Saturday, December 4, 2004

let us praise December! and dogs!

I went to Odell Park, today a study of sunshine and frozen creeks and mud crystals, after my breakfast of an omelette, toast and a coffee with frothed milk. I sat on a bench near a very tall tree in a sunny opening, and watched people walking by. One couple had a big German Shepherd, whose luxurious coat was grey and sand, and he (or she) spotted a little scrap of a brown dog walking with his master (an woman in her fifties) a little distance away. Little Scrap saw Big Shepherd around the same time, and as neither were on leashes they were free to exalt in their dogginess and proclaim who was the Alpha dog. Shepherd chased Scrap until Scrap turned dead around and faced him with his nose; they held noses for half a second and then the chase was on again. Both dogs exuded great clouds of breath, which roiled and rolled around their furry bodies as they did the dance of dominance. I think Scrap's owner was a bit worried, but Scrap held his ground, while also knowing (as little dogs do) when to roll over and when to run away. Big Shepherd's owners laughed at the antics and drank their steaming coffees. As the human owners turned down separate paths, the dogs would run to each other, back to the owners, then back to each other, until finally Big Shepherd was up the hill and out of sight. Little Scrap ran like fluff on string past me, stopped and wriggled his body as I petted him. "You had quite an adventure, didn't you?" I said. He ran off again, tugged onwards by the coiled springs in his body. The white clouds of breath had dissipated. All that was left was the great silent tree, and me on the bench soaking up the sun.

Now I am back at the house. The sky is that strong baby-blue and the white birches illuminated by the sun make a striking contrast against it. I have a paper to write for Monday and lots of studying to do. Exams are coming up. There is much work to be done. I believe, though, that it's all possible. And besides--easy is over-rated. Ha!

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