There’s so much I love about where I live but feeling the energy of a rough sea captures something, some feeling that seems to be deep rooted. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are the same. I’ve been on it and in it in all sorts of weather so my respect for it is great. There is something enrapturing about a roaring sea.
Like with most things, weathering a battering gives you an appreciation of stillness and calm. Yet there is something beautiful to be found in every windswept moment. Ferb’s got the knack for looking good in any weather but when it’s blustery, grey and cold, he shines. I’m in the process of recovering from medical things and still baling out water, hoping to stay afloat; I’ve released Hindsight somehow in the middle of that, written, re-written and really re-written Noble Heart – which is out with a lovely beta to check if it’s worth reading, and Ferb has the uncanny knack of knowing when to do something comical, give a cuddle, decide to snooze on me and remind me that a paw in the air is the way to go.
He yells at me when I’m trying to do a little too much in recovery or pounce me when I’ve decided not to listen. He heckles, and barks and orders me around like he was built for the job. Some dog expert somewhere is saying that I should be pack leader etc. or I need him to work for everything, but I’d say that we’re more a team these days: He pulls rank when he needs to, when I can’t hear a vital clue my body is giving out and he listens when I need to pretend I know what I’m doing. We work together. I guess that means he’s not so much an assistance dog because that really doesn’t cut it. He’s a team member, a lot like the feeling I try to create in my books.
He instinctively knows when I need him to step up and switches on without a collar or a harness or an order from me. He’s always done it without training. I’ve only learned to communicate with him and listen to him.
I like him being a dog. I never wanted a machine with a tail. I’m careful to watch him in new places and try and see it from his point of view. People often expect all dogs, working or not, to adjust in seconds when humans don’t. With a little help and patience, he walks along with me when there are squirrels zipping across the road in front of him, kids, people, other dogs and noise. He can lie quiet at my feet when I’m in church (although, he does like to sing hymns sometimes) or he can lead me, without a map or any knowledge of a service station, straight to the toilets without even glancing at the distractions around him.
One of the best bits though is seeing him on the beach, wind in his fur and focus on a tree trunk that he thinks he can pick up… I was blessed to find him in the middle of a storm and I’ve stuck by him through Goldie pup-hood. (Seriously, most Goldie owners will nod at that! Landshark?) In turn he puts up with me when I wheel into him (oops) run over his paw in a mobility scooter (oops again;) am attempting to show someone he can do “high five” for the umpteenth time (I do, it’s so cool.) or shoot him to show them his dramatic side (he loves it;) or am surgically attached to the laptop trying to write Noble Heart (wet nose to the hand moment.)
So my little feisty fella is as handsome inside as he is out. It’s something I’m sure most lovers of furries will agree with, after all, storms often bring ashore treasure and if it did, Ferb probably buried it in the back garden…
P.s – Keep your eye out for the next episode of The Whistleblower…