Life of an Architect…this is a life day.
It’s early Saturday morning, and by early I mean 5:45 am, and I am sitting in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal because I am trying to be a nice guy. But why am I up now and why should anyone care?
I am up because one of our dogs, Cleo, is 14 years old (which is probably 2 years older than she should be) and she has become blind, deaf and senile. Cleo will scratch at the door to be let out until there isn’t any door left to scratch. You will get up, let her out and she will walk directly to the back door and scratch until you let her back in. You will get up, let her in and she will walk directly back to the other door and scratch to be let out.
But….if you get up and sit in the kitchen, she will join you, laying on the floor very happily by your feet. Surprisingly she still seems very happy and every day there is at least one moment where she seems exceedingly happy. Most of those days that moment comes when our 1-year-old dog Ritzy is let out of her crate (she’s too small to leave in the yard all day) and Cleo and she can be with one another. My daughter chose Ritzy specifically because she looked exactly like Cleo. I have no doubt that Ritzy is extending Cleo’s life, it is one of the more amazing things I have seen.
Cleo has been a great dog for me and my family and I will continue to get up at 5:45 in morning and go sit in the kitchen for as long as she wants – she deserves that. I have been fearing the day that we will become a 1 dog family again.
I am reminded of a passage in the book Dominion, written by Matthew Scully:
‘Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind’s capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us’
Today is also my daughter Kate’s 6th birthday and to say she is excited is an understatement. Turning 6 represents in her mind that she is no longer a little kid. Being 6 years old represents 1st grade – which means you aren’t the youngest kid in school; that is an honor reserved for the kindergartener. It is quite possible that Kate was literally the youngest person at her school last year so I can see why this is a big deal to her. Me? I’m really most happy because she brought home an award from camp yesterday for “Friendliest Camper”. I know several of you have met her and that’s probably not a surprise. I am proud of her and the way she goes out of her way to try and make friends with people, to include them at times knowingly to her own detriment. Empathy is a character trait my daughter has shown from the beginning and it has translated into her being a beautiful person.
Empathy, man’s dominion over animals, and cereal on an early Saturday morning. I hope everyone has a great weekend, I’ve got to go mow the grass.