Where Is Your Treasure?
I talked about Ruth a few posts ago. She was the kind lady who I suspect left bones over the fence for us.
She went to the dog park in the sky a few months ago and since then her house has stood empty.
This week on our daily walks we have glimpsed movement in her backyard and then the last couple of days inside her house. I can’t help thinking how much she would hate it.
First of all some guys came and cleared a lot of rubbish from the garden. Today there is a huge skip with lots of rubbish in it and lines of plastic bin bags lean against the wall of her house.
It made me feel sad.
You see Ruth was a hoarder. She didn’t like people going into her home and that was her right, but once when Beloved’s beloved helped her with something he saw inside and was shocked. She had piles of newspapers, old magazines and what Beloved would call rubbish everywhere.
She didn’t have piles of rubbish outside her door or anything too extreme, but she didn’t like to throw things away and as it got harder financially so everything was given a purpose.
For instance she became a little anxious when there was a fear of bush fires so she had every container she could lay her hands on full of water in the back garden. A wise precaution we might think, but a year later they were still there filled with dirty, smelly water.
The Princess and I have even seen the occasional rat trying to get through the fence onto our side but we have soon sounded the alert and the rats have retreated. Of course we are not out in the garden all the time so I cannot guarantee that one or two didn’t come back later to steal the food that Beloved’s beloved puts out for the birds.
When Ruth came to visit Beloved she would talk about the precious things she had which her Father had left. She had old tins full of little treasures which meant something to her. They probably don’t mean anything to anyone else and I couldn’t help wondering as we walked past the skip whether any of Ruth’s treasures were lying broken and twisted at the bottom.
It doesn’t really matter now. Ruth isn’t here to be upset but it did make me think.
What is my treasure?
Is my treasure held in something which will just be thrown on a skip one day?
What makes something a treasure to us?
As dogs we are not too attached to ‘things’, although Beloved does talk about a dog she once had who used to have a lot of toys. Every day his first task was to bring all the toys from under the bushes and other hiding places, gather them into the centre of the lawn and then hide them in new places. They must have been his treasures.
I really only have Big Dog. I have to admit I would be a little lost without him. He is the toy I grab when I am so pleased to see Beloved that I just have to share something precious with her to show how pleased I am that she is home. Then because I am not allowed to jump up at the bad guys on the television screen I grab big dog again and pretend he is the baddie! But he is not my treasure. I would miss him, but I could replace him.
My treasure is in Beloved and her beloved. It is in Team Leader and his beloved and it is Beloved’s sons and their families. My real treasures are flesh and blood. Even The Princess to some extent (I am feeling quite mellow towards her at the moment having spent a few days with Prissy Paws I realise that things could be worse).
I am a dog and as a dog we tend not to want to hoard. I have heard of some dogs who hoard bones and I do understand food hoarding. That is a biological imperative, but even that is not a survival instinct that I share despite a love of all things that fill my tummy. If The Princess and I find a bone we bring it to the house. Beloved doesn’t usually let us bring it in the house which I think is a bit unfair even if it is a little dirty.
I suck it for a while then when I’ve finished I leave it on the patio for The Princess to chew. Then suddenly it’s gone. I have suspected Beloved’s beloved of getting rid of them but I am now wondering if in fact he is hoarding them somewhere!
The thing is though. We don’t. The Princess and I are not really into things, we are into people.
Of course we could get hurt by making people our treasure whereas if things are your treasure they are unlikely to shout at you or leave you. But we can’t help it. This is the way we are made. We cannot understand giving your emotions to objects instead of people.
I am attached to Big Dog but I love Beloved. There is a difference. The Princess has lots of toys she plays with but she would never choose a toy over time with Beloved.
Beloved does not hoard either. In fact her sons often accuse her of throwing away things before they were ready to part with them! She has a rule, it is not written in stone and she does bend it for certain things (like scarves and shawls) but if it hasn’t been used in three years it can go. Her beloved keeps things a little longer and I often see him hiding things in plastic boxes and moving them to the garden shed so that she can’t ‘give them away’. But that is our secret!
Unlike Beloved, Ruth found it hard to let go of anything. Particularly anything to do with her father. He was gone, but she wanted to hold on. It was as if by throwing something out that was his she was somehow rejecting him.
She kept anything that had a sentimental value so that she would not forget and as she got older the fear of forgetting became greater. I think all of this was made worse because she was alone. Eventually even her faithful dog went and she was lonely. Beloved did her best, but Ruth didn’t open up her heart to her neighbours very much, she had closed it off.
In the end her fear of throwing away something useful overtook her ability to organise and order her life. She became afraid that others were after the treasures she had saved from her father and refused to let anybody onto her property except in rare circumstances. And now there is a big skip full of the things that she was attached to.
When I passed that skip today with it’s mounting (to us) rubbish, I was glad that I am not a Tibbie who hoards.
I am very glad that my treasure is in my family. I realise that I am a lucky Tibbie. It is not good for animals to be always alone and I am very blessed because although we are a small family we are nevertheless a family and we are each other’s treasure. I am certainly not a Tibbie who could be alone.
Of course there is a risk in loving people. They can leave and sometimes I have bad dreams about that, but I know that Beloved would never leave me willingly so I don’t let that stop me loving her. I am a faithful Tibbie and Beloved is a faithful Beloved.
I have heard it said that your treasure is where your heart is. I am a very simple Tibbie and this is very easy for me to know. My heart is with Beloved, her beloved and family. This is my treasure and I am happy that it should be so.
Now I will go and nap in my favourite spot because Prissy Paws went home yesterday and the patch of carpet is free again. I may tell you about his visit later, but for now I will savour the feeling of being a very lucky Tibbie who for the moment is surrounded by his treasure and lying in the sun.