Year of the Dog

The grey and brown-spotted dog, a German, short-haired pointer,
the muzzle of his handsome brown head acting like a scanner,
moved thoroughly but steadily forward
sniffing up and down every passenger at SeaTac
as they headed for the security check-point.
From shoe soles to baseball caps, from back packs to computer bags,
all was under scrutiny in the search for explosives.

Now, in the airport security line, there are
No more shoes to remove,
No more placing of computers in a separate bins,
No more placing of personal items and belts in bins
Traveling is a little bit easier now, and still safe,
all because of dogs!

Dog lovers are not surprised, of course. Canine sensitivity, devotion
and reliability have long been acknowledged.
Dogs can teach humans a thing or two, have done, are doing now,
teaching me.
Watching Riley, my daughter’s pup, a sleek -furred chocolate lab mix,
romping with other dogs in a huge dog park in Santa Fe
junipers and pinons to scamper around and arroyos to follow,
I wonder

Will we humans ever match what I see before me,
Riley playfully mixing it up with all types and shapes of dogs,
black, brown and white, long-haired and short, old and young,
small and fast-moving and big and lumbering?

Will we humans ever learn what I see before me,
Riley chasing another dog’s tennis ball, picking it up, and running
with it, only to toss it in the air for another dog to retrieve
and then moving on to fetch a flying stick?

Will we humans ever match what I see before me,
Riley, discerning the sound of the truth and authenticity
of Susan’s call, responding obediently, at the last, to stop,
hop in the car and head home?

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