Equilibrium: Thanks to Dogs and a Porch

I’m finally feeling a bit better than I was last week. I instituted some processes and revisited some boundaries, which helped so much. Much of the reason I’m back at something like an equilibrium is that I took my own advice and slowed down, took yesterday off to just goof off with Mandi, Lee, and the dogs (separately), and let nature heal me by spending all morning today on the porch.

Carlton is checking for blooms on the sunflower hedge.
The house finch family that has built a nest on our front porch.

Our back porch has grown a nice hedge of sunflowers, which help keep it cool, and today the breeze was making the west side of the porch feel like a tropical paradise. So, I sat there with the dogs coming in and out, and just listened to the birds sing, watched the trees, and breathed. I got so quiet that the barn swallows, finches, and cardinals were flying in and out so close I could hear their wings (above the wasps). I highly recommend the porch sitting with no agenda method of de-stressing to all of you!

How about the dogs?

Since we lost Brody, the dogs have been figuring out their new pecking order. Harvey’s no longer constantly trying to remind everyone that he is top dog over Brody, so he spends a lot more time playing with Carlton and Vlassic. If Carlton over-steps his bounds, Harvey gives a serious “grr,” and Carlton wisely moves away. He learned early not to try to assert himself. Vlassic gets along with all these guys just fine (though he can be quite assertive in Austin with other dogs).

A reminder of Alfred’s messed up fur.

Watching everyone play has been healing for me and Lee. Heck, even the Big Stinker, Alfred, joins in some. He’s back to smelling like some kind of rubbish bin, and we are patiently waiting for the vet to get off vacation so we can trim him up.

I do enjoy figuring out each dog’s “hobbies.” For example, Vlassic’s are zooming randomly around the yard, plopping in pools (or worse, muddy puddles), and pouncing on bugs. There is a lot of pouncing going on these days.

Vlassic at rest and in bug hunting mode.

Carlton’s hobbies include rolling and rolling in the grass, exploring the woods with Alfred, and chasing birds (with his poor vision, sigh).

I’m gonna roll again, says Carlton.

Harvey prefers gluing himself to the front door in hopes that we will open it and let him back in, and observing the youngsters as they play. Harvey is 4 this month, so not an old guy by any means, but he is already graying at the muzzle and getting white hairs elsewhere. I think his early childhood trauma may have prematurely aged him.

Harvey sincerely loves air conditioning.

As for Alfred, his hobbies are barking at intruders, real or imagined, protecting me from anything or anyone he sees as a threat, and begging to be petted, until someone tries to pull out a bur. Poor guy.

Sunflowers bring cheer to any porch!

Anyway, these guys are always friendly, never tell me I’m not doing enough or anything negative, and very helpful in getting through the day.

I’m wishing you all some nature and love from whatever pets or people you have around you. Hug your loved ones. Now.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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