Last night while I was at work, it hit 40 degrees (F) outside by the time the 5am morning walks came around.
I was NOT excited. I had not brought a sweatshirt.
The dogs were restless though, so I steeled my nerve and leashed up the first dog, all the while mourning the passing of my beloved summer, which had slipped away sometime between orgo II and my vet application frenzy. No more sunshine, no more flowers, no more endless days with long, romantic evenings, until next year.
When I opened the door, the cold hit me like a crashing wave–it was horrible, and it hurt. I shivered and cursed; the Samoyed by my side, however, shook out his coat, looked up at me, and wagged his tail.
And then we were off–that big, fluffy, white cloud of a dog, supposedly impeded by a cast on his right hind, took off at a run, bouncing and hopping through the dark of our empty driveway.
I forgot instantly my grievings and bounded around with this joyful creature, holding back only to make sure the goof didn’t overuse his busted leg. We danced around in the dark until I was warm, and we both returned to the wards panting and content.
And this is what dogs are about. They are there to remind us that life is good, and time is precious, regardless of the context. Sure, things can suck–like being overworked and anxiety-ridden or having a fractured tibia and being away from your family–but there is always something there to be enjoyed.
Like the freedom to prance around with a new friend, lighthearted and unobserved, in the brisk darkness of an empty parking lot before sunrise.