Where does one start when writing about the impressions we leave on one another’s lives? From the very first moment I saw James and Ron, I had no idea that I was leaving my paw prints on both their hearts. Granted, they were rather small paws at the time, but they have grown ever since.
The first impression I made was when my breeder sent a picture of me at only a few days old. James thought he still had that email with the attachments, but he can’t find it. If someone knows how to help James find emails that are over two years old and, hopefully, in the cloud, he would be eternally grateful.
The next impression I made was when James and Ron came to Youngstown to see me up close and in person. I’ve been told that this visit sealed the deal, so to speak. There was no way they were going to drive away from the breeder’s house and not see me again. They were smitten. Truth be told, so was I. (A treat scored for telling the truth – I love James – another treat – I’m on a roll.)
(James & Ron holding Ollie in Youngstown, Ohio)
It was a long four weeks before I saw them again. When I did, I was so shy, but James and Ron didn’t care. They knew they would bring me out of my shell, and they have. Every moment of each hour during all the days I’ve been with them, our love has expanded without our even knowing it. The small things, the seemingly inconsequential actions, totally have an impact.
Once I felt more confidant being with them, I would bound out of my crate (yes, crate training is actually good, but that’s for another blog much later this year or early next year) and run into James’ waiting arms, where he would scoop me up and take me immediately outside while I was smothering him with kisses. It was during one of those outings that James decided to write the poem I’m sharing with you this time.
The ground in Vermont, during the spring, summer and fall mornings, is often covered with dew. I had no idea what dew was, so James told me that when the ground cools, radiating its heat, moisture forms at a rate faster than it can evaporate, causing water droplets to gather on the cooling ground. Now as an Old English Sheepdog, I have long hair. This hair on my paws makes them look larger than are, especially when I was only nine weeks old. The result is that I left impressions of where I had been.
These imprints left a trail of where both of us had been. This, in turn, caused James to think about writing this poem. It reminded him of how much he loves me and I love him (Score – more treats!), so he wrote the following:
the sunrise has yet to materialize over the distant hills
yet the morning luminescence displays a thin airborne mist
acting as a scrim on the dawn
behold this fog in the valley
like a milky lake dotted by islands
providing soft creamy carpeting
on which the sun will exhibit its quintessence
this dew weighs on the wheat field
as you bound into the meadow
wrapping yourself with moisture
leaving behind a weaving trail of paw prints
as we go about our first stroll of the day
being pulled onto the wet grass by a short training leash
imparting a straight line heading confidently forward
I continue to trail a row of imprints when returning to the pavement
at nine weeks of age your life is beginning
and will have numerous launches & pauses
and backtracks & repeats
and hesitations & plunging forward
at my age I’m mostly slowing down
and while deferred for the moment
will be stopping
having already made multiple curves and rotations in course
there will be many opportunities
when you crisscross your own impressions
learning from prior actions
seeking to correct earlier errors
although my prospects are now limited
I rejoice in knowing we have this time together
and you have paw prints yet to effect
This has all been about the impressions I have left on James and Ron’s hearts. However, I want it to be known that they have also left impressions on my heart by enveloping it and keeping it beating. In this manner we have let each other know how much we love one another. (Treats galore – I score!) Well, at least as long as I’m with them.
What? James says the impression will be there forever. How I do love him. Yes, and he loves me. We have tons of love to go around. (And James has an abundance of treats he gives me because he loves me so very much.)
We hope you’ve liked this story and poem. In two weeks I’ll tell you about how fearful I was as a puppy. We hope you’ll stay tuned and read it and the others to follow.
Also, please let us know what you think of these stories and the poems James wrote. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a comment about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)