The other day, Herb “re-screened” the wood floors in my kitchen. This involves chemicals and equipment. When he finished, Herb reminded me to stay off the floor for 5 days except in sock feet. That was a little longer than I’d remembered! He also gently suggested that Pepper’s nails be trimmed. He’d seen the wild tornado around the house and had some concern for his handiwork.
Without prompting, and in point of fact when I wasn’t looking, Herb reinforced the barricade I had built to prevent Pepper from getting into the kitchen. (He added the pillows.)
Pepper’s curiosity quickly turned to distress.
“Why can’t I go in there?” she asked, a note of panic in her voice. “That’s my place,” she whimpered. “My crate is there. I eat there. I watch you work at the computer there.”
“Oh Pepper, I know it’s strange,” I replied, trying to soothe her. “It feels strange to me too! But see, we’ve moved your crate and food and water bowls into the sunroom. Also the kitchen table. You can watch me work on the iPad.”
“It’s not the same,” she worried. She sought alternative entry points to the kitchen, all of which I had effectively blocked. She checked the security and strength of the barricade. She rechecked the alternative entry points. This went on.
“Pep, you will get used to it,” I reassured her. “This is a challenge, but you will grow as a dog.”
“I don’t want to grow as a dog,” she rejoined, mournfully.
I sat down on the floor of the sunroom next to her and stroked her head. “Personal growth is overrated,” I whispered. “But usually we don’t have a choice.”
* * *
Francois Couperin wrote a piece for harpsichord in 1717 called “Les Barricades Mysterieuses.” Click here for one beautiful recording, slower than some. You can find this piece performed at a wide variety of tempos as it reaches out to us from the past and says “Here I am, the sublime.” A mysterious barricade.