Me: Beau. What are you doing?
Beaumont: Watching you.
Me: What on earth for?
Beau: Because the earth needs me to do it.
Me: Ummm…. I’m confused. Why does the earth need you to watch me?
Beau: Because the earth needs its hoomans to stay calm and keeping humans calm is a dawg’s most important job right now and I’m doing my job.
Me: By watching me?
Beau: I’m a watch dog. Right?
Me: Yes. But, that doesn’t mean watch me. It means watch for intruders into the house and let us know if there are any.
Beau: Louise. Louise. Louise. The greatest threat to your safety right now is your mind and its capacity to create fear in everything. If I don’t watch you, you might just go a little bit out of your mind and start letting fear rule everything.
Me: Oh. Ok. Um…. I’m afraid you’ve got me there. I have no response.
Beau: Finally you recognize how fear can render you speechless. Just remember. I’m here. You’re safe.
Me: Beau, how do you even know what’s going on?
Beau: Louise. Louise. Louise. I listen. I hear. I watch. I see. I’m a dawg.
Me: But… you don’t speak English.
Beau: You’re not seriously using that in the midst of this conversation are you?
Me: Hmmm…. ok. I get your point. But please. Can you stop watching me like that? I’ve got to knead the bread dough and I don’t like anyone watching me when I do it.
Beau: Just pretend I’m not here.
Me: I can’t.
Beau: Then close your eyes and carry on kneadin’ the dough that way.
Me: How on earth do I do that?
Beau: You need me to show you how to close your eyes?
Me: Don’t be ridiculous. I mean, how do I knead the dough with my eyes closed?
Beau: Easy. Centre yourself in the now and get present in your body, connected to the dough, connected to the countertop. Feel it. It is all one. All connected. Feel your way through it, let the dough guide your kneading and let my watchful eyes be part of your experience, not separate from it.
Me: (sigh) Oh man. You’ve been listening to too many of my guided meditations.
Beau: There is never enough meditation in times of high stress, Louise.
Me: True. (taking the bowl with the risen dough in it off the stove and putting it on the counter.)
Beau: Did you wash your hands?
Me: (sigh) Of course I did.
Beau: For twenty seconds with warm water and soap?
Me: Yes, Beau.
Beau: Good. Then you’re cleared to ‘stay calm and knead on’.
Me: It’s ‘stay calm and carry on’, Beau.
Beau: Maybe for others who don’t have Beau the Supah’ Watchdawg watchin’ over them. But for you, you can be as kneady as you want ’cause there’s nothin’ to fear. Beau is here!
Me: Thank you Beau.
Beau: Think nothing of it Louise. I’m just doing my job. Like all the health care workers and grocery store clerks and truck drivers and those who are doing everything they can to keep the world in check from going off its axis. We’re just doing our jobs so the rest of the world can carry on and stay calm.
Me: I appreciate you and all of them Beau.
Beau: And well you should. Now get busy kneading would ya’? I’m mighty hungry for a piece of fresh out of the oven home-baked bread slathered in butter.
Me: Beau. you don’t eaaa….. Right. I’ll just ‘stay calm and knead on’.
And that is just what I did. With Beau watching over me of course.
Because dawgs (and cats too though Beau won’t say it), like those at the frontlines of the pandemic and those in the grocery stores and pharmacies and driving and delivering goods to ensure the supply chain is full, and the police and fire and EMS and all the others doing their jobs so we can be safe and healthy are who we need to give gratitude to every moment of every day.
Let’s do whatever we can to support them by keeping our social distance in practice and watch over one another so we can stay calm and carry on. Or ‘knead on’ as the case may be!