No pictures on this quiet night. All are sleeping: the kids in their bunks, Chris, asleep (but pretending not to be) in his "easy" chair, and dogs at my feet and out in the yard. It's the way we like it - a bit doggy.
I love these moments. When the quiet seems to echo all around me like a cushion, enveloping me in the warmth of my home and those I love. I do wish I had a wood burning stove, though.
And that's just it, isn't it: we always want more. Dogs don't. They embody contentment.
The most amazing thing happened earlier this afternoon. While I was out doing kennel chores, the dogs were running and playing in the sunshine. Foxy has been joining me out back in the kennel lately, and seems so relieved to be with her pack in the snow. She smiles in the sunshine, then dips a wide-mouthed gulp into the snow for a taste happily. Her eyes sparkle.
Today, as the dogs played in the sun, Foxy caught the fever.
On all four feet, she seemed to buck like a colt in spring; she ran across the yard joyfully, stopping at at my feet, then, to look up at me.
"Look what I can do again!" she seemed to say. I patted her furry head, so thankful for this day, and to see her smile.
We endure. We feel heartache, pain, sorrow, loss, joy, love, growth. We endure.
A dog does not ponder these things or question why. A dog celebrates each day and simply is. I want to be like my dog.
If you have a chance, listen to this song by Jane Sibbery and pat a dog on its furry head.
"If you remind me of my dog, we'll probably get along!"