Archive for July 1st, 2012

All The Dogs of My Life

amywink July 1st, 2012

Lily in the Garden


I would like, to begin with, to say that though parents, husbands, children, lovers, and friends are all very well, they are not dogs. In my day and turn having been each of the above, — except of husbands I was wives, — I know what I am talking about, and am well acquainted with the ups and downs, the daily ups and downs, the sometimes almost hourly ones in the thin-skinned, which seem inevitably to accompany human loves.
Dogs are free from these fluctuations. Once they love, they love steadily, unchangingly, till their last breath.
That is how I like to be loved
Therefore, I will write of dogs.
Elizabeth Von Arnim, All The Dogs of My Life (1936)

I’ve been thinking of my dogs this week and how glad and natural I find myself with this new partner. Though she is a new breed to me, she has brought with her reminders of all of my other dogs as her character has been revealed through our time together. She is, of course, herself, but this week, she brought forth her predecessors in her play. From dragging an enormous branch from the garden like Taipan to dashing around the pecan tree like Lady, to her happy spirit like Tristan. She’s got a sharp wit like Maggie, a soft adoration like Chesley. And it seems that all the dogs of my life come with her in their joyous spirit. Lily seems to know her work, sleeping under my desk already when I am at work, riding along the carriage when I am at play, happy to “let’s go” when I say, and learning fast to be a great ride-along dog. It is great to have a dog again, with all the work included.

As a culture, we work very hard to make a metaphor for the relationship between people and dogs but I think we only need think of the actual relationship and leave it defined as such. “This is my dog” is enough.

I am not ignoring the horses now either. Blessing and I had a good drive on Saturday morning, working on circles and Figure-8’s. She is looking fabulous and I am considering the fall Morgan show as a possibility. Will remains hidden in his pasture shade so he has not met Lily yet, in the heat. We had rain today so I will make a special trip to see him later this week, I think, some early morning before it’s too hot.