On this perfectly warm evening, as the sun was setting behind the mountains, pulling the blue from the sky and replacing it with the gentlest and softest of golds, as the birds began their final song of this lovely June day, when our walk was winding down and we'd exhausted the number of times he wanted to demonstrate how well he's mastered the art of rolling, Duncan settled down in the cool of the newly-trimmed grass, smiled big and allowed me a single photo. The moment he heard the camera click and felt confident the moment had been captured, he leaped up, leaned into my face, past the camera, gave me a quick, wet lick on the nose, and pushed himself down onto my lap. He looked up at me, smiled again and then, as I settled back, watched the light fade from the sky and savored the quiet simplicity and luxury of this night. His paw rested in the palm of my hand and the hours I spent driving across Denver to and from work, as well as the long day in between, were suddenly worth that single moment.
I could have stayed there all night, and would have if he'd asked.