National Dog Day

I have always loved dogs, but my parents had convinced themselves they were not dog people so it took years of begging before I finally got one. My first dog was the only puppy I have owned, a charming sheltie who lived to almost 20. She totally converted my dad, who grew to love her companionship on his daily walks. He spoke eloquently about how his hikes were now filled with the fun of seeing how she responded to the world around her.
A continued attraction to the intelligence and elegance of herding dogs led to my next dog, an Australian shepherd. He got on spectacularly with my cats but didn’t like other dogs. After he died I adopted another aussie who was also not friendly with other dogs, so when he died last summer I decided it was time to find two dogs who got along.
Earlier this summer I adopted Dazzle and two weeks ago I adopted her nephew, Kory. This photo captures their personalities showing Kory’s exuberance and Dazzle’s reserved nature. It is wonderful to watch this dynamic sheltie duo talking in a language only they understand, perhaps discussing the fallen leaf that lies between them as the seasons start to turn. More likely they are wondering when I will stop taking pictures and instead become an automated treat machine.
After more than a year without a dog, it is fun to rediscover their spontaneous enthusiasm, their ability to dwell in the moment, and the wordless companionship on my hikes in the woods. They make me slow down and look closer. On one of my first hikes with Dazzle she discovered a box turtle I had just walked right by, and earlier this week with Kory I saw a raccoon scurry up a tree. It is a unique gift sharing life with dogs, and on each walk with them I explore and discover my yard with new appreciation.