Lessons from a (Mostly) Black Lab
I have always preferred the company of cats to the rambunctious, slobbery affection of dogs, but there is something about a dog that lifts your spirits in a way that no cat can.
Of course cats know when you are upset and offer their support as lap warmer, gentle conversationalist, or sometimes just sitting close by and keeping a watchful eye on you. All that is much appreciated, but for sheer escapism there is something about a dog and a ball that is unrivaled.
I am back in Indiana. I left hastily on a day when the sweet soft air made it that much harder to leave home. I came back quickly because my small beleaguered family had suffered a loss. I am back here trying to fit in and do whatever I can to help the ragged edges of that emptiness where a person used to be heal as easily as possible.
Rescue, a (mostly) black Labrador, was grieving along with the rest of us. I thought I'd help cheer him up by playing with him and one of his brand new tennis balls. As often happens, I got at least as much from Rescue as he got from me. Rescue in his unfathomable doggie wisdom had managed to do more than my old friend J Alfred Prufrock could do. J Alfred bathed in his existential anguish while Rescue just got on with it and did in fact "squeeze the universe into a ball."