Dogs are amazing.
I have written before about amazing dogs, about our pug, Andy, then a very young puppy bravely heading out, at risk to his life, to poop in the snow and freezing temps of winter. This morning he struck me with amazing-ness again.
Let me ask any pugs owners reading this: is it normal for a pug to play fetch? Andy loves to, or at least his version of it. Let me describe.
The morning routine is that I get up, waken Andy, feed him, take him out for his short morning walk, and we come back in, by which time my coffee has brewed. I take a mug, flop down in my chair with my tablet to catch up on the news (the latest White House fence jumper appears not to be an ISIS lone wolf and is unconnected to the madness in Ottawa) and scores of games (the Giants got hammered in game 2 of the World Series, Real Madrid demolished Liverpool, and most importantly Les Canadiens remain top of the East Division of the NHL.) This catching up on the tablet is punctuated by our game of fetch.
He brings a pair of old (at least they are now!) golf socks rolled together in a ball. Does he drop this ball down so I can throw it for him? Oh no. A dance ensues; left and right he dances on an arc just beyond my reach, shaking the socks, growling and making all those distinctive pug whuffly noises and me waiting, sometimes reaching to grab the socks, in utter futility, until he pauses. My moment. I can lift my toe on an outstretched leg, slam it down, and trap the socks. Then I swoop them up and toss them across the room to the front door, Andy in racing pursuit. Back he comes and it starts all over.
In amongst this I catch a whiff of the news. It usually reeks so it’s not hard.
But, then suddenly Andy has had enough. At this point it is time for communion. He jumps up on my lap, sits facing me still as a mouse. He knows what’s coming. With two hands I scratch the spot beside his ears, my thumbs rubbing their velvet softness. His eyes droop and close. I have to be careful. One time he fell sound asleep and collapsed right onto the floor. Since then I now lean forward and put my forehead on his. He makes soft little throat noises, and I make some back.
I think I know what we are saying to each other: life is good; it’s a wonderful world.
It always flows over me at this moment, the overwhelming sense of the sacredness of all life, of the towering wisdom of the Sanskrit notion of ahimsa …. cause no harm.
Andy brings me a wonderful early morning reminder, a better and more indelibly true message than the so-called news. That’s what he fetches for me.