Sunday, March 18, 2012

One Dog Story -- Day 70

Walk: R/T Kabuki Theater for Film Club Preview (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) Distance: 2 miles and yoga workshop on lower back pain and yoga remedies

Part of me wants to write about this:

I took a picture from my car the other day. It's a subject that's hard for me to get close to, but I'll come a little closer so you can see what is going on a bit better.

On the left is a dear black lab whose rear legs are paralyzed and just drag and flop. But his(?) family has created an elaborate harness on wheels so that the dog's life can be as normal and enjoyable as possible. At least twice a day someone in the family walks him down our block and probably to Alta Plaza Park which is another block straight ahead of them in the photos.

Alta Plaza is one of the few city parks that allows dogs off leash. People bring their dogs from all over, and if you want an uplifting activity, all you have to do is go over there and watch the dogs frolic with each other and their owners. I wonder if this dog has friends in the park. When he arrives in his harness, do other dogs come up to greet him and keep him company?

Dogs just uplift, break and open my heart like no other creatures on the planet. It's all I can do to not cry each time I see this dog being walked by. It's the dear dog but also the steadfast, strong love of its owners that they have gone to the trouble and expense of having the harness made and make sure he is walked and happy every day for many years so far. A great deal of care must have gone into that initial decision about what to do when the legs failed and I'm sure they must have many routines and rituals built into their daily lives so the dog feels loved and happy.

San Francisco has its knocks around the world. But in many, unsung, anonymous ways it is a tender, caring, deeply humane city.

Perhaps I'll write more on this dog - and maybe others - another day. Just can't stay with the topic very long because it kind of kills me. (When I was growing up, I read Albert Payson Terhune and thought I would raise dogs. Again, maybe another day).

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