It’s not about the flowers either. It’s about the dogs. About how living alone, but with dogs, isn’t really living alone alone at all. You talk to them, or I did anyhow. And because of them you go out for a walk and find things like a cactus covered in gorgeous white flowers. And you wonder how it is that you only just noticed them now that you are interested in photography, because you also walked the same route with the dogs for years before that was true. Walking them also led to fun exchanges with people on the street, like the guy in the convertible who stopped to say, “I didn’t think you were allowed to have livestock in Spring Hill.” He was referring to the fact that these dogs weren’t the daintiest of God’s creatures, all 250 pounds of them. And then there’s the breathing. They were out of the house for a month after my husband died, my son having taken them over while Charley was in the hospital. I kept the house dark and quiet during that time. It wasn’t a choice, I needed the solitude. I don’t know how long that would have lasted if not for the dogs. When I did bring them home to my quiet house I found myself listening to them breathe. It was as if the house had come back to life, the house was breathing, and maybe I also took a breath.
I probably wasn’t trying to hold two leashes while I took these pictures with my iPhone 7+. I used to drop the leashes and step on them if I could, but if not I’d let them go because they waited patiently for me to finish. Nope, I wasn’t ever alone when they were part of my life. I miss them.