When one of us in in the shower, Cassie considers it her job to keep guard, usually at the top of the stairs. Sometimes she demands to be in the bathroom so she can poke her head around the shower curtain. Yesterday she decided to stand guard just outside the door. When I got out of the shower she was nowhere around. I figured she was in our room, asleep in her bed there. I checked but no Cassie. I went downstairs and checked everywhere, her crate, her bed in the library, her bed in my office, by the front patio door. No Cassie anywhere. I checked outside to see if my husband had let her out and then forgotten to let her back in again.

No sign of Cassie anywhere. I turned to go back upstairs and suddenly, there she was, at the top of the stairs looking down at me. I didn’t think much about it. I figured I had just missed her.

We have a spare room upstairs that has some exercise equipment, TV, and a little antique French settee. The settee is there to keep it safe (instead of in the garage) while I try to sell it. To keep Cassie off of it I put a dozen small pillows, stacked all over it, so you couldn’t even see an edge to sit on. No one really goes in that room and it’s mostly just the place you throw things to get them out of your way. I feel bad that it’s a mostly underused room. Most nights, while I’m brushing my teeth, I stand in the doorway, staring into the room trying to figure out how we can better utilize the space. Last night I poked my head in the room and what did I see?

A dozen little pillows on the floor and a nice Cassie indentation on the settee.

I had to laugh. Sure, if I had been there to see it I would have told her no. But I couldn’t help but admire her capabilities. She saw the little Cassie sized couch and wanted up. She removed the pillows. And then I imagine she had a nice nap while I took my shower. I would have given anything to have been able to watch her getting those pillows out of her way.

Most of the time we make Cassie wait for permission to do just about anything. She’s so dang smart that if we don’t, she’d soon be running the house. But sometimes we can’t anticipate what it is she is going to want to do so she takes matters into her own hands. Sometimes we have to stop her but sometimes she gets a nice nap on silk cushions out of the deal.

I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting for permission to do the things I want to do. I don’t know who I expected to give me that permission – family, friends, people in some sort of authority or another – but I’m tired of waiting. Going forward I’m going to try and do more of what I want to do, write books, make art, work in the garden and fill my life with the things and the people I love, without waiting for someone to tell me it’s okay to do so.

Anyone care to join me?