The intermittent crying and swollen hand deserve a release. So I'll write from the head and hand and heart.
I waited so long for this. Patiently and impatiently. Watching others with envy, sharing in their joys and laughing with them at the quirks. Seeing my family have their own joys, my own favorites, the moments of jumping and scolding and teaching and playing. Everyone being together. Watching them and telling the stories.
Finally. finally. There are rays of hope. A willingness to accept and seek and find this all for my own. Expectations are so high and yet seems to be met. There is love and happiness and life and energy and purpose and focus. So much wonderment.
Except, my dog bites my friends.
I don't have much to give. I don't have money, or much in the way of time these days. My creative juices flow intermittently and time & money get in the way of even that. Free time is spent with friends and family and loved ones. Energy is spent on sharing life experiences and stories and joys and upsets. Food and drink and life and home.
Sharing. All I want to do is share her. Share the way she gets itchy and snorty and spins in circles on her butt, rolls around in the grass, chases rabbits and follows the chickens in hopes that she can share the treats we give them but not her. Share her favorite hiding spots and the way she chews up the blanket that Alicia's mom made for me, leaving beautiful bits of teal and purple lying around.
I want her to sit with me while life and friends and fun happens. My most anxious times when there are so many people around and I need a purpose that doesn't involve wearing myself out. Except she's anxious too and doesn't know what to do. So she snaps.
No one believes us. Or they think "dogs love me" and it'll all be ok. She's cute. She looks friendly and happy. But we don't know her limits, her triggers. All we can say is leave her be. That coming up to sniff your hand is not an invitation to pet her. That men and her paws are very sticky subjects for her. I want to just say these things and have everyone understand and give her berth and make that the answer. But it doesn't work that way and I can't push off the responsibility.
I feel sad that I can't share her, have to cause her more anxiety by shutting her away. I look at my swollen, marked hand and wonder if someone else wouldn't say she should be taken away. I think of my family of dog-owners and still feel like the dream that I had - and they shared for me - is unfulfilled, and that those I love the most are also part of that group of strangers that need to beware. I look at my lack of ambition and drive and commitment to do anything really challenging in my life and wonder if I lack what it will take to see her through and maybe teach her another way of handling her stresses.
But most of all, I feel guilty that so many friends have been hurt. Because that, no matter what, is my fault. My responsibility. And I don't think I really know what that means... for me, for them, for her....