This should come as no surprise. I am a chronic worrier. Uncertainty is the worst state for my mental health. I am sure I am not alone.
The thing is, I need to worry. If I don’t, I’ll worry about not being worried enough. Which is, I guess, in essence, the same thing. It’s totally twisted but I feel like I need to worry about all of the terrible things that could happen, in order for them to turn out okay. Ridiculous, right? If I don’t worry, I am convinced something will go horribly wrong and I won’t be prepared. By worrying, I truly believe I can prevent bad things. Since nothing ever happens as I predict, if I can just think of every possible horrific scenario, I believe I can wipe them out of existence. I need to imagine everything bad so that only good things will occur.
In a really messed up way, worrying comforts me. My worrying saves the world. It’s my public service, my tiny super-power. I’m Wonder Woman without a cape.
Shiva doesn’t ever seem to worry. I don’t know if dogs even have the capacity for such things. Even the most fearful dog probably doesn’t spend time contemplating future doom. They focus on what they are experiencing right now. It’s tremendously difficult for me to comprehend what that would be like. I don’t think I am capable of such a frame of mind.
By that same token, I don’t know if dogs are able to while away the hours in happy anticipation either. Which is one of my greatest pleasures. I like to look forward to things. The anticipation is often more exciting than the actual event. I’ve always preferred Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, the last day of work to the first day of vacation, the pre-trip planning to heading out on the road. My favourite day of the week is Thursday, not Friday. With positive things on the horizon, I don’t have to worry so much.
As I look at Shiva napping next to me after our morning walk, I instantly feel jealous of her easy relaxation. She doesn’t have even one little thing to worry about. However, she also doesn’t know how good she has it. Shiva doesn’t know it’s almost the weekend and that we have many awesome agility events planned.
In that way, it kind of sucks to be a dog.
If you haven’t seen it yet, my very first guest post is up on the Guarding Dogs Documentary Blog. It’s my attempt to share Shiva’s adoption story. It seems when it comes to her, I tend to be a little long-winded. You are all shocked, I know.