Not long ago, while Cookie and I were out walking, I watched an older lady cross paths with another woman and her dog. I realized that the women were strangers. Dogs have a way of bringing people together, you know? As we walked up, my gray-haired neighbor was asking permission to pet the big, slobbery mastiff. Then came the usual, “What kind of dog is that?” question.
Three single women, two dogs, one neighborhood intersection on a warm summer evening. We all started swapping laughs and sighs about our pups’ peculiarities as Cookie wiggle-waggled over to the older lady. She fawned over Cookie and admitted that she recently lost her 15-year-old collie. We expressed our condolences. The other woman mentioned her current mastiff’s beloved predecessor and suggested, “Why don’t you get another?” The older lady confessed that it was too much, too hard to lose an ever-present companion, that it’s just the worst. My heart broke for her. I get it. Maybe you get it, too. It is terrifying to love another being so much.
Cookie hopped the fence on Wednesday afternoon. I let her come outside with me while I was talking to my friend on the phone. I watched in horror as she made one impressive, graceful, vertical leap over the chain-link fence to pursue a bunny.
Ten, fifteen, I don’t know how many minutes passed while I was frantically shrieking her name out the car windows and flagging down neighbors. Finally, my phone rang. Cookie was safe at the bank, of all places. Whether for safety or cash for the road, Cookie had run inside the bank. Her new friends were feeding her treats in the conference room when I got there.