April 20

In His Tracks

[Note: the above dog is not the dog described in this story as I was not able to photograph him while walking per PAWS protocol but is a foster we had last summer.]

I volunteered yesterday at PAWS for a bit and ended up walking a big, beautiful 40-50 lb very energetic puppy named Thatch who was awaiting a foster family. As I approached his kennel he began jumping up and down with excitement. I put his leash on and with some help got him down the stairs (as many of these dogs have not gone up and down stairs before). Once outside it was clear that he was full of energy and wanted to trot at a pace that required me to jog with him. We were both happy for the exercise. It was a beautiful day and we could hear Mariachi music coming from the porches of this Mexican-American neighborhood in Chicago. Halfway down the block Thatch stopped in his tracks and got up on his hind paws and put his head against my chest and closed his eyes for a moment, rubbing his head back and forth against my t-shirt. I rubbed his head with my hands, told him he was a great dog and so sweet.  He just stood there for maybe 20 seconds on his back paws leaning against me clearly overjoyed at this walk and this affection. All I could think was, I know Thatch. I really know. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a nice walk on a beautiful day with someone who adores you.