“Let’s go for a walk,” I say. The two dogs spring into action – ready to go. We have been doing this for 1000’s of years, my kind and theirs. They’ve always lived around the edges of our camps and cabins. Our settlements and outposts. Guarding the gap between the wild out there and the safety of our circles.
They are at my feet now. As their bright eyes look up and meet mine, I feel a bond that connects me to the wild. To the generations behind. “Let’s explore,” they say. And I understand perfectly even though they have never spoken a word to me. It’s a language passed down from our founding – the partnership that helped us walk out of the forest to build cities and aircraft carriers and freeways. We might not have done any of it without them. I’m glad we brought them along.
Out we go. They forge ahead and show me the smells and signs that are laid across the landscape.
We’ve bent their lines many ways, but when I look into those eyes I feel it. That partnership. The gratitude for it. And it makes me smile.