Click here to listen – less than 3 minutes- recommended for this post-
Cowboy leans into her, softens and becomes perfectly still. He listens and takes in her words, her hands– her emotions. Her attention enters him like a slice of enchantment, and he quiets for her—spellbound. The dog’s fur drapes and falls like a cashmere shawl, pliant, warm –comforting, and the 88-year-old woman runs her thin hands over Cowboy’s head and down across his shoulders.
“He’s so soft.” She says as she smiles a soft-smile too.
Cowboy is comfort for a weary heart. Just last week my old friend lost her husband. They had been married for over sixty years. A duet now a solo act. And literally so, because husband and wife had played music together daily or nearly so, recorded, and played for dances and jams all across the Pacific Northwest. Now, it’s the sound of two gentle breaths supporting each other as I watch from across the room and marvel at my puppy’s soothing behavior.
Now, I’m back at the farm sitting on the leaf and pine needle litter in Poult Wood watching Cowboy run flat-out through the woods. His cashmere cape-coat is flung back by the wind as he effortlessly weaves through the trees. As he passes behind each tree, the action stops for the briefest of moments. Watching reminds me of the old-fashioned flip books I used to thumb through as a child. I loved to flip through the pages of the little booklet and make the horse’s hooves fall and its legs extend as the horse galloped across the pages.
Cowboy catches a glimpse of movement as a big gray squirrel dashes across the leafy ground and jumps for an oak trunk. The dog pivots and avoids hitting a tree as he runs to intercept the squirrel. On fire with the chase and the thrill; Cowboy is perfect in this moment too.