First thing - new look. The template for the blog has been the same for years and since I have the above (amazing) photo of The Boy (taken with an iPhone - can you believe it?) I wanted to showcase it. I also needed to change the widths of the margins and that wasn't possible with the old template so ... ta da!
In the past couple months the dogs have accumulated so many stories. Every day is like a novel for them; sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and page after page of things that happen that are of profound importance to them in that moment, whatever that moment may hold. Most dogs don't have a voice and they carry on without needing anyone to record their daily forays through life; but for Raimi, Leeloo, Cora and Esme, I had given them voices which were recently silenced. This was due to so many things happening in my own life that speaking for them was just something from which I needed to emotionally distance myself in order to accomplish the things that needed to get done. These days though, with the summer winding down and settling into our new home, the dogs are speaking again and their adventures sometimes beg to be told.
These Ridgebacks(and Puli) have probably taught countless people about life with dogs. Not everyone wants 4 dogs but with the personalities I am conducting everyday - and sometimes it truly is like a symphony to get everyone to work in syncopation - I am exposed to a rainbow of behaviours and problems the dogs throw my way on an daily, if not hourly basis. Since going on hiatus with the blog, the dogs have experienced so many exciting things (to a dog) and I realized that while moving from one house to another was my story, the dogs relocating with me is theirs. All the experiences of what it might be like for a dog to move from a town to the country kept popping into my head and I'd catch myself thinking 'That would be good for the blog' but then remember I was sitting on the sidelines for a little while.
After a while I checked in and found that someone posted a comment that simply blew me away. I had no idea the impact my silly ponderings about the dogs could have. Gratifying too since the whole point of the blog was to teach people about Ridgebacks, and dogs, and to hopefully convince someone this was the right breed, or the wrong breed, for their family. The comment included a link to his own blog about his Ridgeback tale and although we will never meet, I am very grateful for the incredible compliments from Pawed Equivocality and the support of the people who read the Invictus blog.
I am constantly be asked to turn up the volume of the my dog's stories and now I feel is the right time. I have hacked my way into the wilderness of my new home, all for the dogs, and they have spoken in every moment about how to define true joy.
It's in the hunt for a squirrel, between the roots of an overgrown tree, hidden behind a tangle of bushes, in a glee filled roll in the grass, a race down to the creek, curiousity about blue jays, the mysterious hooting of an owl at night, the roll of thunder over the countryside, stampeding out the door to catch the squirrel off guard, smashing through the bracken, eating something inappropriate, napping on the couch after a walk, panting in the sunshine, getting into the garbage when I'm outside working, and hassling the cats.
Dogs may have little voices but if you know how to listen you can write it all down.