We hold on to the leash for her own good. There are no internal limits on frolic, unless she learns them the hard way, which we don’t have the stomach for. Impulsive joy will lead her past a point where she can find her scent home. There will be freeways and fences between us. There will be Parvo-ridden pools of stagnant water. There will be anti-freeze lurking in overturned hubcaps. Scorpions. Razor wire. Dognappers. Drainpipes which lead to tight corners in which she can’t turn around.
In the dark recurring dream I have from time to time, I finally find her on the other side of Sepulveda. Catching sight of me, she bounds forward, ears back, happy and relieved, into a charnel house of indifferent cars….
The bonds of restraint we can place on people are not so simple. Short of incarceration, we rely on an admixture of love, shame and subsidy, in different portions, to guide people away from or toward their worst instincts.
After the RV, you’re down to the shopping cart.
After the shopping cart, you’re down to the rolling bucket on wheels.
When you can’t walk anymore, they call the paramedics to take you away.
Then one day your Mother can’t find you. You’re gone.
South of the Yukon, no dog is more fulfilled than pulling a skateboard through the canopy of sweet gums and camphor trees. In the milky twilight of an August evening in the working class Brigadoon of Van Nuys. Note the proper poop etiquette.
See you across the Rainbow Bridge, my dearest boy. Twelve years of snoring beside me on the big bed, panting on the couch, napping beneath my desk, drooling head out the car window, dew claws scraping the stairs, Mr. Indestructible, forever jumping the back fence, jumping off the roof, racing up Runyon, stealing the cat food, always underneath my feet when carrying lumber, and perpetually thankful to see me again when I walk through the door. My very only boy, I carry you with me now, not in sorrow but in gratitude.