Sunday, May 24, 2020
Mrs. Bluebird / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 including shipping
IN THE MORNINGS,
my friend Liesl and I walk three of my four dogs. Sometimes, we take Woody, but he is 14, mostly blind and mostly deaf, and, while he wants to go on the walks, and is pretty much capable of them, he is a menace, weaving all over the place on his leash, and stopping again and again, to poop in the middle of the road, or just to stop. It is a small miracle that I haven't fallen over him and broken things, on one or both of us.
I think that Liesl (our favorite Austrian) has a well-ordered and calm life - outside of the chaos of Doc, Lulu and Koko. And so it is doubly great that she helps me walk them.
For months, we have been letting Koko and Doc run around in a little park along the marsh. At first, it was just Koko, with her leash trailing behind. Then we let Doc run, again with his leash trailing. I call them to me, again and again, and reward them with treats, and they've been learning. And the leashes are off.
But yesterday was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day, and Doc decided it was a perfect day to romp off, scamper through yards and pretend that I was calling him in some foreign language, or maybe in a totally inaudible voice.
Wachapreague is a place without many cars, though there are some, and at that time of the morning, in that part of town, there are usually no dogs out. So it ended up OK, with Doc cavorting back not to me but to Liesl, who had Koko and Lulu on their leashes.
After the excitement, I said that I was mad at Doc, and exasperated.
"Why would he run off like that?" I asked. "He knows better!"
And Liesl told me to be happy that he had come back, and to not take it personally. "It was a beautiful day and he decided it was a good day for a run," she said. "It had nothing to do with you."
Of course, she is right. And so I will make every effort to remember this incident in the future - and not only when the situation is dog-related.
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"Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation - it changes us."
May 24, 2020
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