I heard somebody whimpering while sitting inside my van while parked in a town on the old Oregon/California Trail. Then I heard it again. It seemed to be coming from a large pickup truck parked next to me.
Inside, an eight-week-old puppy jumped around on the front seats. He saw me immediately and held my gaze, as if he needed something. He looked to be a cross between a blue heeler and an Australian shepherd. His pickup truck was labelled Something-Or-Other Cattle Ranch, somewhere in Idaho.
Why did this affect me so much? It was more than cuteness -- many young animals are cute. Hell, even baby javelinas are a little bit cute. Perhaps I have run across a biography once or twice when the story starts off "in the crib" and contrasts the helplessness of the baby with the man's reputation and accomplishments or even crimes in mature life. Sheer contrast of that type can leave an impression that lasts.
In a couple years this puppy will be a serious professional ranch dawg, exuding not just energy and competence, but also Meaning and Purpose. It is always a pleasure to meet one of those dogs. It even makes you feel a bit of awe.
What is the little guy's name? He kept looking at me through the side window, whimpered a little more, while I melted.
|Last spring, this professional ranch dawg checked out my camper.|