Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Not This Body, But...

That starts off the little prayer we used to say at Kripalu for a while, "I'm not this body but the embodied spirit itself..." and it's all fine and good when it applies to us. But what about when it's something else, like a dog?

I am not really a dog owner. I have been in the past, but that was mainly by default, like it belonged to my family and although I would take responsibility for it regularly, it wasn't really my dog. I could basically come and go as I pleased. Growing up, we had many different dogs, none of which were my choice, I'd say. I wanted a regular dog and we always had "special" dogs. Like whippets and then a bichon frise. (Sometimes in the winter I'd walk the whippets and people would say I was starving the dog and I should feed it more.)

Since being on my own I've mostly only visited pets. When Remi got to the age where she noticed, I agreed to small pets, which ended up including a rat (Buddy) and a hamster (Hammie). Remi's been bugging me for years to get a dog but I've maintained that she needs to be old enough for me to leave her alone at night so I can walk the dog, so the minimum would be 10. She's 9 now and I'm not exactly a single mother anymore so the situation has changed. And then there's my mother...

So my mom's living her life's dream of beginning a dog breeding business, which I totally support her in doing, however, she's going to need a little help as she's living in a 2-bedroom apartment at the moment and she has 6 dogs. The City of Ottawa by-laws say she can only have 3. She wants to be a breeder so bad. A breeder of these tiny, white dogs called Bichon Bolognese. One of her dogs was given to someone out in the country. That left 4, but then she imported one more (little Allan) and she was back up to 5. She said would I consider keeping one until she moved into a house. I replied, "in an emergency." If I wanted a dog, I'd have one. And it probably wouldn't be a little white puffy dog.

Then I thought about it some more and I thought if she wanted us to try having a dog then I'd be willing to give it a go. I'm allergic to most dogs (these are supposedly hypoallergenic) and John didn't want to get a dog and Remi of course loves the idea. I really don't want to pick up poo and pee in the house but I was told she's paper trained and goes outside too. So last night we brought home Zarah, who happens to be the sister of the dog I had earlier this year, Dominic, who's now off in the country. Zarah has spent most of this year in Holland being raised, but my mom managed to work a deal to bring Zarah into her fold. And it turns out today my brother took Rhea, so my mom's down to 3 in the apartment, which brings her within compliance of the by-laws.

If she's paper trained she didn't show it. But other than that Zarah's soooo cute and we're all crazy about her. And this is within 24 hours. John says we can keep her. Remi's loving her. I love her and think she's actually part cat. But I didn't see myself with a fluffy, white dog. And I looked at her earlier today and thought, it's not personal. Her body is just her body. Who she really is as a dog is the embodied spirit itself and if she's not in a Lab's body, that's fine. She's who she is in a fluff-muffin package. It didn't take me long to get over it.

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