"Plaited together, one extended consciousness, awareness overlapping."
Yesterday I mentioned that I received the book A Dog Abroad in the mail. Bruce Fogle, a Canadian vet living in London, wrote it as a sequel of sorts to Travels with Macy, about his journey through America with his golden retriever Macy, a la John Steinbeck.
Today I just read that Macy died, at age six. Although I haven't yet read A Dog Abroad, I got to know Macy quite well in the previous book. A cheeky, doughnut-loving, jackrabbit-chasing dog, Macy was in every way a typical golden retriever.
In The Independent Bruce writes about what it means to lose a pet. Read it, if you can. If you have a dog you'll understand this:
As so many dogs do, Macy bestowed unconditional devotion, an unquestioning reliability, a constancy and an immutability. Her intention was always to be there, to leaven anywhere with the familiarity of her presence. After the thrill of the chase, even when lost in the deepest woods, her purpose was always to return, to find me, to be rejoined once more. Of course, that's at the core of the most sentimental stories about dogs. Every culture has them: the dog awaiting his master's return, even from the dead. That's unmitigated sentiment but, I ask you, what's wrong with that? Can another human ever equal the unqualified, unconditional regard that a dog has for us?
Today my dog and I walked in the woods, a four-and-a-half mile hike through Burnham Beeches, ablaze with foliage this time of year. Time and again, she would run through the brush, chasing something that needed chasing. She always came back, searching for me in the line of hikers, until she found me, then she bounded off again.
Walking your dog is life-affirming, says Bruce Fogle. Truly, it is: I never feel so much a part of this world as when I'm with my dog, seeing it through her eyes. The sound of her four feet pounding down the path toward me as she rushes to reconnect, then bounds off again, brings a large smile to my face.
Plaited together, yes. For as long as we're on this earth.