Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Love our dogs


This letter is to the individual in the large, white, late-model Ford extended-cab pick-up with matching shell. My neighbors and I saw you return and slow to a stop in front of the house, then drive away. After running over my dog Sunday morning, it was probably wise not to come to the door, and returning to the scene reveals you do have a conscience, which is promising. I have often seen you driving fast and aggressively (behaviors I have engaged in) on Fourth, Fifth and Sixth between Croy and Carbonate in Hailey, so I assume you live somewhere nearby.

Fifth and Eureka offer fairly long, uninterrupted routes through east Hailey. Living on Eureka, I wait until the weekday morning high school Nascar event is over before letting Shiloh out for a bit before we go to work. She is often out unattended and brings joy to those in the neighborhood she visits regularly. I have seen her and the many members of the neighborhood canine committee slow the progress of vehicles, with their driver's countenances expressing frustration and disgust.

For those who continue to lament "They're just dogs," please have patience for those of us who have learned profound lessons through integrating these creatures into our lives. That their life-spans are short allow all who are mindful, even children, to truly understand the transitions we will all experience as we pass through our lives. In return, we "dog freaks" wish to provide these companions the quality of life they so richly deserve, including periods of autonomy contrary to statute. We are grateful to pick up their waste.

I am also grateful that Shiloh's is a "grinding hock injury," as Randy identified it, and not life-threatening. I am grateful for Randy (my vet); who will perform the requisite surgery this week. I am grateful that Shiloh is bandaged, splinted, fed, mi1dly sedated and resting comfortably. I am grateful today's events, along with her knee injury and surgery three years ago, have taught me that in just being alive there are inherent risks, and I hope that at some point I will be able to accept that the rate of mortality is somewhere around 100 percent. I am se1fishly resisting and in denial of this reality for others, right now, because it makes me sad.

If we could learn to love like our dogs, we might become the loveable individuals they apparently believe us to be. Our lives and emotions are confused with judgements, intolerance, ignorance, prejudices, expectations, misunderstandings and conflict. Our dogs love us, anyway. We need to watch out for them.

William F. Hughes

Hailey




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