It was June. Endless fields of grass stretched out in front of me.
The green of the grass was beautiful and vivid after the spring rains.
The blades danced in the gentle wind as they reached up in supplication to the setting sun, singing thanks for the warmth of the day.
As I walked through the field, it seemed to me that the grass was happy.
Or maybe, it was I who was happy.
From my experience, I have found humans to be like no other.
Humans are amazing. They invented mathematics and language. They discovered electricity. They have conquered diseases, flight and technology. They’ve created beautiful works of arts through paintings, music, photos, film, architecture, and books.
Humans have traveled outside the earth’s atmosphere, for goodness sake. That, in and of itself, is incredible.
And humans discovered how to split the atom; the very core of existence.
Despite all these advancements, I have noticed that sometimes humans struggle with humanity. Some humans are directly cruel to others, callous and hateful. And some standby and allow the inhumanity. And this makes me sad. I wish cruelty didn’t have to be ‘written into the human script’ like Johnny Rich writes.
What would it be like, I wondered, if humans were a bit more like the dogs they love? To love unconditionally and with no judgement.
And then I wondered if humans themselves know, despite all that humans are, they are not all they could be. Imagine if they were to truly understand the depths the humans experience could obtain if humans embraced an existence without inhumanity.
Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch.
Photo courtesy of The Doggie Den
‘I’ll never be a stranger, and I’ll never be alone.’ ~ Billy Joel
Photo courtesy of The Doggie Den
Did you know emotional connectivity with others is the foundation of life? We literally need each other to survive.
Together is a wonderful place to be.
Photo courtesy of The Doggie Den
I was bathed in the light from the car; serendipitously, the car was bathed in the light of the moon.
I slowly raised my face toward the sky, dark save the luminescent glow. I stared in wonder. Until that moment, I had not understood the moon’s mystical pull.
I yearned to spent the entire night exploring a world drenched in moonlight, seeing how some shapes radiated with luminescence. while other shapes hid in the shadows.
I yearned to follow the moon as it traversed the sky. Because I knew.
I knew that when the night was over and the sun reigned supreme, the moon’s magic would be gone.
(part 5) If there was one moment that defined my summer, this was it; my impromptu interaction with Goldie’s human. Something shifted in me that day, the way ice shifts on the Minnesota lakes when it breaks up and moves during the early spring thaw.
At the time, I did not want to appear greedy and gobble the treat she extended toward me, so I gently accepted the treat and maneuvered it to rest between my teeth. I applied pressure to my jaws and the treat broke and flavor burst forth.
Goldie’s human was watching my face closely, looking for affirmation that I enjoyed the treat she offered. And that was the moment I remember with the greatest clarity, her concern for my well-being. From what I could ascertain from our previous encounters, she was that type of human who enjoyed the joy of others, especially if she was a direct contributor to the aforementioned joy.
I watched as her hand reached up to swat away a buzzing insect, still watching me with utmost concentration. I looked away, intent on relishing my treat. Not really hungry but savoring the tidbit nevertheless.
I realize now I should have done more. I should have barked my thanks. I should have jumped up and bumped my head against her knees in a show of appreciation. I didn’t.
Looking back, it feels like it was a moment missed. Like something important should have been acknowledged, something shared, but wasn’t. A deepening of our relationship, perhaps.
Sometimes I wish I had the power to revisit that moment.
But I don’t.
Then I realized I am not the same as I was that day. I had changed. I am not who I used to be. And while that summer day has faded into memory, I have the power to shape our future interactions.
(part 4) Goldie’s human extended her hand. Therein was a small doggie treat. Our eyes, not quite level, met. There was an energy flowing in the air between us. An entire conversation silently played out.
‘Please, I would like a treat,’ my body language suggested. I do not know where these words, silent thought they were, came from. Rarely did I pause in my exploration of the wooded park to interact with humans. And I was generally not motivated by the promise of food. Nor was I the type of dog to scarf down any treat for the sake of it. I had refined tastes and was not too proud to admit it.
“Jackie Jack. You can have a treat any time,’ she answered my silent entreaty with a silent response of her own, holding out a small doggie treat for my approval.
I leaned into smell the milk bone.
A tidbit offered in the name of kindness. Because at its core, that is the purpose of life; to be kind and generous. And Goldie’s human is exactly that.
(part 3) I could feel the heat radiating off the sun-drenched tar. Behind me poised tall trees, providing a bit of relief from the intense summer sun.
And there in front of me stood Goldie’s human. Her hair tied back underneath her green cap. Her eyes sparkled bluish grey; the color of a deep blue ocean infused with the reflection of cloudy skies.
Somewhere running in the tall grass was Goldie. But I did not look that way. I saw only Goldie’s human and her ‘got teacher?’ tee.
In one hand, she held a clear plastic bag. If I squinted and tilted my head at just the right angle, I could make out what looked like doggie treats in the bag.
Maybe. A single word that describes life’s uncertainties. And within that single ambiguous word, lie all the possibilities.
And if I was remembering correctly, Goldie’s human, more often than not, carried a good supply of treats for Goldie. I shifted my weight so I was sitting like I had been trained to do in preparation for a treat. I could have sworn my anticipatory action brought the beginnings of a smile to her face.
Maybe, if I played this right, I could score one of those treats.
Until next time,
(part 2) Goldie’s human paused and regarded me for a moment with a hint of a smile. I turned to face her, tamping down my natural inclination to run the trails.
I noticed that though the brim of her cap shaded her eyes from the bright afternoon light, it couldn’t hide her innate warmhearted self.
There was purpose in her manner, that was for sure; although why she stopped escaped me. I waited a long minute in anticipation; a bit impatient. I hoped that I might get a glimpse of why she halted on the trail.
‘Jack,’ she said finally, her voice full of affection, ‘you are indeed a fluff butt.’
Slowly, as if I had any hope of stopping it, I felt the discomfort at my tail being the center of conversation. I had yet to grow accustomed to comments about my poofy tail. I was embarrassed. I didn’t have to be, but I was. And I didn’t know to be otherwise.
At 5, I had yet to learn how to love all my parts. In that moment, tired of the constant shame that accompanied talk of my tail, I vowed to try.
For Goldie’s human had made the comment with all the affection friends share with one another. Her words were not meant as invective, but rather affectionate ribbing.
She was my friend and I did adore her, like all the others who basked in the glow of her easy camaraderie.
(part 1) It was the dog days of summer. And we were happy to be outside walking after the summer rain; the heat of the sun beating down on the tarred path.
We had spent most of the afternoon walking alongside Goldie’s human. We were content listening to her entertain us with stories about the life of a human, glad to be laughing again, despite the oppressive humidity.
Every so often I glanced up at her. This time our eyes met. She smiled as she finished her narrative. Her eyes lit up with mischief and her laughter echoed through the tress.
It was then I realized how the presence of a friend eases the passage of time.
And I knew I wasn’t the only one who looked forward to hitting the trail with Goldie’s human.