A week ago, my wife and I enjoyed a visit with our loaner dog. On occasions far too rare, we welcome a visit from our son’s greyhound while he and his wife travel. The long legged hound carefully steps through the garden’s uneven stone paths, a remarkable contrast from the floppy eared sister hounds (Daisy and Minnie) who grew old in this garden, who bounded and tumbled as pups, dug until the garden was rid of moles, and who rested their weary old bones in our shady backyard stream.
The two hounds roamed our at-the-time rural neighborhood (long before this was a crime), chased deer through the forest, and generally ignored our attempts at behavioral training. Headstrong and good natured, they were tolerated, and perhaps a wee bit enjoyed by neighbors. Too often, I suspect, the boisterous sisters became a nuisance by collecting treasures from neighborhood garages left open, and by inviting themselves whenever they smelled burgers on the grill.
Their passings, after long and joyful lives, were mourned, but now my wife and I are resigned to living dog-free the remainder of our years (with the exception of short visits). Keeping an orderly house, and a well-tended garden are easier without hounds, though I will argue that a bit of disorder is good for the soul.