We just looked out our new apartment's window—we're up on the third story—and we saw Reeve taking her morning zigzag run, trailed by her human friend, Ben Power, who maintains a more measured pace.
This winter morning our building's park is totally white—tamaracks and cedars, pathways, everything frosted. You'd think Reeve, a rescue dog from Louisiana, would object to our northern New England winter. She's small, with short brown hair, definitely not a malemute. But no—she dashes through cold and snow, sniffs, then dashes on, loving every sub-freezing moment.
These days, we enjoy other people's dogs, and Joyce lets no dog-owner go unmet.
Out our window, before we knew them, she watched Reeve and Ben. She saw Reeve's absolute devotion to her human friend, and her willing obedience, shaped by no more than treats, kind words, and love—when Ben calls, here comes Reeve, fast as she can.
I'm out for a run most days, and Joyce told me, if you see that man and that dog, say how much your wife admires their close relationship, and his warmth with that dog.
I did, and so we met Ben Power and Reeve, which produced some surprises. Ben, we found, is a Broadway musician, currently on furlough because his show, Come From Away, is on a pandemic hiatus. He's sitting it out in a condo, near our building. He's half British, half American, and he's a skilled performer on the Irish flute and Uillean pipes.
We decided to post this story because another couple stopped us in the corridor—"Who," they asked, "is that man who is so wonderful with that dog?"
We humans are emotionally complex. Dogs just feel what they feel. A dog is content to be respected and loved. So let's take happy dogs as signs, that this world, so often seeming dark, has light in it, and joy, too, if your morning walk is rich in newsy scents.