I suppose we all wonder about ourselves from time to time – what sort of person we are, if people like us, what value are we adding to life, etc etc.

I am a little old to be worrying about all of that (favorite tee shirt; “What you think about me is … none of my business”), but still, one does wonder, especially if one is planning on contributing to the decimation of poisonous consumptions which could play a part in “bringing down civilization”.

My wonderments wander in and then they wander out – not much I can do about them anyway. But here is the thing; dogs, especially female dogs seem to love me. Of course it starts with my love for all animals, all critters, including the creepy crawlers and the spiders in the corners. I hugely love whales, dolphins and elephants. Horses? Hardly anything in the old kingdom nobler or more elegant, my goodness.

And dogs are our best friends – can’t call lawyers, never complain and tend to eat whatever we put in front of their faces. They also do our bidding (mostly); zooming through the air to grab a Frisbee, sniffing out quail and freezing in a point, leaping into winter waters to retrieve a wild shot mallard, leading the non sighted, warming the feet of kings, keeping paupers company in the gutter and under bridges, riding fire engines, guarding our yards, homes and children, as well as delighting us on a never failing basis.

Zamie is an English cocker, drop dead gorgeous with silky red hair, droopy ears and sparkling eyes that stare constantly at me, imploring me to take her outside where happy crazy scents roam the wild ways, waiting for her to read their new(s). She follows me around the house. If I go towards the door she grabs something; a sock, a piece of firewood, and romps to her station under the furniture beside the door. If I turn around and go into the bedroom, she drops her thing and sprints into the room to leap onto the bed to whirl and stare at me in a crouch – ready to pounce. She sleeps with me at a respectful distance but can’t wait for me to stir to then crawl up to put her paws on either side of my head and snuggle her head into my neck. On the couch she stares at me, waiting my signal that she can come closer for that same embrace.

Once outside she races in delirious swoops across the trail, her tail furiously whipping the airs she leaves in her happy wake. If I stop for a moment she runs to my side but only to tear away at a lizard den, or the underside of a log. She will dig like crazy, tail ablaze, and even bite the dirt. I set off and once again she is zooming, blazing through woods, always tethered to my whistle – my footsteps.

Here’s the thing; she is not even my dog. My dog waits my return to Patagonia – a working dog, border collie. Zamie is my best friend’s dog. I see her every summer when I come up to spend some time in these United States. How she remembers me from a nine or ten month absence is a matter of wonder. But she does. When I return to the house, be it nine months or nine minutes, she whips around in ecstatic circles and then leaps onto the back of our favorite chair. As I bend down to snuggle her furry neck, she whimpers with love, which I enjoin as we croon our little love song of reunion and the Universe is, once again, all right. (I like to kid my lady that I am with my gorgeous redheaded girl friend, snuggling and loving it up – AND she has four legs, and eight tits!)

Added to that are dogs that I can love in a city park, or on a walk, who seem to like me. I have had strays follow me and friends’ dogs who will come to me with a ball, with a stick, with love in their eyes and whirrings in their tails.

So I can simply throw away all the self-wonderments about people and just stay with the feeling that my ways are always happily warped with the love of our best friend, dog.

Which is, flowingly, “god” spelled backward. Go figure.