learn more about it here).  The alert was letting me know that Odin had crossed out of his safe zone. His safe zone is our yard that is contained by our Invisible Fence (yeah, that containment system that isn’t functional unless the dog is wearing the collar).

So I run outside and because of the tracking collar, I can see exactly where he is: at his favorite neighbor's house - the one that has dogs and lots of good smells and other fun things to explore. So I call him, and my husband calls him, and he runs right home because he’s a good dog. He really is. I don’t get upset with him because that would be the wrong thing to do. Because the truth is he came when he was called (my husband actually looked at him and said "thank you for coming back when we called you"). The other reason I didn’t get upset? This was actually my fault. I hadn’t put his collar on him this morning, and I’d even gotten an intuitive hit earlier about it - that fleeting thought that I should really put his fence collar on. I heard that intuitive message, I just didn’t listen to it. And unless we listen we can’t learn. I’m hoping next time I listen and learn a little quicker.

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