he was one of those rare creatures that didn't lend themselves easily to the eye. it wasn't that he was harsh or ragged or even beastly, but there was a certain darkness to the eye, a sharpness to the tooth that made it easy for the first impression to one of fear and the second to be that of panic. it wasn't until the third impression, until the seconds had settled and the dust gathered around the soles - when breath suspended and the pulse began to languidly fall into rhythmic waves instead of war drums - that the truth revealed.
and the truth was not one of stigma or myth - it wasn't vicious nor was it cruel. the truth was a heart bigger than the jaws; the truth was a lolling tongue falling out of a whole-hearted smile and an earnest head finding the cup of a warm palm. the truth was a friend that knew the meaning of protection and knew the importance of a blonde-braided girl who he knew as a home.
on summer days and winter nights, the world revolved slowly as a body too big harbored a soul too kind. on these lazy days and endless nights, the world continued to spin as a sleeping girl nestled against a slumbering giant - when cocooned in friendship, a dog and his girl would find peace on grassy lawns and under brightly lit stars. it was the kind of kinship that bled past the point of reason and language; the kind of love that didn't need words or phrases. yet i try to lend them anyway, for if the words could be caught or the phrases carved, it would be a language of warmth, of undefinable affection and boundless joy.
for who can describe the love a dog can have for his girl? a girl for her dog? it is the wordless beauty of understanding, of tenderness and infinite caring. life is caught in the moments of yipping puppies and bounding dogs. it is caught in the joy of welcome home and the throwing of arms around a wiggling, squirming bundle of joy. it is the bond that is deeper than time, the knowledge that years cannot fade the memory and cannot dissolve the potency of the love.
not everyone can say that they have witnessed a love of this magnitude, but in the single trip around the sun, i can say that i have watched a pair carved into the core of the earth and the heart of the heavens. i have watched how a dog can sit patiently and wait for the girl with the sunshine braid for hours; how a single crunch of gravel under her soles can be enough trigger to wake a slumbering beast. i have watched how a dog can love his girl. how a dog of tooth and claw can soften and lay at her feet, dissolving to affection and joy.
and though he no longer treads this earth, i can say that i know, beyond a doubt:
he is merely up in the heavens, patiently waiting for the sound of her running feet once more.