I’ve spent a good number of hours with my husky-wolf, Togo. Never have I ever had him communicate anything to me other than “I am overjoyed to be right here, right now . . . with you!”
As we begin a morning walk and get to the end of the driveway, he knows a decision must be made. Do we head north or do we head south? Looking back, he checks for my hand signal and then, without a complaint or ever looking back, he gladly bolts down the street.
Or, after a game of tug-of-war or a little bit of rough-housing, Togo never whines when I tell him, “That’s it, buddy! Time for me to go in.” He just wags his tail and lets me know that he’ll be here if my schedule changes.
Or, when I begin the feeding routine by emptying and refilling his water bowl, he is never impatient but instead walks in close beside me and leans against my leg as the water pours.
Or, whenever I ask him to sit, whether it’s for his prayers or just for a little talk, Togo gives me the look that tells me “This is good. This time between you and me — it’s good!”
Or, even when storm clouds threaten and thunder booms and Togo peers around the corner of his house anxiously, his glances tell me, “There’s no place I’d rather be than here with you.”
Togo’s pure joy is why I break often when I’m at home, just to walk out in the back yard and spend some time with him. And, even though I can see the holes in the yard he’s dug, the shrubs he has destroyed, the patio furniture he has decimated, and the mud — oh, the mud — everywhere, my spirit can’t help but be lifted by his joy and his willingness to share it with me.
As I finished our walk this morning and as I watched Togo play with his squeaky raccoon toy in the back of the pickup, I wondered if my joy for life has ever touched another person. Perhaps if I were a little more willing to walk down any path just to be with someone or stand close by when necessary things are being done or sat just for the sake of sitting or expressed joy and gratitude in the midst of a personal tempest. Perhaps then.