When I sat down that afternoon in September 2007 to begin recording the story of my walks with Duncan, it had been a long terrible day, the highlight of which was witnessing a small, rebellious five-year old little-leaguer pee across the pristine white of second base to the amusement of his teammates and the shock and embarrassment of his mother. I'd been thinking about a blog based on our walks for a long time but hadn't quite decided what it would be like or whether there was much to actually say about walking with a dog. But that one defiant act seemed to crystallize everything for me, especially in the mood I was in, so I came home, logged into Blogger and typed the words "While Walking Duncan," not comprehending that that act would become such an enormous part of my life, or the experiences and opportunities it would present for the two of us. Our walks had never been just walks but suddenly, with the appearance of those words they became much more. They became magical. And so for the past four years I have dutifully reported on that magic, from the amazing to the minute, from the mountains climbed to the soft silences of standing alone together and simply watching the world be the world, a monumental thing that somehow goes unnoticed every minute of every day by so many millions of people.
The most magical thing, however, has been the people I've met because of Duncan and the blog. Occasionally they have approached me in the park to ask if we were who they thought we were and then gushed––actually gushed!––when they learned they were correct. And then there are the people and dogs we've stumbled upon through other blogs. I have spent more hours reading about other Goldens then I could count, have shared in their adventures across the vast distances and wept openly and unashamed when they have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, leaving a silence behind that is sometimes shocking considering we've never actually met. We have received gifts and condolences, cards and encouragement through challenging times, been buoyed by the hopes and faith of others. I am overwhelmed at how lucky I've been to discover kindred spirits out there in the deafening chaos of the internet and cannot imagine life without a blog, without these incredible people in it.
Last night was another incredibly magical moment for me. Lori, published novelist and author of Fermented Fur, and her wonderful husband, Tom, have been adventuring in Colorado and took the time out of their busy schedule to stop by and join us for a walk down The Run, through The Glen, around the lake, to herd the bunnies, climb the hill and relish the sweet golden cool of a summer thundershower, each drop a delicious blaze of amber against our skin. Lori is one of the first people who found my blog, one of my longest and most devoted readers, a person whose wit and heart I greatly admire. This was her second visit with Duncan, but it was Tom's first and I consider myself lucky to have met the man after all this time, to have thrown my arms around him and given him a hug as if we'd known each other for years and years. They brought gifts, we spent time chatting and drying off after our walk through one of Denver's daily afternoon, sunlit downpours, and then went to dinner together where we spoke like people who have known each a very long time. And when the evening was over, when they descended the stairs and their rental car drove away, Duncan and I stood a moment alone but warm, marveling at the strange workings of The Universe and, seven-hundred thirty-seven blog posts later, the magic that it weaves through us all.
Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive. (Anäis Nin)