sometimes, you just have to trust the Angels.
it was odd how i was expecting to see both my former business associate and the friend who showed up to have tea with her at the same time the Writers' Circle got underway. the benefit of Listening isn't necessarily avoiding unpleasant encounters - but it sure helps to be prepared.
i was also correct that a dear friend was suffering from a deep emotional release, a release i precipitated by the most hesitant of questions: "have you thought about getting a dog?"
for this lady, the loss of her two beloved pets was as wrenching as the loss of two children. i knew the answer she was going to give me before i asked her the question, which is why i was so hesitant about bringing up the topic. she had already told me she couldn't stand the idea of being a pet-parent again. her days as a dog owner were over.
no they aren't, said the Voice, at the time.
but the lady didn't ask me what i thought one way or the other, and the Voice didn't suggest i convey this information so i simply acknowledged what i heard and let it pass.
until the idea occured to me out of the blue one day to look at petfinder.com. petfinder.com is a great website where you can adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue. we found buddy at bandit's place (please scroll down) via petfinder. ostensibly, i was browsing to see if there were any beagle puppies i could possibly talk Beloved into. (i want to replace my rugs in a couple years and i figured it'd be better to get a puppy before we did that, than after. Beloved's response to this idea was: annie, are you crazy?)
that's how i came to read about romeo.
romeo is a beautiful chocolate lab who was kept chained on a 12-foot fence by a family who ignored him. for nine years. while he went blind. rescued by the word of a Good Samaritan, romeo's waiting for a place to foster him. i thought maybe we could do that. (are you crazy, annie? asked Beloved.)
the more i thought about it, the more i realized it wouldn't work - the stairs which lead to the front door are steep and without a railing and so dangerous i don't let baby jake climb up or down them unescorted. a blind dog wouldn't have a chance, unless he'd grown up and been acclimated in such an environment. i reluctantly acknowledged romeo wasn't for me.
but there's your friend, suggested the Voice, helpfully.
she doesn't want a dog, i said.
why not ask her? the Voice suggested. just ask her, then see. how she answers the question will tell you what to do next.
and if i'm not clear on that, can i count on YOU? i asked, dubiously, as i typed the most innocent-sounding question i could frame at the end of a very long email about lots of other things: PS. have you ever thought about getting a dog?
i really wasn't surprised when the answer i got back was a long and impassioned defense of all the reaons no. (for someone who said she hadn't thought about getting a dog, i noticed she sure had thought up a lot of reasons why not.)
there, i told the Voice. i told you. she doesn't want a dog.
you didn't ask her if she wanted a dog, the Voice said. you asked her if she'd thought about wanting one. clearly she has.
so now what, i said.
just wait, said the Voice.
why'd you ask me about the dog, asked my friend when i saw her a few days later.
i don't remember exactly what i said, but the upshot is that the lady in charge of romeo is emailing my friend back tonight and while i don't know for sure that the outcome will be exactly what i would like it to be (i may indeed be crazy), my deepest sense is that of it, Something Good will come.
and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.