The canine crew, too, prefers to be indoors during these 90+-degree-high-humidity days. Here are the girls hanging out together: Pinot, Kenya, and Elsie, l-r below:
Ah, but when moisture factors and temperatures drop, the windows fly open and dogs come in and out at will (well, they come in at will since Tuc and Elsie can both open the back door; going out, however, necessitates opposable thumbs, i.e., human intervention).
We love open-windows kinds of days.
Open windows invite cool, crisp breezes to flow through the house. They allow us to replace stale, predictable, recycled air with clean, unpredictable, even robust odors of the outdoors (including wafting manure smells of distant farms..hehe...I did say "robust"). It's enlivening, uplifting, refreshing.
Open windows feel exciting and new. I love the scent of fresh air and the caress of cool breezes on my skin that open windows afford.
But I'm also allergic to molds and pollens and grasses (thankfully not to dog dander), and, to boot, I have allergy-induced asthma. So opening windows, though refreshing, is risky for me. I've learned to open windows at certain times to maximize the fresh-air benefit, but minimize the risk.
I'm learning to do the same with windows of opportunity.
Maybe it's because I'm a big kid now, a "grown-up" (otherwise known as an "adult"). Maybe it's that, at a year shy of fifty years old, I'm in full-fledged mid-life reevaluation. Maybe it's just that I've learned about life the hard way too many times. Whatever the reason, I just don't need the thrill-a-minute, blind-risk-adventure I used to enjoy.
I don't dive in without measuring the depth of the water. Not anymore.
That's how it's been with our Lab-breeding windows.
Am I a little sad (and disappointed) that we missed our window of opportunity with Kenya's heat cycle? Yes.
Did we weigh the risk vs. benefit of opening the window to a fall litter from her? Indeed, we did, and we decided that it was the right time.
But opening that window would not have been without risk:
- This would've been Kenya's first pregnancy. You just don't know how it's going to go with an unproven dam. That risk will be there until she whelps for the first time, whenever that happens.
- DH's job situation is still very up in the air. At this point, we don't know if he'll be commuting two hours (one-way) each day starting in late fall.
- We just found out DFS is not returning to residential college this fall, but will be commuting to community college instead. That means me driving him, until he goes for, and hopefully passes, his driver's test. He at least has his permit now (Yay! This is his first attempt at getting a driver's license, and he's 25 years old -- a welcome milestone).
- I'm still having trouble with the pinched nerve in my neck, and will be seeing the orthopedist next week. I have no idea how long this will take to settle down.
Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, our missed window of opportunity with Kenya is really a blessing in disguise. Perhaps we're being spared the stress and responsibility (though missing the joy) of raising a litter when I would've been spending hours a day driving DFS back and forth to school (45-minutes one-way) or when I physically, because of the nerve thing, may not be in any kind of shape to care for pups by then.
The nice thing about windows is, though sometimes it's best they stay closed, there are other times, perhaps just around the bend, during which they can be opened again. It might be a different window or a different season, but it's an opening nonetheless.
And so it will be with Kenya.
And Tuc (note the tail-wag blur -- one big, happy boy!).
And it will be that way with any other endeavor we pursue.
So, yes, it's definite: we missed our window with Kenya, and she will definitely not being having a fall litter.
But while that window is shut (perhaps for our protection and benefit), another will open. Of that I'm sure.
In the meantime, we'll enjoy the always-open window of loving and living with our Labs.
And, in this season, I'll try to more regularly share that window with you.
'Til next time,