We walk together, in harmony, almost as if we’re holding hands, but we’re not. However, he looks at me often, his deep brown eyes saying so much without his mouth releasing a word. Could anyone ask for a better companion? For a better friend?
But of course, there’s so much more to the relationship than that.
As we walk, he looks over his territory with pride. His name, I tease him, should be Heathcliff or Darcy. He just moves on, pointing at the Pride of Madeira in the meadow, strutting over to say hello to the horses in the pasture, urging me to run instead of walk along the paved path around the nearby farm. I sigh, then allow my thigh muscles to tighten as I follow him.
His gait is so strong and sure-footed. I run like a girl, he runs like a …. Well, he doesn’t seem to mind and, in fact, even though he can run hundreds of yards in front of me, he stops and looks behind his shoulder to make sure I’m coming along. I think that’s what endears me the most to him. He could make it on his own. He could be perfectly happy and free without me, yet he chooses to slow down, to wait, to watch me with a gleam in his eye, so I can catch up.
It’s that look in his eye that makes me feel so valued, so necessary in his life. As he stands there, still and strong, waiting for me, there is sure certainty in his expression that I am worth the wait.
I reach him, and he opens his mouth with a big wide grin. Somehow, I know I have passed a test. I stroke him, and he dashes on ahead again, ears bent back, eyes slanted from the breeze, mouth turned up into such joy my heart leaps, and I run faster.
Suddenly, I am ahead of him. He stops as quickly as he began, tail wagging, nose tilted down into the ripe lime green grass. I call, he ignores me. The smell must be from nirvana, like chocolate to a woman, diesel oil to a man. I call him, his tail wags faster, but he still focuses on the meadow grass.
I stand still. He’s worth the wait.