Calm and chaos

I am proud to report that it’s peaceful at our house.

All three of our dogs usually remain calm. Gracie Girl, a five-pound apricot-red poodle is the smallest, but she reigns as head of the pack. Roxie Ravin, at seven pounds, is always the gentle caretaker staying close to her human and nonhuman friends when they need cheering up.  The third dog, Oliver Dartanion, belongs to my daughter Ranna. A white poodle with black spots, he is the youngest and the biggest. Although Oliver Dartanion is supposed to be a toy poodle, his body is longer and his legs are shorter than most poodles and he weighs 15 pounds.

Since Ranna and Oliver Dartanion came to live with my husband Tom and me two years ago, our family of dogs has blended together and become a whole, functional family. It’s quiet and peaceful—until someone rings the doorbell. Then, suddenly, our family of dogs erupt into chaos and loud barking—until everyone is seated.

When everyone is seated, calm is restored. Our family of dogs sit with us and quietly enjoy our company—until a guest rises.

The last time we had company, I thought about this pattern of calm and chaos. It reminds me of what’s normal with most families. In fact, it reminds me of what’s normal with life. Most of us experience a lot of calm and a lot of chaos.


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