Little dog and big one pull apart a rubber toy as I write. Later they’ll carry away pieces of the thing hiding them under arm chairs and in closets. Little dog is a rescue guy, part Lhasa Apso and something else though we don’t know what. He resembles a small sheep dog, black and white with long dreadlocks falling in his face. He smiles a lot–that little dog smile that’s both affirming and vaguely naughty.
Big dog is Nira, 2N2206–my guide dog. She’s a Yellow Labrador. Some people call them “golden Labs” but there’s no such thing. She’s the color of excellent French pastry–part honey and half of cream. And she’s big for a girl dog. When I’m out in public strangers think she’s a boy. All my guide dogs have had huge frames and generous heads. Nira’s the possessor of a sweet face and beautiful, kindly chestnut eyes and of course those trademark floppy Lab ears that rise like sails when she’s excited about something. Right now she’s excited about little dog whose name is Harley. She loves Harley because he’s a good sport as she drags him around the tile floor in my finished basement–though its more than dragging, their tug of war is the canine equivalent of Archimedes’ leverage. Nira pulls in such a way that Harley’s feet leave the floor and then she really drags him. And Harley’s legs scramble for purchase to no avail and then he’s momentarily in the air.
Their joy is something from the deep, blue reaches of ancient life. While I struggle with the clouds of my day they are alive in such pure play that I’m envious and reminded of the essential mystery of both joy and friendship. Dogs have friendships and live in the moment. Me? I carry a heavy green book up and down the stairs, worry about tomorrow, fear the unknown. Which of us has the better deal? The dogs of course.