Monday, May 25, 2009

Wild Child

My mom borrowed the good camera for a trip, so I’ve been left with the three-year-old point and shoot camera I picked up for my travels in Alaska.

Even though it’s not quite as impressive a piece of equipment as the Canon, I’ve still been able to get a few good pictures, and this one just took my breath away. To be fair, I did pose Ajax in those wildflowers while we waited for Comet and Andy to help a turtle out of the parking lot. His head is turned because he hears them coming down the trail toward us.

Posed or not, this photo captures one of the things I love about Ajax: the fact that he seems so at home in nature, like a wild child that we borrow, bring to our house, and have to return periodically for visits to the woods.

Jax obviously isn’t the only dog at home in the woods. In fact, Comet is usually the leader on their tears around the trails, and Jax has to split his time between games of chase and long, deliberate smelling sessions with the leaf litter.

He loves to soar in the air almost as much as he loves to smell in the brush. Ajax is constantly jumping on, off, or over every available obstacle, sometimes going out of his way for a particularly good jump. I was lucky to catch this with the little camera, since you have to wait almost a second between shots, and that’s an eternity during a dog jump.

If there’s one thing the the dogs have taught me, it’s to live with gratitude for all the little things we train ourselves to overlook. These dogs greet the familiar and the new with two equal kinds of enthusiasm and grace, and it’s hard to watch them without having at least a little of that spirit rub off on you.

I can’t count the times that I’ve paused to savor that warm thankfulness for the fact that Jax dropped into our lives so unexpectedly and smoothly.

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