A few weeks ago, I took this picture of my beagle, Chevy, while walking down a trail in Chattahoochee Bend Park. It was our turnaround point.
I know this leash drives her crazy. It would drive me bonkers too.
Here’s a dog bred to chase and run until her heart beats out of her chest. As soon as I take the leash off, I know what will happen. The instinctive drive will take over and the scent of rabbits, squirrels, or deer will lure her to the world’s end–well, maybe the next county.
My calls will fade away like a dream and the ground becomes her gritty, new reality. The sight of her will soon turn to sound, bays that vanish into the night.
Or will it? You know–I don’t know. Truth is–I don’t want to know. Truth is–I don’t want to lose her.
Am I holding her back? Or am I keeping her safe?
Is this free will? A controlled destiny? Perhaps, something else?
She sure looks happy most the time. Looks healthy. Looks alive. What would she do though, if I let go?
No, I can’t. Can’t do it.
I stoop to the ground, hailing her name. She turns to my voice and sees my face. The oscillating body and wagging tail run full force into my arms. Her slimy saliva coats my chin, and I smile.
Surprise, surprise: the leash has disappeared. You know, I don’t think it was ever really there.
The bond between us is strong, woven with something transcendent, something more than hemp or nylon fibers. More than commands, rewards, and obligations.
Just try breaking the cords of faith, hope, and love.
Chevy, lets go home.