They can drive one to desperation with their need to run and think. One long walk equals an hour of sleep and thus an hour to get something else done without both of them following me room to room, their elevated eyes and geared up bodies showing their ‘must-have-it’ again and now. Out we go to the yard and dance a complicated three animal circuit, all of us running, frisbees flying, soccer balls carried and thumped into the air, commands barked in progressions, leaping dogs, gasping human. One goes down, happily gulping water, I sit, the other curls next to me, and all together we rest.
Later I catch Luna in repose on her sill, content, secure, watching, head turning with each passing bird and truck, ears rotating to follow the muffled words of bikers.
At the Refuge now we have had enough volunteers recently so that I am able to take more difficult dogs, one by one, to the enclosed paddock for running and basic training. Always Dexter, a powerful Lab-Pit, sometimes Sawyer, a Golden mix, sweet, nippy and uncivilized, and Bugsy, a Karelian who would run until his heart burst, and now Harmony, a combination of Weirmaraner and something brindled who is here because of a foreclosure. Someone worked with her – she knows sit and stay and come and brings the ball back with a head lowered loping gentleness and gives it up easily to my request. Sometimes we do our dance — I cut back and forth in front of her, jogging backwards, my right hand directing her movements to match mine. Today though, all she really wants to do is lie next to me in the sun, close her eyes, and sleep, away from her run, away from the hundreds of mingling, overwhelming scents, the presence of so many other dogs, the confinement – today she just wants a little peace, and so I stay seated in the wet grass touching her, and very soon my breathing grows so easy and quiet that I am unaware of anything except the sun. It gives such pleasure to lift my face to it.