I’ve been working for days (weeks, months!) on trying to get Boomer to come when I call. She does sometimes. Sometimes she just looks at me and carries on with her patch of grass; sometimes when she knows I don’t really want anything she just walks faster, straining against her harness, little legs pushing against the ground in a furious attempt to break free. Somehow, I know she does not want to break free of me. Free with me, perhaps, but mostly free to chase the birds, free to sniff the ground just out of her reach, free to greet any soul, muddied or spotless, with her kisses and her wagging nub. Free for the sake of joy.

Yet she stays with me; because of the harness, sure, but also she runs when I run, leash loose and waving in the wind. Sometimes she just stops, the good smells and curious sounds erased from her thoughts, and she begs me to come down and give her kisses. And we hug in the middle of the sidewalks, in mulch mounds and against trees, in dappled sunlight and even in that rain that she finds so troublesome. It’s a boundless love, the love she has. It’s a love I strive to give. It’s a love I’m blessed to have

puppy kisses


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