One Reply to “Why the long face?”

  1. Amy:

    I knew someone who had two dogs, one old and one young. She said that when thunderboomers came she had to let the young one be in the car as she only felt safe there. The old dog, who was stone deaf, would sleep through it. I wrote this piece after our conversation.

    Compensatory Graces

    Your older dog, whose name I do not know, whom I have never met;

    Has been described to me,

    The description like a Japanese ink and brush drawing, the ideograph for faithful, dark companion,

    Only a few lines, but the meaning made clear with a swift, bold manner.

    She sounds like she’s in between the ages of the two black dogs that I know—one; middle-aged, relaxed, a matron (or a spinster, a gentleman does not pry!).

    The other a doddering, tottering wreck having lost most everything except appetite and affection.

    Lucy is a love, always ready for a biscuit, always ready for a scratch.

    Dynamite is gentle and dignified, hobbled by a congenitally defective paw, yet graceful, despite his lurching gait.

    You tell me your dark companion may be going deaf.

    Hearing is so important for doggies:

    Sound serves as warning of danger, announces a visitor, the whine of an electric can opener is like Pavlov’s bell to some puppies I’ve known.

    Losing that wonderful sense is surely a blow to her as it would be to any of us.

    But the compensatory grace is that a dog’s sense of smell is physical genius.

    You and I smell a rose, she smells a Valentine love offering, a prom corsage, a wedding bouquet.

    She knows us, more by our scent, than our looks.

    The blind man who climbed Everest said he could know the “look” of the mountain by the way the thunder, during a lightning storm, echoed across its flanks and ridges, rolled down its valleys, crashed on its peaks.

    Compensatory graces.

    Here we sit surrounded by the din of noise, yet largely unaware of the tune of life, the rhythm of the cosmos.

    She lies there in individuated silence, unaware of the thunder, watching the flickering sky through half closed eyelids, smelling a symphony of the cosmos,

    Unafraid of the storm.

    Copyright T.Kelly Manion 2008 6/28/01

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