Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Service of Dogs

     I have a soft spot for animals especially the personality of dogs. They're so earnest and open about their approach to life. Very little guile unless it is playful guile. A good influence for me to remind me to be loyal. This hasn't always been so because prior to my first dog in my 30's I had always been around cats.  Growing older I find that I probably will always have a dog and it will probably be medium to large sized.

     This afternoon a spurt of energy found me doing some un-landscaping in the backyard. Using chainsaw and circular saw I made changes in my view. This was exhausting and Coquetta was with me the whole time tied to her zip line. She does not much zipping but sits watching wildlife and snapping at flying insects. Finally I was exhausted and needed to sit down for a spell in a lawn chair.

     Across the creek is grassy access road for utility trucks and people frequently walk or jog the road.  Coquetta gave a 'woof' of warning and I cautioned her to be quiet as a cat and just sit and watch.  Along came a woman walking by herself with 2 large dogs on leads or so I thought.  The lead dog was a brown-tan Siberian Husky with its elegant articulated gait.  The next dog on leash was just as large maybe larger with an equally dense coat. It could possibly have been a Golden Retriever it just looked odd because its fur had been molting or trimmed but for sure it was lagging behind in order to keep track of scents on the ground.
Gone and out of sight they went not going quite as quickly as the husky wanted because the woman was not tall or one to fast-walk. 

     Out the corner of my left eye I saw some movement and about 50yards behind the woman and her dogs was what must have been her 3rd dog.  An ancient German Shepherd walking painfully slow, no leash, none needed.  It appeared to have a sway back. Shepherds have a hip dysplasia problem when getting older.  But the attitude of the dog was what just about brought a tear to my eye. Although moving slowly and falling so far behind, head hung tired low, its tail never stopped wagging as though it was still part of the pack.  Its whole life had been spent gamely contributing to the family as loyal playmate ready for adventure. In its mind it was all still there.  It had probably been the playmate of children that are now grown and living on their own.

     I hope I'm all still 'there' when my dog years get up there.  So I thank God for the encouragement that dogs give to us and for their loyal service.

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