I suck at the stock dog thing.  I mean really. Like audibly.  The sucking is not just an essence…it's TANGIBLE enough to be called 'Carl'… 

Similar to my recent Pop Pies2 game addiction, once in a field with my dog and sheep, I cannot stop myself from acting on perpetual and nonproductive impulse.  Refusing to acknowledge Carl, I continue failing in an almost frenzied fashion until someone stops me.  Usually Dianne. 

"Let's keep Scout's sessions to five minutes…or three…somewhere before you lose your aim and are just screaming obscenities and crying like a toddler maybe…"

(Yes, I am paraphrasing.)

I should just give up and find a more obtainable goal or hobby, like scrapbooking or learning to play a fake instrument…on Wii… but I don't.  I keep going back.

Why? Because I can't paint?  Gardening bores me?  (Is that a weed? Because it looks as good as anything else in a jar, as far as I'm concerned)  Because I got kicked out of my book club?
(Henry Miller is NOT PORNOGRAPHY and one should never join a book club whose reading list features books that one wouldn't pick up even to swat houseflys…the
flys would thrive on that sweet corny shit… )

I mean we're there, time and time again watching everyone else move
forward at whatever pace. Some days it's a beginner with a dog who does
outruns at 7 months old, his 2nd time on sheep.
Scout and I follow
that with the Screaming Flailing Circling Barking sheep zamboni for 10
field sweeping minutes…and its someone else's turn to step up and
work.  Work like its going somewhere…
We work like we should have brooms and bulbous red squeaky noses.  We're both just so…crazy bad.  I love Scout like mad. She's the most endearing little thing to me.  She's like all my fears and insecurities with the shiniest black and white coat ever.  We both are shy of new people, prefer corners,  and are very happy to be outside running.  We both want to work sheep. 

Almost a year into training and I can see Dianne just wondering if
there isn't some other animal she can put us on, Scout and
I…something slower and maybe capable of feeling pity.  Something that
can root for us, perhaps even, when running frantically towards an outbuilding
might seem like the more obvious choice.  Children? Could Scout and I
herd CHILDREN? Older children.  Sixth graders, say; the unfortunately heavy kids.  Slow moving, unpopularly coagulated at the back corner of the playground…probably no stranger to Carl.  Give me a middle school at the end of lunch recess and I believe we can SHINE. 

It's funny how not living up to your own, perhaps unrealistically grandiose, expectations on one activity can leak over and threaten to taint every other part of your life.  This morning I lie in bed thinking about calling in sick.  I couldn't face the idea of a conference call. Having to herd people together and complete an agenda, driving the discussions to reach a point, around the point back through a set of action items….concluding the call….seemed beyond me. And like if someone questioned me at any point I might possibly cry or call him  'Dick Wad'. 

I didn't want to get up.

Then, suddenly, I hear the thudding of my insecurities down the hall, onto the bed, licking my face. A ball is dropped on my chest. The look of concentration, expectation….wag wag wag.  It's all about right now.  See why I love this dog? The black and white. The reminder of what's important.  We're ready to forget everything in order to run after something that eludes us.