Ever hear that country song, "Life's a Dance"? "Life's a dance, you learn as you go..." Very, very true. Half the joy of living at the Shady Rest is being allowed, privileged, if you will, to watch the Dance - the interaction of species and personalities.
Sometimes, George gets irritated with Archie. George, not realizing Archie can't see either, takes offense when Archie runs into him, and sometimes harsh words ensue (always on George's side - Archie's middle name is "Mild" and he never gets upset.) Then the music changes and, as tonight, they sit, shoulder to shoulder, in companionable peace.
The cats join the dance too. Spare loves dogs, all dogs, and even more so his pugs. Spencer will be sitting in the kitchen and Spare will sidle up to him. He circles, a feline do-si-do, rubbing against Spencer's chest, purring in time, bowing on the turns.
Riddi, our guest kitty (belongs to the kid who used to live here - long story) prefers teasing dogs to cuddling them. I'm trying to convince her that hiding up on the dining room chair seat and poking George in the head as he goes by is not the friendliest of games, but she remains unpersuaded. It's becoming their little ritual. As long as she continues to be quick enough to keep him from catching her at it, I'll let them work it out.
Dancing... Last Friday, we went to Dogs on the Deck - a local bar opens their deck space once a month in the summer to Ohio Pug Rescue, allowing us to come, have fun, share the profits and make some money with grab bag sales and a raffle. We get to bring our pugs to join the other dogs playing on the deck, and to show off our fosters in hopes of finding them interested possible homes. Cj and I didn't get to bring one of the Shady Rest boys, because we had to go right after work, but we were fortunate to be sharing a table with an adorable, older pug named Harvey. Small, cobby and devilishly handsome, Harvey charmed the socks off anyone who approached the table (paying particular attention to the people carrying pizza or nachos...). Music played, a variety of types and styles to suit everyone. Then it happened. The first notes of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song" wafted through the air. A lovely young woman from the next table over, who'd been flirting with Harvey for some time, approached Harvey's parents and politely said she'd like a dance partner, and was Harvey available? He was, so carefully, she swooped him up in her arms. With one paw on her shoulder and one paw in her hand, gazing raptly into her eyes, Harvey showed no sign of fear or discomfort, only a joy that was mirrored in her smile.
"Six foot" (lean left),
"seven foot" (lean right),
"eight foot" (straighten up),
"Bunch!" (Up Harvey went, lifted briefly up in the air),
"Daylight come" (spin around) "and me wanna go home" (full dip.)
Together they danced, in tune with the music and with each other. Harvey was completely relaxed, trusting this stranger completely, full eye contact the whole time. They both smiled at each other, joined by everyone around who stopped eating, drinking and talking, to watch. At the last "me wanna go home" she dipped him again, planted a kiss on his nose, and returned him to his mom.
The dance. People ask me sometimes, "Why do you keep taking in seniors? They die so soon. It has to hurt," and indeed, it does. Still, to quote another country song, "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance." I wouldn't have missed a step I've shared with these guys, the present and the lovingly remembered.
Y'all take care, and if you have the choice, I hope you dance.