1 November

Rose. In the mind of a dog

by Jon Katz

  There are lots of people who claim to know what a dog is thinking, but I do not know. Rose and I have been together on this farm since 2003, and the sheep left several months ago. We have had a lot of experiences and adventures together, from herding sheep to fending off wild pigs. I remember the puppy who tore off in a blizzard to bring back the sheep and donkeys who had run off. And the dog who nearly lost an eye battling two rabid feral cats by the barn. And the dog who nipped my ears when I fell down until I got up.
  She has been a big part of several books, and inspired two novels, one done, one underway. She is a remarkable animal.
  Rose leads a quieter life right now, as do I.
  She spends her days on walks, chasing balls, playing with Lenore, sitting near me when I write, riding alongside the ATV. She is busy, and seems healthy and happy, less frantic, more affectionate. She is the only dog I have (well, Frieda) who could not abide public appearances, and has little interested in being cute or cuddle. She has gotten quite attached to Maria, but generally stays clear of visitors. Sometimes I think I see things in her eyes – a seriousness of purpose, I suppose, a sense of maturity, of having seen a lot, and I suspect this is a projection of what I would imagine her to be thinking. Sometimes I think I see a sadness. More than any of my dogs, there is a part of her that is beyond me.
  And that is the mystery of dogs.

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