He had done his master proud and he had won.
It wasn't that he understood exactly "what"
he had done to make everyone so happy. It wasn't as
if he had fought off a raging bear, or saved a lost
child. He hadn't run for help or chased a thief away
from those he loved. He hadn't done any of those things.
He hadn't done anything but be himself, standing before
a crowd of strangers, beside the one he loved. And,
there it was: His master's hand upon his shoulder; his
master's voice at his ear; his master's smile upon him.
wasn't always like this. In the long-ago mists of Before,
when he nudged his mother's breast and scrapped with
his brothers and sisters, he was blind to the life that
lay ahead of him, blind to anything but himself. Listening
into the night, his mother's breath comforted him in
a world of what he could feel, hear, or sense around
them. But, from his earliest awakening, he was aware
of a presence around him; an intelligence. From as far
back as he could think, there seemed to be a mysterious
something watching over them, providing an order to
things; a mysterious someone who seemed to care.
after day it was like this. Day after day, as he dozed
in the manner of the newborn, he felt himself touched
by something greater than he, himself, seemed to be.
It wasn't that he knew himself. It wasn't as if he knew
he was any different from a rock or a tree or the flowers
decorating his life. He only knew that his life was
protected by someone that could change anything around
was a power that could change the bedding on which he
lay. It could bring him food. It could bring water.
It could take away his mother, making him wonder if
she would ever return. It could fill the air with music
all night long and calm him with a reassuring voice.
From the moment he first saw it, he knew he was important
to this powerful someone. He knew it from the moment
he felt his master's smile upon him.
it is with all young dogs, there were ups and there
were downs. There was the time he escaped and followed
a yellow butterfly. Yes, it was true he could hear his
name being called. It sounded nice, hearing his master
shout his name to the Heavens and fade into the distance.
But, a yellow butterfly! Now that was something he had
to know about. He had to know about all kinds of things
in the Early Days. He had to know about powdery wings
that fluttered and lifted a butterfly into the air.
Did he have wings, too, he wondered? Where were his
own wings? ... Where, he suddenly wondered with a sinking
feeling in his belly, was his master's voice? Yellow
butterflies melted into darkness and shivers as he learned
the meaning of loneliness ... and longing.
light! The rustling, crunching sound of dry leaves and
familiar footsteps! Was it possible? "There you
are!" came the words that showed him all things
are possible even when all is lost. "I've been
looking for you," came the caress of love as they
turned for home and he felt his master's smile upon
were other times, many of them, when he tried new things.
Some were praised and others were not. But through it
all, through the good times and the bad, his spirit
flourished and he grew. As his spirit grew, so did the
body in which it dwelled. He grew taller, stronger,
and wiser with his master never far away; feeding him,
watering him, turning on the radio and filling the night
with music ....