And yet –

– even today, the good hour came: the pain meds kicked in, he asked for something-anything-adventure, wagging. A couple of barks to reassure me that he meant it, that he was up for something.

I took him for a drive, up through Cheshire and Savoy and Windsor.He fell four times, in the car, trying to move around to look out the windows: I pulled over and persuaded him fully and finally to stay on the dog-bed purposely installed there to make this less likely, and less dangerous. Opened the windows wide and simultaneously cranked the heat so he could smell everything without freezing.

We found a wildlife management area, and pulled off: I lifted him down the dip into it.

There he tracked intensively for 15 minutes, staggering and tangling in bindweed and goldenrod, in tall late-summer grass and rough-cut dips and swells, but happily: something other than concrete under his feet, huge open sky, paths cleared but no human development, nose-drunk on coyote, rabbits, foxes, deer, moles, only he knows who else.

Happily. For a little while, everything green and gold, life-layered.

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