Kato was always a pretty docile dog; but then again he was sick when I got him. I was under the misconception all Shar-pei’s were pretty mellow. He has never stuck his head out the window; the most he has ever done was what you see in the picture; rest his head on the edge of the window, stick his nose out and sniff. He is very cautious about it, and never does it for long.
Laila on the other hand sticks 1/2 her body out the window and takes huge breathes of air in; her ears flap in the wind and she has to squint her eyes because the wind makes them water. I have to really watch that she doesn’t fall out and people driving past get the biggest kick out of her.
She is absorbing life around her, she isn’t an idle bystander, she isn’t thinking “I hope I don’t fall” she sees a dog she wants to kill it” immediately! She wants to play she plays whether you want to or not. When we go for a walk she will take the leash in her mouth and pull me or grab Kato’s leash and pull him trying to get us to move faster.
The other night she bounced up on the bed, bounced around up there as if the quilt were alive and she had to subdue it, then she bounced down the stairs, bounced onto the couch, bounced down the stairs outside and then bounced up the stairs inside, then she bounced on Kato’s back, and from there on to the couch again! Kato nor I were sure what just happened did indeed happen. But she didn’t skip a beat and bounced off the couch and up the stairs to the bed again.
Kato positioned himself, took two runs at the couch and I coached him, “You can do it buddy! Go Ahead you can do it”. And he finally got up on the couch. I know he is old and not well and that is part of his problem but he never was gutsy.
The other day Laila had her head out the window and I saw Kato watching her with great interest. Then the next day I took him alone with me in the truck as a treat. Out of the corner of my eye I see him gingerly put his feet on the arm rest of the truck door. He puts a bit of weight on it to test it and then lays back down. The whole testing process took quite some time before he decided it was safe and stuck his head out the window quickly and pulled it back in again. He did his “nervous head shake” and then he did it again. I could read his mind, “Ok, ok, it’s ok…..” Standing with both front feet on the arm rest he had his whole head out the window; ears flapping in the wind.
I saw him look at me quickly to see if I was watching and when he saw I was he leaned his body forward and stuck his head a little further outside.
I just knew he was thinking, “I hope she sees how brave I am. I AM brave, oh this is scarey…. But I’m brave!! Yes I am brave….Oh God….. What am I doing?? I am brave!! I wish Laila could see this!”
I said, “Oh Kato you are so brave!”. He took a side ways glance in my direction. “I am aren’t I?”
Then it was like, “OK, enough being brave.” And he pulled himself back inside and rested his chin on the window.
That was it, that was Kato’s moment of being brave; it went by so fast I didn’t have time to take a picture and I don’t think he’ll be doing it again anytime soon, he looked a little traumatized.
I used to be a Laila, I stuck my head out the window of life, squinted my eyes, felt the wind in my hair and took great big gulps of whatever life had to offer. If it started to rain then I tucked my head back in but the next time life offered up something of interest I had my head out the window taking it in. I never wanted to have to say, “I wish I would have,” or “I wonder what would have happened if”, AND I didn’t know better. I went a lot of years taking leaps of faith, sure of my ability to recoup if it turned out to not be a good choice.
Now I am a Kato, I know how bad things can be, I’ve been hurt, my trust in my ability to survive any thing has been destroyed. I long to feel the wind in my hair and I want to squint my eyes, take a huge gulp of life and jump in but I’m frozen with fear.
I think that is what I miss the most since James; he destroyed my faith in me.
Are you a Kato or a Laila? Do you cautiously plan your steps or do you jump in with both feet, caution be damned?
Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck