More About Dogs, and Life, and Holding Close That Which Is Precious

The dogs weren't having it; it was jump on me or nothing. So rather than my usual exercise, I fended off two beautiful but overzealous mid-sized dogs for 30 minutes.

 

I was in a mood. I'd just been caught in a torrential downpour/flash flood, nearly drowned myself looking for my waterlogged cat (whom I'd left in the backyard, believing we were only in for sprinkles…so wrong!). I was at least an hour late on my day's schedule with lots more distribution sites to hit, and I had to go walk dogs.

This dog-walking thing: It's a part-time job. It's 85% enjoyable, giving me time to bond with animals, slow down and enjoy nature, reflect on my life, and exercise. (The other 15% comes when I'm feeling flustered or in a hurry, or when the dogs want to jump on me, tangle me in their leashes, bark in my ear, or behave in otherwise annoying fashion.)

Rather than walk the dogs, I decided to play with them in their backyard, as the sky was still threatening to unleash yet another downpour. The thunder was rumbling, lightning flashing, the whole bit. But the dogs weren't having it; it was jump on me or nothing. So rather than my usual exercise, I fended off two beautiful but overzealous mid-sized dogs for 30 minutes. And I was still behind.

I wasn't really paying attention to my surroundings, just aware that I was parked, albeit temporarily, next to a fire hydrant as I unloaded my car. There were people minging about, talking and sipping and eating. "Katie!" a guy yelled as his dog jettisoned away from him. He followed, calling her, as I hefted a box of magazines into the coffee shop, unloaded them and stacked them neatly in the cluttered foyer.

When I returned to the car for the poster I planned to hang on the tackboard, the man's voice had changed considerably. The dog was still running. "Just grab her!" he yelled at the crowd of onlookers. "Don't baby her! She's going to get hit!" They hung up their phones, put their in-person conversations on hold, and helped this man whose voice maintained that they owed him something. I couldn't help but think he was out of place.

I hung my poster, then exited the coffee shop for good. Katie had been cornered; her owner retrieved her but, curiously, rather than yell, held her closely and walked to a park bench. There he sat with her, holding her close, whispering in her ear, as I packed up my car. Although I couldn't hear his voice, I knew just what he was saying. "You're everything to me. I could have lost you. I love you."

I immediately regretted my earlier judgment of his order to the onlookers. This dog was his life. And even though I have people in my own life, I know that feeling well. There's nothing I wouldn't do for any one of my pets. And losing a ferret two weeks ago, though more distant, still isn't an easy thing to grasp. I knew that, had I been watching as my pet dashed through the street, I would have been an emotional wreck, too. I would have feared for cars, for dogs, for anything that could take my pet from me.

As I drove away, I snuck a last glance at Katie and her owner, and my own eyes welled up. Life is precious, people. Hold on to what you love.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply