It takes a little bit of patience to get out the door with three small dogs on a walk. First, there is Georgie barking the entire time. Then the coats: two on Tiny Dog, plus her hat, plus a coat each for George and Wren. The leashes to untangle and attach. The headphones and phone in my coat. My coat, hat, scarf, mittens. Shoes. Continued barking: now now nownow!
Then out we go, out the back, through the gate, onto the sidewalk. Tiny Dog takes a pee on the others’ spots then insists I pick her up. In my coat she goes. I start my songs, and we are off, the two clambering forward, in all their untrained-ness, nails to the pavement, pulling against their harnesses.
Today it was a balmy 25 degrees, so we took a longer walk, along the creek. Tiny Dog was tucked in, but still shivering. I was listening to Glasser, and she sang a series of songs about windows. Her words had me looking up at the grey sky, thinking of my friends’ ailing elderly dog, rough in breath, anxious at the ER. Their dog’s name kept coming to mind on my walk. I had told them I would keep her in my thoughts throughout the day. I found myself saying repeatedly, internally, but looking up to the sky: May you be free, little one, from pain, from fear. There were no distinct clouds, just an overcast low winter cover, and scant small flakes falling.
We moved forward, me trying to slow this moment down, my breath and my dogs. My tiny one tucked against my chest. May we all be free from pain, from fear, little ones. Look up to the sky—