Talking to the Dog – Again

By Emma Pearson

May 25, 2024

16 June 2022

Photo of Black taken just now, in the shade of the evening… but you can see from the grass how hot it’s been

Today, a sweltering hot-for-us day, as I turned up the stairs towards my home office and saw Black the dog outside in the garden, I called out to him, “Stay well hydrated, Blacky, won’t you?”

He just looked at me.

He didn’t nod.
He didn’t get up and trot over to his probably too warm bowl of water.

He didn’t wander off to a shadier part of the garden.

He just looked at me.

Because he’s a dog.

Not a human being.

I do this sometimes. I talk to the dog or the cat as though they were a biped. As though they were one of my human children.

Fortunately I don’t think I am mad, even if any bystander might think I am.

I just don’t do so well with a constantly quiet house.

I am reminded again of lovely Shirley Valentine who talks to her wall. I even wrote about her talking to her wall 16 months ago.  As I re-read that piece of writing – most of which I had forgotten – I see that I talked to the dog that day too. And to the kettle. Most bizarre.

And the point I made then is still valid. I still miss having an echo in my life. A reverberation of my daily doings and noodlings and comings and goings.

Perhaps I have too much spare time on my hands. I no longer have every minute of every hour of every day fully utilised. I have time to sit and think. Or chop up veggies and cook. Or play the piano. Or pick up a book and read. Or write two pieces for my blog in a week. Or catch up with people I haven’t spoken to in eons.

It’s weird. I am not used to having more time. And I am still not used to not having an echo for how I use my time, how I show up in the world.

And I know how lucky I am to talk to people each day. My work affords me so many opportunities to connect live, even if via zoom. And I have Medjool’s presence most weekends, which helps the house feel a little less rattly.

But were I older or retired, or were I not in a people-facing line of work, I am sure that whole days could pass by without me talking out loud. Unless to the dog and cat.

I hope they last a while longer yet.

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