Like so many farm dogs before her, Ishtar, our little Phoenix resurrected, has become a favorite faithful farm friend and companion. I have resumed my habit if walking in the evening, most often along the canal so that Ishtar can join me leash free. She'll run ahead, turn around, wait for me, run again; chasing anything: rocks, pine cones, peanut shells. Her lopsided ears, her pitifully bare stomach. Scared of the churning water at the end of the covered aqueduct, if I sit there for awhile she will pace and peer over the ledge nervously before butting her head into my legs, pressing the full weight of her ever-fattening body against me.
There are so many people these days, I am retreating to only the greatest of friends and the purest of company. She has a certain air about her that expresses pure gratitude to be alive, to be back here, to be walking along the canal. I wonder if she can tell how much I can relate.