We don’t go anywhere without our dog. She’s fourteen and a half. We don’t know how much longer we’ll have her. She’s been with us from the beginning of “us.” Like so many dogs, she was the first real commitment—the first other being who needed us to take care of her. She taught us how to care about someone else in that way that dogs do. She was our first child.
Her greatest love has always been water. And so, this year in Cap Ferret, we took her to the gentle water of the Bay at high-tide. The waves are non-existent. Nothing unexpected to knock her off her unsteady feet. At first she just sat, sinking in the sand, her legs folding under her at odd angles like they do now. (In her old age, she’s become a yogi, surpassing impossible tests of flexibility and holding unthinkable positions while maintaining a relaxed mental state.) She looked out at the water as if to say, “Hmmm. What exactly am I supposed to do with all this wetness?”
And then it came back to her. She let the water lift her up and away from the weight of her own body. She headed out toward the horizon, her tail acting as rudder (her tail hadn’t forgotten how to do its job!) And she was off, making large, lazy circles in the water like once upon a time. This was probably the last time she will swim, so I was both really happy and really sad to witness it. But dogs don’t let sadness linger. She shook off my melancholy along with the excess water and said, “I’m done. Let’s go home and dry off.” So that’s what we did. Once back at the house, she had one more thing to say: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over, so cheer up.”
[If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to see Luna in another blog cameo. “Thing 1: The Sea.”]