When Dogs Choose
It's a big moment in the life of people and dogs when dogs choose the human they will keep track of and follow around.
Red chose me, Fate and now Gus have chosen Maria. It isn't that they don't love me, or that I am not close to them, it's just a chemical thing, a beautiful thing, and the past few days I've seen that Gus has chosen Maria and I told him he could not really have made a better choice.
Gus and I are tight, just as Fate and I are very close. They are both family dogs, and I am family.
But dogs need a single human to attach to and focus on, that person becomes their guide and center and grounding point. It is in the nature of dogs to do that, they need to do that, and everywhere Maria goes, Gus wants to be.
Maria is viscerally loving and open, and dogs are powerfully drawn to that. Red and I are different, it is simple, really, a kind of mystical connection. Karen Thompson was right, we just belong together.
I loved the sight of the two of them, Maria and Gus, tending to the Three Sisters Garden yesterday, it looked so natural to me, so right. When I came out with the camera, Gus turned to me, and then ran to, asking to be picked up for a smooch. Then I put him down, and he ran right back to Maria to keep an eye on her while she weeded.
This is a milestone moment for a dog, and for a family. The dog has left behind the mother, and chosen a new emotional focal point for life. Gus will keep an eye on Maria from now on, he will spend much of the day in her Studio, he will sleep next to her in bed, once he graduates from his crate, she will be the primary impetus for his training, and the person who most influences it.
I am very happy to see this, it is a small think, but a landmark thing, and Maria has two wonderful dogs keeping an eye on her, they serve different functions and in different ways. Gus will not be hiking with Maria through the snow in the deep woods, Fate is a great outdoor dog, she is happy to sit out in a blizzard next to Maria's Studio window, Gus will be dozing inside on a soft bed.
I feel a pang when the dog makes a choice, it is a separation in a small way, but it is followed by much joy and contentment. This is what dogs do, this is what makes them so unique in the lives of people, and I will also admit, if I am being honest, that I know it is quite likely that both Fed and surely Gus will outlive me and it will make me very happy to think of these two loving and already devoted creatures walking by her side.
Call it a vision, I have no other name for it, but when I look down the road and into the future, I see Maria outside planting in her garden, Fate and Gus sitting on either side, walking with her into the next chapter of life.