Every morning, my alarm goes off at 5 am and it takes two hits on the snooze button before I'm awake enough to untangle my body from dog and cat and human limbs, plus heavy quilts, and get out of bed. I make a large mug of chai tea and get on my yoga mat.
Archie the kitten shows up to play fetch while I'm going yoga. It's okay while I'm lying or sitting on the mat -- he brings his catnip mouse to me, drops it next to my hand and I throw it away -- but if I'm in a standing posture, he runs back with the mouse and jumps on my leg, wrapping his four clawed feet around my calf.
At 6:45, after (much-needed) meditation (to calm myself from doing yoga and playing fetch), I make coffee and feed the dogs. They get a "home-cooked" meal -- cup of meat, banana mashed up, a poached egg, veggies, supplement, yogurt for stomach health, and to keep farts away -- so it takes a few moments to put it all together.
This, too, is a kind of meditation.
I have two dogs, an almost-ten year old and an 18 month old. Stella, the old girl, gets fed first. Always. And I have never missed feeding her a meal; if I'm not here, my husband feeds her. Yet every morning, when she hears the last note on the microwave indicating her egg is poached (it's the first thing I do in this ritual), she climbs off the dog couch where she has been lying since 7:00 the night before and stands next to the island, waiting. As if her close supervision will make sure she receives her breakfast.
It's the same every single morning. Stand. Wait. Stare. While I assemble and serve.
She even races me to the stand in the laundry room where the dog dish goes. She wants to be standing there watiting for me, making sure. Ready.
Next, I feed the younger dog, Abby. The entire time I am assembling her breakfast, Stella stands, waits and stares. It is almost impossible to shoo her away. If I send her back to the couch, she backs up a few steps. Yes, I should assert myself as the leader of the pack but this goes on every morning. Abby lies on the couch until she is called. With her training, I knew what I was doing; not so many mistakes to try and correct -- and she's not a dominant dog like Stella.
Every morning, I say to Stella, "When have you ever received a second breakfast? When? Ever?"
Stella just stands and waits and stares.
There is the chance, the slim chance, I will drop something on the floor.
(Well, an egg did roll off the counter the other morning. Dogs make great floor cleaners, if you don't mind your slippers sticking to slobber, but the shell was all cracked up in the splattered egg so no score there.)
Ten hours later, we do the same ritual all over again at suppertime.
God also serves those who stand and wait.
In a dog's spiritual world, that makes me the Great Resource Provider. We worship at the alter of the dish at seven and five, daily.