Wag the Dog


Sasha was my second dog. She was a special dog. Many are. I remember walking the halls of the local shelter well over a decade ago, still in a daze over the loss of Holly, breaking a very recent promise that I would take some time before getting another dog.
The cacophony of barks and howls, the stench and the chaos was enough to steer me towards the rear exit and make haste. As I reached for the handle on the door, I had an urge to look back at the only silent pen. Its occupant’€™s tail began to wag along the clean floor. I went past and the tail slowed. I was nuclear, and she my Geiger counter.

These are emotional connections, the depth of which cannot truly be remembered. They are designed to cement your relationship, to be the foundation of true love.

Five and a half months ago, Baxter was a helpless blob of a child, incapable of comprehending his own simple urges. On his short journey, he has established so many emotional connections with us. To attempt to describe them would be tedious and could never communicate what each really meant to us. The cement.

With that in mind, I will recount one behavioural pattern: the proximity of Mom or Dad can make Baxter’€™s little legs dance. Whether he’€™s in our arms or lying down, in his mind he’€™s running through a field of new mown grass to greet you in the middle. His disproportionately fat legs twitch to this rhythm. Other times, he delights us with a Highland dance complete with pointed toes and rapid single leg extensions. No matter the dance itself, it’€™s his delight that melts and amuses.

I held him in the kitchen as Mom scurried about making something yummy. I observed as his legs wagged the closer she got and slowed, as she grew further away’€”summoning those feelings about my lovely dogs and briefly remembering Sasha.

And no, I’€™m not getting a dog today.


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