Saturday, November 10, 2012

Whit, willingly at play

Early this morning, under a clear
Autumn sun, I took a happy walk in 
an expansive meadow on a neighbor's
farm, where my English Cocker, Whit
had run as a puppy with his uncle, 
Geordie; and as I went on with them 
in spirit, I let go the ashes of his
remains to mark again those sweet 
and antic paths the two had charted
in their play.

In a year of unusual domestic sur-
prises this English dog and I did
participate more closely in each
other's lives, than ever before. In
many weeks of recuperation from one
surgery, and then another; in end-
ing some customs and beginning new
and wiser ones; and in endless for-
tunate hours together to observe
the subtle changes of them all, he
and innocent and beautiful being
can contribute to the acceptance
of complication and novelty.

I accept that these cannot prac-
tically be a writer's purposes.
What interests me is the bench-
mark they set for pride in what
one does. I do not think a dog's
unfaltering pride is simply in-
herent or bred. I think, like
ours, it is in part responsive.
I think he knew he was a kindly
dog; and I admire that he was
willingly this way.

Camille Pissaro
Near Sydenham Hill,
  Looking towards Lower Norwood
Kimbell Museum of Art

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