Shackleford and his pups from “The Endurance: Shackleford’s Legendary Anarctic Expedition”
There is no love as unconditional as that from a dog. Before I met my dog I had never had someone who was always glad to see me when I came home. No one who was always overjoyed when I woke every morning. No one who was ecstatic to sigh next to me on my pillow each night. I don’t like admitting it, but in many senses, I didn’t discover a joy for life until I had a dog. I didn’t really know why people wanted to live before him. Sometimes I worry that if something happened to him I will go back to how I was BD. Before Dog. Back when I was sad. Through him I discovered that in the morning the streets are empty and the leaves are covered with dew and that time, morning time, is the best time for all things. That time is also the best time because my people, dog people, are the only people out on the street. My tribe, my new tribe, stumble about with plastic bags in hand, along the sidewalks, offering cursory greetings. It is not true that we, the dog people, are actually friendlier, more outgoingier. We’re just in a constant state of mild dog bemusement. I went to a talk given by Neil Gaiman a few weeks ago and my one take away from the whole talk was that he said that all writers need a dog. I totally agree. Adopt a dog. He or she will make your life better. Lovelier.