This morning after our walk while I stood in the kitchen preparing his breakfast, Dunc sat at my feet, his tail smacking the floor behind him as I went through the routine we go through every morning. First I ask if he's hungry. When his tail wags and he barks yes, I run through today's menu in my best French accent, "A very special free range chicken, served raw with a blend of bone, egg shell, berries of the blue and rasp variety, raw egg, carrot and pea." He seemed especially happy this morning so when I dipped into my bottle of OptaGest and sprinkled it over his food, I told him a little story, as I do every morning. Sometimes I tell him the powder will make his tennis balls taste like pepperoni, or that it will lure a big fat squirrel to the patio where it will sit and squeak all day. Sometimes the powder will make him dream of a meadow where bunnies crouch under every shrub and where pumpkin treats and meatballs grow on every tree, where there are wide pools to swim in, vast snowy hills to slide down and green fields to chase butterflies through. Last week when he was having a difficult time paying attention on our walks I told him the powder would help him listen to papa's voice and stay out of trouble. This morning I told him he would spend his naps flying through the air, chasing the squirrels up to the tops of the tallest cottonwood trees and dive bomb the bunnies from above. He seemed quite happy with that idea but I certainly didn't expect to find him wedged between my bed and the window acting out our little fantasy.
When I was very young, and maybe even when I wasn't so young, I could spend an afternoon on my own, running through the neighborhood or riding my bicycle up and down the hills, my arms outstretched, my face turned into the sky, feeling as though I was flying as I darted back and forth, the sound effects burbling from my lips and throat as I went. I was fortunate in that I grew up in a family who nourished my imagination, encouraged and cultivated it, and never told me something was impossible, that we only need to try until we make it real.
Tonight when Duncan and I slipped across the street, the traffic heavier than usual because of the after work holiday shoppers, I undid his leash and let him run rampant across the wide fields. He trotted ahead and then zipped back, circling wide then slowly coming in closer and closer, veering off at the last moment. He was flying and even though the center of my face is the epicenter of my cold and I can't breath very well, I ran with him, arms held out wide, zooming after him with the sound effects vibrating from my lips. We ran and ran and were it a summer night, with the moon bone white and big, we would be flying still.