September 9, 2016
Where Are You?
LiLi taught me an interesting lesson yesterday. I have spent very little time with the girls this summer. I groomed them in the spring to get out the winter hair and over the course of the summer occasionally put fly spray on them. We had a few clients. No riding, nothing exciting, except one day I introduced all of them to the horse trailer – they didn’t have to go in, just look. That’s not much quality time. So it’s been dry in terms of interaction. I feed them twice a day, say hi, and go back inside the house, working on my business, keeping the house clean because it’s on the market, spending time with the other animals and my husband.
So yesterday, loving, ever-patient Wilma was standing in the barn and I thought it would be a great opportunity to groom her. Got out the brushes, we had a nice time; she was blissed out and I got nicely dusty and dirty. She left, and I went back to working. Then, as I was finishing up my chores and was about to head back to the house, six-year old LiLi came in.
“What about me?”
I told her we could have a quick brushing (emphasis on the quick – I had things to do). Got brushes back out and proceeded to work fairly quickly on her. A few minutes in she started nosing something in the stall, so I stopped her, and told her that if she wanted to be brushed she needed to be with me. She stood still again, but when I went to the other side to start there, she turned away. Paused. Walked out the door. LiLi stopped outside the door, so I followed her out and asked her if she wanted me to finish brushing her. She just looked at me, asked very clearly, “Why should I be with you when you’re not with me?” – not in a judging way, but very matter of factly – and then she walked away.
It took me a moment to remember, but at the time she pulled the plug on being brushed, I had stopped thinking about grooming her and how pretty she is, and started thinking about something else entirely. About how I was going to divvy up the barn so Emma and Wilma would be separate from LiLi and Zimi for a week or so, until everyone settles in, and then for meals, too, so the little one gets enough to eat. She was so right! I was in a hurry and my mind was churning on a problem that had nothing, really, to do with the matter at hand. I was no longer with her.
How often do we do that, remove ourselves from the present moment and go off on a tangent? Do we do it with the people we love, and our other pets too? If we were to ask them, they would probably say “yes”. Some are more tolerant than others. Bless LiLi and her horsey soul for not tolerating such a disconnect and pointing out the very obvious to me. She is an amazing teacher. I have learned, little girl. When I’m with you, I’m with you. Thank you.