There once was a dog. Sort of hobo like. Met this boy.
This boy had a good life. Spent his days in the sun with his mates. Running. Chasing squirrels. Fishing. Sitting by the sea. Being boys.
On the way home one day, they met. In the beginning they just acknowledged each other. One sheepishly. One with a smile. Or both.
As they passed each other daily, they started to just walk a bit with each other. And after a short while, the boy found it was nice to have a companion on his way to and back from wherever; sometimes. And he even went for short and then longer walks with the dog. Up some valleys, down some dales. To places he did not normally go. And he was happier.
He still met with his friends and they still ran together. Even to bruised knees and twisted ankles in their frantic search for frantic busy activities of doing everything and nothing. But the times obviously were less than they were before. He spent more time with the/his dog … in their ramblings and resting together and talking which was quite soothing and different from his norm.
And all was well. For a while.
But after a bit, he felt maybe the dog wanted a bit too much (for his comfort) to be with him. Whether this was true or not did not matter. He felt it was so. And it occurred to him that having a dog of his very own was not such a bad thing. It was kinna nice in the grand scheme of things. But on the other hand, it did mean … oh so many things. Disturbances. Life was good. Had been good. Still was. But who knows? With a dog … what if the dog looked at him with those eyes that said things when he wanted to go out with the boys. And wouldn’t his life be different then? And didn’t he now have to think about the dog who maybe cared a lot for him (which was nice but …) when he didn’t have to think of anyone before. Not even the boys. Surely it was nice being with the dog. But. Maybe giving the dog up was better. After all, there could always be another dog somewhere sometime. But.
Caring for some other living creature. Yeah. Well. It is so much nicer … well at least, easier to just care for No. 1. Easy. And anyway, he didn’t really NEED a dog to love him and to love did he?
The dog was not unaware of these things. Even when the boy was not consciously thinking them. The times that the boy went away, he missed the boy. And he was sorry for the boy. Such inane fear. Before they rambled in peace together, they were in peace apart. And being together was very invigorating as well as peaceful. All at the same time. But you cannot make a home nor a haven with a fretful soul. And his worry and less the dog, was making the boy less easy than he had been.
What, the dog thought, made the boy think that should there come a day … maybe soon, maybe later, maybe never … if either wanted to go on their own way again, that the boy could no longer go back to running and chasing and doing all the things that only boys do. Would it not always be there? There would always be boys aplenty, indifferently nameless but boys none the less, who would be there to play with. That was always going to be there. But the dog would not. Not this dog. Why could the boy not see that just having time together now is all there was. NOW is all we really have TO EXPERIENCE. Yesterday is Gone. Tomorrow has not come. What tomorrow brings … well who knows. If they do longer had words to say and joy to share, then it was time to be a hobo again. But at least for now, for however a little or short a while, it was a very nice break from years of routine.
And so little to lose. And if for now their lives were enriched, stimulated, made more fun from knowing each other, why hold back just because of unrealised possible negatives. It is like those Crazy Lotto players who put money down every week while never whole-heartedly enjoying the process or thought of winning because they are living all the fears of the possible negative consequences (tax, losing friends, people hitting on them, never knowing who your true friends are anymore, etc. etc.). And they wonder why they never win while already worrying repeatedly about what bad things will happen if they ever win!
But fear in all its forms, big and small, often governs more than forms of joy can.
So one day, while the boy was out, being busy and indifferent and not really thinking about all this but always knowing it is there, the dog gave up. Went away. So little really special joy comes our way once in awhile – wherever and whenever it, conveniently or otherwise, comes – and if we are too afraid to take it, then I guess one is just not ready. Better the bland you know than the exotic you don’t. (Just what a One Nationer would say!) The dog gave up for the boy. Not knowing what to do nor what he wanted and not being able to nor wanting to decide, the dog did it for him. Choosing to lose his friend the dog, the boy hoped that one day he would find another special friend who was more like himself. A dog who wanted to love him less, wanted to be with him less … or at least, only when it suited the new dog’s comfort and time. In that way, they could stay detached and together … never really impacting each other’s lives and never really entering it either. Maybe there is contentment in that. For now, this doggie would rather not have the boy troubled any more.
And as for the dog, well the little hobo just …
Originally written on 24 July, 1998
The dog. The boy. A story, an analogy of the choices in the start or end of a relationship.