Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Pack Dynamic

Mardi Gras and Magique

Sometimes you do not know how out of balance your life is until you cannot stand it any more. It isn't always the big things. Sometimes it is an accumulation of a bunch of little things that do not get better. And sometimes it is us humans which are the last to see it.

Since I took Wolfie back to his house to care for him there an interesting change has come about in my household. First was that Willow immediately accepted the kittens. Two was that the kittens immediately expanded into the entire house and stopped hiding in the corner. And three was that Mardi got better.

Mardi is 15 and a half now. I have been treating her with vitamins for a liver ailment for a couple years, and the last couple of winters I have wondered if this will be her last. This one really felt like it. I had a difficult time getting her to join in with the morning walks. They were short walks because I was trying to teach Wolfie to walk right on a leash. Mardi always hung back as if she hadn't the strength but I knew she needed the exercise. So mornings were this tussle with getting the leash on Wolfie and Mardi out from under the library table or hunt her out in any of a couple hiding places.

Once I took Wolfie back to his yard I resumed the morning walks with Mardi and Magique only off in the country and not just down the road. Magique resumed her duties of keeping track of where the old lady was - me and Mardi - and I had my hands free for the camera and my attention back to taking pictures. Well, I also always watch for where my dogs are, but Magique knows she and her pal have to be within sight of me. And Mardi started prancing again. Joy returned to our morning walks.

I know my mood got better when I was able to take my morning walk with camera and friends. And when my attention at home could be on writing or painting or gardening instead of counting kittens and dogs. Ito had destroyed my faith in how my friend had raised her dogs. I was on edge with Wolfie around. But it was not just my fur pack which was out of sync.

This winter has shown me I was out of sync with the humans in my life. Since my neighbor has been gone I have gotten re-involved in the hood; back in touch with the movers and shakers in the art community. That dynamic has been out of whack for some time because of my dedication to helping my friend and neighbor through her despair following her husband's death. I was free to go with a whim of a day trip with camera or an extended business lunch because I did not have to worry.

I am free at last. I and my household are reclaiming balance. But I dread my neighbor and former friend's return. She has the power to suck me back into her pack dynamic. I do not want to go there even for coffee in the mornings.


  1. Sometimes we have to leave the abuser to realize what we were abused. Maintain your boundaries!

  2. That is so very true, Terry. And on some level I knew I was in a sick dynamic but I did not realize its entire effect on my household. But of course it would.

    1. You need to take your power back from giving it to her Jacqui. Be assertive and tell her plain you can not be her friend anymore. I call negative people psychic vampires because they drain your energies until you become as negative as they are. Do you really care if she calls you all of the names under the sun or whatever? If you ignore her she will soon give up.
      When I realized most of my friends were only using me I cut them out of my life and surprise surprise, I ended up with no real friends at all. But; I was also free!

  3. It is a tough balance. We want to be good people but being drained is no fun. Enjoy your good life.

    1. It was not just me being drained but my dogs being drained. Wolfie was sucking my dogs dry and Jan is trying to do the same to me. Dad always said show him a neurotic dog and he would show me a neurotic owner.

  4. I am convinced to not let her back into my circle of friends. But this blog was really more about the group dynamic of Wolfie in my house with my dogs and cats and why I decided he could not stay any longer in my house. Before I took Wolfie back to his own yard I was unaware of how his presence was upsetting my pack and not just because I was upset by the guilt and black mail his owner was using.

    I have had dogs stay at my house before and not had problems but Wolfie was here for almost 6 months and it was exhausting not just for me but for my dogs and cats. And the really big impact was with Mardi Gras. Whether Jan and I are friends again she will guilt me about not bringing my dogs over to play with Wolfie. And she is planning a month trip to Alaska in August and I am sure the taking Wolfie into my house issue will come up. The answer has to be absolutely NO.


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