My dear, dear, Finn. Just when I think I couldn’t possibly love him more, the impossible happens and I do, indeed, love him more. I catch myself, in the mornings particularly, gazing out the various windows of my house, simply to locate him so that I might watch him. The sun on his fur, the tilt of his head, the bounce to his ears, all make me smile.
Finn has been with me long enough now that we have settled into routines. Every morning, as soon as I get up, I take the dogs downstairs to go outside. Kelee and Skye head to the kitty enclosure and Finn dives onto the studio ottoman (which he has single-pawedly torn to shreds, but I don’t care) wiggle-wagging in anticipation of my joining him. Which I, of course, do. We cuddle and pet and kiss in those moments before the other dogs come back in. I adore his smell, the solidity of his muscles, the velvet character of his head.
And then Kelee is back, wanting out the front door. Finn joins him and the two big dogs await me there. I open the door for them and they burst out, filled with strength and health and glee—a joy so profound it can only be found within love and freedom. Nothing else matters. It is all in this moment—the scent of rabbit, the flight of wild turkeys, a coyote’s howl, the neighbor’s stray bull. They race out across the pastures and deep into the canyon, securing their land, making certain all is safe. They have a job to do and they do it well. Every dog should get to live this way.
Kelee is always the first to return and Finn comes later, often dragging a huge bone of some unknown creature, hoof and hide still attached, a treasure he’s found down in the land grant. I’ve put in a request for a gorgeous Georgia O’Keeffe sort of skull with horns but, so far, to no avail.
The cats are all completely comfortable with Finn which I think says something about his personality. He is a deeply gentle soul. Even my two most skittish ex-ferals hop onto a chair to be with him, to rub against him and purr—something they still don’t do with either Kelee or Skye.
On mornings when I take the luxury of sleeping late Finn will come to the bedroom door and peer in. I sense him there as I’m just coming up to the surface from a deep sleep. Perhaps I’ve stirred and he knows I’m waking. But he pokes his head in and, if he receives no greeting, wags his tail against the door jam: Whack! Whack! How does he do that without breaking his tail? And if THAT doesn’t illicit a response, he does a little growl/bark—sort of a doggie whisper, his two front paws doing a tap dance on the tile floor. And finally, when I refuse to budge, he out and out barks. And you know what? Finn gets away with it because his happiness is palpable, his eagerness to face the day impossible to deny.
So we all trundle down the stairs to greet another day, the dogs, the cats and me. I do the animal chores, make some coffee and look out the windows to locate Finn so that I can just watch him there, reveling in the sun, catching a scent on the breeze, his head snapping this way and then that. And my heart is filled with the gifts of love and family. I never planned on these animals. They found me. But not a day goes by that I don’t realize how much they bring to my life. A reader of the blog sent a quote that I paraphrase here: Who rescued who? Indeed.
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Love to you all,