My dog’s invisible wall

A few months ago I heard whimpering.
Any time I hear whimpering, or a sound that even resembles whimpering
(like my windshield wipers on a snowy day)
I look for my dog.
Anyway, this time the whimpering was coming from my bedroom. My dog, Rainbow, was sitting next to the door frame, so I asked her what was wrong, but she continued to look out the doorway
as if it were a portal
and whimper.
It isn’t a portal.
I tried to lure her out with promises of cuddles and ear scratches, and she even began to walk through the doorway, one paw at a time.
But she stopped because she deemed it was too dangerous.
Rainbow is a scared and anxious dog.
This happens a lot.
She hides under the bed, she smothers her nose under the covers and if — while she’s eating — her tags hit her bowl and make a loud sound
she stammers away thinking her food might be dangerous.
So when she encountered this doorway
a doorway, mind you, that she’s never been afraid of before
it was just, well
annoying.
I sighed. I pushed her butt out the door. And she seemed relieved.
But the next few months, she got stuck at that doorway several more times. It was, in short, an invisible wall.
She still gets stuck.
I can’t think she’ll grow out of it because she’s already 14 years old.
These mental constructs can be among the most annoying things because they are only real to the mind that conjures them up.
When she makes up these things in her mind, we no longer live in the same world
but that does not mean I can stop trying to understand her.
For this to work
I have to understand where that invisible wall is
even though it doesn’t exist
to me.
But one of the more interesting things about this doorway threshold is that it goes away
around 5 p.m. every weekday
when I come home.
She crashes right through it every single time
and rushes out, wagging her tail.
To be honest, I’m not as excited to see her as she is to see me.
To be honest, I don’t get it.
My girlfriend always says, “She REALLY loves you,” and I can’t disagree.
It’s one of those things that she conjures up in her mind because, frankly, there’s no good reason she should love me this much.
We live in different worlds — 
one where doorways are portals
and *I* am the best thing in the world
— and they are a package deal.
So if I want one
and I definitely do
then the invisble walls
will just have to be part of my life, too.
end

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