Walking Pettigrew this afternoon I took delight in the jaunty curve of his tail and its white tip that bobbed to and fro. His coat is glossy, his stomach appears to have healed, and we are even thinking he can get back to licking pots in the next week. Life is good.
It reminded me of an old parable.
An impoverished family, growing too large for their home consults the village elder. What should they do? He counsels them to invite their chickens into their house. They leave dumbfounded, but do as he says.
The next week they return. Life is worse. The chickens are underfoot. There is no place to sit. What should they do? Bring their cow inside, says the wise man. Although they are questioning his advice, they do it.
The following week they return. It’s impossible to move around the house, they tell the wise man. The chickens are underfoot and the cow blocks the doorways, they are living in a nightmare. So the wise man tells them to bring their horse inside.
This continues until the house is bursting, filled with the family and all the animals.
But then, the wise man tells them to put the chickens back outside. They family returns the next week. They tell him that things are so much better. They can now sit in a chair without fearing they will squash a chicken.
And so it goes, with each week the wise man telling them to put some animals back in the barn.
When all the animals are outside, the family returns. Oh wise man, thank you so much for your help, our house is so quiet, I can think again. It smells so much better. I can move around so freely, they tell him.
Just as in the parable, I feel that things are so much better with Pettigrew. No longer do I have to wash his feet every time I take him for a walk. I don’t check the house in the mornings to see if he was incontinent overnight. We’ve stopped feeding him rice and chicken and the ease that comes with serving dry dog food is almost overwhelming. Life is sweet.