Dog trains man

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Dog's Summer

"Tilde No!". Too late. Tilde jumped the fence and was out of sight, chasing the bunny on full speed. That'll be the end of this particular fence solution I thought.

So far she had respect for the loose wire. Until today. All it took was the sight of a running rabbit, irresistible to Tilde. She returned a couple of minutes later - without the rabbit - and started to investigate the spot where it had been sitting.

Tilde made me smile. I realized I hadn't uttered "Tilde No" in quite a while. I would have to go back to before this summer and Zerline's arrival. Back then it was part of my daily vocabulary. Tilde has been so occupied by Zerline since, she hardly had time for her usual mischief. I was glad to see the zebra hasn't lost its stripes.

I can always remember a summer by a particular event worth remembering. It could be as simple as a streak of days with beautiful weather enjoyed by long evenings outside, a place we visited or new friends we made. This summer these things all fade in the background of Zerline and Tilde. There is no doubt I will always remember this as their summer. The summer when Zerline arrived and I discovered Tilde's gentle side.

The arrival of Zerline was a gift in itself. But I could never have imagined the additional surprise Tilde had installed for me in the way she embraced Zerline. She adjusted to our little newcomer from day one, found a level of play in which Zerline could join in and have fun too. I always thought Tilde had only one speed, full steam ahead, and you either jump on the train or fall behind. Tilde had a gift too. The gift to get to know her a little better again, what she is capable of without me knowing it, even after all those years.

At first I had it difficult to grasp what had happened when I witnessed how she grabbed the opportunity to play her part as Zerline's big sister. Maybe the arrival of Zerline had changed Tilde? While I watched their bond grow during the weeks, I realized she had not. Tilde had remained the same, she had only revealed a side of herself which was new to me.

Her world had changed ofcourse, like Zerline's had too. But that would never sweep Tilde off her feet. Maybe because she has already experienced so much change in her relatively short life, and she has always faced it head on. Change never seem to affect her - only in a short while - she doesn't know any better than change will happen sooner or later. For Tilde, life itself is change, and she's is an excellent player.


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