This is a photo of Gabriel our 11 year old Border Collie with Arthur our 11 week old, Merle Border Collie puppy. When we first introduced him to the other dogs, Angel – a 13 year old Border Collie and Lilly – a 5 year old Jack Russell, along with Gabe (pictured) he immediately submitted, lay on his back when growled at, went down onto his belly when approached, submissively licking their mouths when they tolerated him.
Slowly Lilly was won over and became a playmate. In this photo are captured his first real overtures to Gabe. He is now, a week or so on, part of the pack. I watched a great tv show lately about wolves and how they find their place in the pack. Dogs are the same, and once they are part of things they seem to accept their place. Arthur is at this moment submissively laying in the shade beside my chair, his little body slowly rising and falling in contented sleep, as the sun beats down.
I have spent so long running after my place in the world, charging from here to there, this time last year I was monitoring everything. My Facebook likes, my WordPress views, my blood pressure, my daily steps, my running on an iFit machine and ticking off the miles, weighing myself on a smart scale that connected with my phone. I was off, doing Men’s Work, doing facilitation work, doing enneagram work, seeing 20 -30 people a month for spiritual direction, and then in my down time trying to write. My lovely wife Wilma told me that the energy coming me was frantic and hard to be around. She was right, I was exhausting all my inner resources. It all came tumbling down round my ears. My deepest self said STOP.
I was not like Arthur. I didn’t accept my place in the pack, I railed against it, tried to change it, kept assessing it, and expecting it to change, that my position in the pecking order was something I could change by the will and work of my ego and the host of personas I was throwing at the world. Having been floored I am emerging and trying to be more like Arthur. I have never spent more of the Springtime in the garden. When I was ill I lost 3 stone, now I have put on 2! But I am much more content. Perhaps I can go slow and be gently fit. As he lays by me I want to be submissive to my place in the world, to let that place find me and to more contentedly allow the rise and fall of my chest to match his little soul.