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Leaning In

Leaning In

Leaning In

Gavin’s always been sound sensitive, but after we were attacked by two dogs who broke out of their backyard, his senses heightened when on walks, as did mine. When we left Chicago, I was still deciding where we’d land, so we stayed with my brother in a quiet suburb outside Columbus, Ohio. Not only did Chris welcome us into his home, but he also gave up his master bedroom for us. He’s that guy. 

I was sure that living with Chris would be amazing. And, it was in so many ways. Gavins loves my brother and nephew, and they adore him too. Even when Gavin humps one of them, they’re always kind and patient.

But, I hadn’t thought that everyone has large lawns in suburban neighborhoods and that someone’s always mowing their yard.  And, I hoped that Gavin would get a reprieve from June-to-August-day-and-night-backyard firework celebrations. While we did, the Fourth of July was miserable for him because other suburbs surrounded us. It was two days of city and township-sized blowouts.

And, even though Gavin had leaned on me for years when he needed comfort, it was Chris’s comfort he wanted when we lived with him. I remember how soothing it was to see my sweet, delicate dog relax into my gentle and generous brother. 

These days, Gavin’s stuck with me, but I’m so happy that I held out on signing a lease (more so was rejected due to the plethora of applicants) because the place we’re moving to is perfect. It’s in a quieter section of our neighborhood, so Gavin’s outside time will be even more enjoyable for him. But, we’ll still see many people on our walks, which is one of two reasons Gavin likes to meander anywhere. Greeting and getting petted by new friends is only second to smelling whatever scents squirrels, possums, and groundhogs leave behind.

I’ll do my best to take my dog’s cues for a while and lean in. I’ll try and trust uncertainty because overthinking and overdoing do nothing except make my days more difficult. I’ll be grateful for discomfort because the contrast between where I am and where I hope to be helps me grow. And, I’m going to try my darndest to delight in every moment. Because when I allow myself a second to feel joy as I’m gathering Gavin’s pills for the next day, to be thankful that he’s here and we’re both healthy and happy, I sleep a whole lot better.  May you do the same. 

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