My dog knows me well. Ken recently told me that bringing Duncan into our lives was perhaps the best thing he contributed to our relationship. It's not true, of course--not by far--but it is one of the best things he did. Duncan was meant for him, but our bond formed quickly and easily, as though we'd known each other all our lives, and now we are inseparable. When I come after a long day, the door opens to the melody of his chirp, the soft drumming of his tail, and his unbound joy at the sight of me, as though I have been gone for months or years, and as I bend down to greet him I always ask, "How is my best friend? How was your day?" Quite often he reaches for my wrist and pulls me inside, first to the couch where I deposit my bags, and then to the bedroom where I kick off my shoes and lay back against the pillows. He jumps up next to me and we wrestle for a minute before he pulls me up again and leads me back to the door so we can venture outside.
Yesterday was another dreary wet March day in Denverland and as tired as I was I was not exactly looking forward to marching through the puddles, my hood pulled down low over my head, rain and snow dripping down my glasses, while Duncan splashed and played in the water. I craved silence the way I occasionally crave brie and when that door opened Duncan seemed to know it. There was no chirping, but a soft, empathetic hum in his throat, a gentle pressure as he leaned against me and ran his body along my calf like a cat. And then he pulled me into the bedroom, jumped on the bed and looked contentedly out the window at the gloom and murk, his tail strumming the comforter like an invitation to join him. I collapsed beside him and together we laid for a long time, listening to the drip of the water off the roof, the hush of snow beneath low clouds, the ticking of the clock and the soft hum of the refrigerator from the kitchen. There was no desperation to walk, only a quiet wish to rest a moment together, to share in the stillness of the fading day and watch the evening come on, sulking but with a heavy calm.
At one point Pip joined us, crawling up the line of my legs and nestling between my shoulder blades, tucking his head down low against my cheek and ear, purring and gently––without too much pressure––kneading his paws against my back.
The three of us––The Boys–– in harmony, watching the world without a care in it.