I see people who walk dogs that appear to be in control of the walk. Now, that’s an unfamiliar concept to me.
I’ve tried over the years to direct them, suggest a route, drag them, holler and grimace and yes, curse a little, but suffice to say – they have a mind of their own and a nose that is far more powerful than my one hundred and ten pound frame. I am completely at their mercy and on most days my spaghetti arms can handle it, because my dogs bring me into their world and it’s the only one I ever want to be in, because it is filled with merriment, mischief, amazement and investigation of every sort. And that is food for my soul and my soul needs nourishment and hey let’s face it – I could do with a few more pounds.
Dogs are the creators of routine, mayhem and unconditional love – it’s the canine trifecta that cannot be found anyplace else. Yes, cats will insist they are apt to supply all three but with them it’s earned, with dogs, it’s a given. Dogs are my social lubricant. Without them, God only knows.
On some days the closest thing I get to spirituality is watching my dogs. (Sorry cats if you’re reading). It’s like if I was having a conversation with God, I’d have to say – you had me at dog. And we see dogs on our walks, it’s like they all belong to the one great dog that just split itself into millions of other dogs. God could not and did not invent anything better.
Got to be said, dogs are like air or land or water. You don’t own them, they pretty much own you and you’re grateful to be owned by them. So we get fourteen years or thereabouts of joy, then ridiculous sadness. Sadness, yes – I own that too and because I own it, I can also say goodbye to it – eventually, because dogs can’t drive and shelters are full. So may my dogs continue to walk me until the day I die, in the rhythm of fading sunsets and almost moons.