Witnessing Change

“Is it wise to trust a horoscope?” She mumbled to herself, directed at nobody in particular. But he heard her, as he always does. He had grown to be her number one companion in the past six months and her best listener when she did not want to share. He sat with her on the porch in the mornings and nestled up with her on the couch in the evening time. He could almost predict her mood every day and picked up on what she needed the most. On days filled with sunshine, he refused to allow her to sit inside. It was a look that he got in his eyes that told her that they both needed to hit the trails for the day — and she never failed to read that look. It was a similar look that he provided when he needed food or had to relieve himself, but this look almost had more urgency to it. It was a need in his soul that connected to hers, spoken in a language of their own. And when he looked up at her in response to her question spoken to no one, she knew that he had the answer she was looking for.

There is something to be learned from a dog — a kind of trust in life that is to be admired. Maybe it is the simplicity of the life they live, or maybe it’s just the expressions humans are able to recognize in their faces that characterize them with a look of understanding. Either way, she had learned to place her trust in her furry companion and was determined to live a fulfilling life of simplicity that he seemed to lead so easily. A simple pet of his head allowed her to open her heart to the feelings she was attempting to bury, and a nudge of the nose made her aware that she was grinding her teeth and staring into space. His morning bow to her touched her heart and reminded her why she got up every day. And the placement of a ball at her feet reminded her to take every day one step at a time. When life was too overwhelming to be addressed, he reminded her to breath and take a step outside. There was so much to be learned from him still, and she was struggling with the idea that her life as she had known it for the past six months would soon change drastically — or at least that’s what her horoscope told her.

She knew that this was coming and she had talked about it with him in advance. She had consulted his opinion on pursuing another career path in life, and he responded with a look that conveyed understanding of her struggle, but a stern conveyance that she needed to get out of the house again. He was the first one who heard the news about her new job, and he was the friend she went out to celebrate with in the sunshine. He understood that this was a step in the right direction for her, but he could read the hesitation on her face about how this new life would go. He could sense her anxiety building with the inertia of change and could sense that she needed to accept that her life was about to be completely different. It did not take an online horoscope for him to recognize that change was in the air, and he rad it coming months in advance. He knew that she was not handling  unemployment well and that she was beginning to lose her sanity — he had witnessed it when she screamed to herself in frustration and when she cried herself to sleep with the company of her headphones. He heard the doubt in her voice when she talked herself up to socialize for the day and read the exhaustion on her face at the end of living a day she did not want to live. He saw her sing to herself and make up routines for her day that matter to no one besides them. He became her co-worker and was an expert listener to her written musings and fanciful dreams of success. He saw her working hard at something and everything all at once, building the change that was finally being initiated in her life. But it all snuck up on her because she did not have the luxury of playing the role of observer — although he could argue that that was no luxury at all. It was frustrating to watch her struggle and be down on herself for just being human. It was annoying that she allowed her emotions to overwhelm and debilitate her to the point of not being able to even go for a walk with him. And most of all, it was crushing to see her struggle and not be able to speak the words she needed to hear. He knew when she avoided him, she just could not face life and that when she finally subcame to curling up on the couch with him and a blanket that she had hit another rock bottom, and that all she needed in that moment was a friend who would understand and refrain from judgement. She had enough of that built up for herself, he knew he did not need to contribute to it. She he was there for her, and he always will be when she needed him most — or at least the lie she told herself. She could not imagine a life without his playfully caring influence, and she denied the fact that she would eventually live such a life. This was the beginning of something new for her and the end of an era that she cherished more than most things in life, because it had allowed her to get closer to him. They had lived a life of simplicity together, and although it was not something that could be sustained, it was something that she was resistent to let go of.

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