I returned from a couple of afternoon meetings to find a large package on my doorstep from writer Nancy Rector. I first met Nancy and her musician husband Roy Rivers on my five month road trip in 2010-2011. Since then they have become very close friends of mine. Nancy and Roy opened their Hot Springs, Arkansas home to Yoda and me when we were driving back to Austin from Wisconsin last month.
Like some rescues, Yoda suffers from a severe panic disorder called separation anxiety. When left alone he’s jumped through a screen window, punched a hole in the front door, broken out of a metal crate, and scratched and gnawed a bloody mess out of the molding around my front door. This means that he can never be left alone. I’m dependent on either doggy daycare or the generosity of dog-sitting friends whenever I need to leave. Luckily I’ve always had easy access to both. Yoda never fully relaxes until he is with me, but his anxiety is manageable as long as a human being is with him.
Nancy offered to let me leave Yoda with her when I was in Hot Springs so that I could go crystal mining and visit the Curandera, Starr Fuentes, who took me in for five weeks during my road trip a couple years ago. I remember Nancy telling me that Yoda spent the entire day quietly yet diligently staring out the window of the front door waiting for me to return. She and Roy said he was constantly vigilant.
Which leads me back to the large package on my doorstep today. Yoda and I opened the package together (he’s very helpful with sniffing and pawing at the bubble wrap in boxes), and I gasped with excitement when I saw that it is a framed photo that Nancy took of Yoda when he was waiting for me to return to her house last month. She put the words “Constant Vigilance” at the base of the photo.
I’ve just hung it on my wall. Each time I look at it I’ll be reminded not only of my good friends Nancy and Roy, but also of Yoda’s unconditional love for me. Now that’s a true Halloween treat.