Thursday, September 27, 2007


It was a pulling day, with a tight leash and a sense of mission, of which I hadn't been informed. It was a tough walk and I couldn't count the number of times I said, "Duncan, slow!" But he kept pulling and choking on his collar, which only irritated me more. Several people glanced over as they passed us on the trail, their looks implying that it was somehow my fault, that I was abusing my poor dog. It couldn't have been further from the truth; in fact, I could make the argument that it was I who was being abused, my shoulder wrenched back and forth, walking along through clouds of small gnats, my knees not quite warmed up to the idea of running. But Duncan knew where he wanted to take me. Or so it seemed.

I'd actually considered cutting the walk short and taking him back toward the park, maybe cutting through the neighborhood behind Columbine just for some variation, but then he stopped on a narrow piece of bank and looked up at me.

You think I'm making this up. You think I have far too much faith in the intelligence of my dog, that it's ridiculous to believe he knows exactly what I need. But I am not crazy; I am not deluding myself. I am not ridiculous.

On this fine, sunny day at the end of September–one of the last, I know–Duncan led me to his gift. And it was wonderful. He walked right up to it, turned and looked at me as if to say, "Here, this is what I had to show you before the sun dipped down behind the mountains. This is what was so important."

“Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.”
(Jean Paul Richter)

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