We are all about “truth in advertising” here at MisFit Farm, which may account for why, despite several adoption inquiries, Presley remained here with us. While we may wax poetic about our best traits, we have an incisive honesty about our less-desirable traits, and a pretty no-holds-barred forthrightness in our communication styles.
Which is why I found it odd, as I sat with Presley that afternoon, to find myself patting her head and leaning in real close to say to her, “It’s o.k. if it is time for you to go, girl.” Because I didn’t mean it. I can tell when I say something I don’t mean, because as a corollary of K’s theory about not saying what you don’t want to happen, as I was saying those words, I was seeing something entirely different happen.
I was seeing Presley standing insistently in front of me, silently demanding I scratch her head, especially just behind her left ear. I was seeing her cruise from food dish to food dish, snatching up mouthfuls and then moving on to claim the next, as if the rule from our childhoods, where we lick each open tootsie roll pop to stake our claim, applies to food dishes for dogs. I was seeing her run up and down the pasture paths with me despite my admonitions to take it easy; when we turn around to make our way back to the house, her eyes are dancing, her big lolling tongue is hanging out the side of her mouth, and her back legs and hips are drooping as she staggers, elated and exhausted, back onto her corner of the couch.
I was seeing the beautiful day from earlier this Spring, when we had stolen time home from the office and had the doors and windows open and were unexpectedly visited by a family of religious adherents who despite my polite and gentle treatment were insistent that they would read me some scripture (which is one of my pet peeves, as I am perfectly capable of reading to myself); Presley thereupon reified my irritation and agitation by urinating on the nice lady’s daughter. I was seeing Presley stick her big nose right up in my face to pretend she wanted to give me a stinky kiss, running roughshod over the proscription against dogs approaching the table during mealtime.
I was seeing her the first day she came to us, and the day she came back after her failed placement, and I was hoping upon hope that it wasn’t time for her to go so she could come back to us yet again, that I could see her coming home again in my mind and it would be so. Notwithstanding Doc’s best efforts and my hopes to the contrary, Presley took my permission and passed along that night. She must have known that each time I saw her I would fill my mind with more of what I wanted to see happening, and try to fill myself with words that I didn’t really mean.