Saturday, May 14, 2011


The best thing about Cinder is she loved life.

She expected the world to be wonderful, and it was.

Everything was an adventure, a chance to see new places, to find new friends, to smell new smells. Everyone was a new friend, to be enthusiastically approached and greeted. A few, a very few, people walked by without responding. Most smiled and stopped to pat her head or scritch behind her ears.

She spent hours walking with me, exploring the area. I took my first photo walks with her; in fact, I took them because of her. She kept wanting to stop and smell the trees, so I stopped to look at them. It’s true, I lost a few pictures because she decided to hurry forward just as the shutter was going down, but I gained far more than I lost.

She loved to run. We’d take her to the dog beach and let her off the leash, and she’d race ahead of us, doubling back just when we thought she wouldn’t, dashing up to us and then turning to run some more. Eventually, she’d rejoin us for a good game of stick-throwing and keep-away, dashing into and out of the water at breakneck speed.

We couldn’t go swimming when she was with us, though. The waves were too big for her to swim through, and she’d stand at the edge of the water, watching and worrying. It’s the only time I ever really saw her worry. Once we were on shore, though, she would be off again, running, swimming, and stopping every so often to roll luxuriantly in the sand before trotting back to shake all over us.

A trip to the beach, of course, meant a bath, and baths were the only things she truly hated. She eventually got so she’d get in on command, but then she’d stand looking forlorn, sad as only a dog can be, until the bath was over.

After which, she was immediately and unreservedly cheerful. The end of a bath meant being chased around the yard with towels and then taken for a walk .She loved that.

She loved being where her people were. If we were outside, she wanted to be outside with us. If we were inside, then that is where she belonged as well.

The best thing about Cinder is she loved.

Edit to add: I don't know how this will or will not show up on feeds, so a word of explanation is in order. Cinder, my beloved dog for thirteen years, died in May at the age of sixteen. It was pretty quiet, and I was sitting with her.

I wrote this at the time, but did not feel like posting it here in the blog. Now, though, I want it to be part of the record. I want her to be part of the record.

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