There is a dog who made the world news last year. This dog has sat in the same place in front of the gate to his dead master's house for the last five years. This will be year number six going on seven if the dog is still there. The house is abandoned. The dog is perhaps still waiting.
Sometimes, when the sun has not shown for a few days, Snookie seems an even more reliable presence in my life than my own shadow. He is there even when my shadow is not. A dog fed love wants nothing more than to return it. A blanket of security, I to him and he to me. A loyal bond broken only by happenstance and never by will. A dog's bond is a gift hard to trump and important to acknowledge. A dog for all his good, is not blessed with the years given to men.
Saying farewell and thank you to a dog nearly kills the heart. So, while there is still some time with Snookie, I am thinking of him today and all the joy and comfort he brings to me. He's on the floor before my feet and soon I will be there too with my arms tight around him in a human to dog embrace. A thank you for and an acknowledgement of his unrelenting and unconditional friendship.
Daisy was over 16 feet tall when I met her. The tallest animal I have ever stood next to. I did not even come near the bottom of her belly. I would look from the ground at her huge hooves and huge knees. Her legs just kept going. They seemed so big until I finished looking up to realize that in perspective they were actually rather delicate. She was a gentle giant.
I know a wild elephant. Once she was tame, used to humans and to complying with their biddings. She was called Eleanor. I met her in 1987 when I went to Tsavo, Kenya, East Africa as part of a research team. We were studying the thermoregulation of elephants living in a “natural setting”.