At the beginning of quarantine in March, we brought home an eight-week-old pup and called her Dolce. Meaning “sweet” in Italian, she has lived up to her name even on her crazy puppy days where her energy is unmatched by any of us.
At first, our older dog, Chandi, was fine with the change. But, I also think she thought the situation was temporary and that Dolce would return to wherever she came from soon enough. And, though some of the growing pains between them weren’t easy, for the most part they get along fine now that Dolce is eleven months old and full grown.
But, each morning there is a battle between the two.
It happens after feeding them and giving them each a small bone. I sit down on the couch to read while they chew on their bones, and begin to set myself up for the day ahead.
Once they finish their bones, Dolce, without any hesitation hops up and cuddles into my right hip. That became her spot early on because Chandi always cuddled into my left hip.
Now though, instead of taking her place on the couch next to me, Chandi stands in the front hallway and barks at us in huge warning yelps. She won’t listen to me to come and sit. I’ve tried to bribe her with a treat, but it never works out. After all of these years together it’s as if she is asking permission to inhabit a space she always has and sit down at my left hip.
Dolce, in her young, everything is wonderful, everyone always takes care of me short life, has complete confidence that her spot is at my right hip. If she sits there she’ll get belly rubs and kisses. She can try to sip my coffee and snooze under a warm blanket until it’s time for her walk.
Chandi, in her upset about having another dog in the house has lost her way and her confidence as to where she fits into all of this. So, she barks, she demands, she warns, and then she comes and sits on the couch and inches into my left hip bit by bit over the next hour.
I know I’m not a dog and that this is some pack stuff I can’t completely translate, but instead try to cope with each day.
But, the difference between the dogs at this moment in the morning reminds me of how, as adults we tend to operate.
We warn, we worry, we fear because life has taught us we better do these things. We have the scars from past situations and years of doubt about our place in our world, communities, careers, and families.
But, we were meant to be sweet like Dolce.
We were meant to trust, indulge in the belly rub, know we are loved, and that in the end it’s all going to be alright.
May today find you a bit more Dolce, enjoying the sweetness of life.
Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.