Slice of Life: Shadows and Dogs

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I have a sweet, older dog. Sometimes, like yesterday, on our first walks of the day, in the early mornings, the shadows startle him. He gets a bit jumpy, which can then startle me, even though the shadows are not usually something to worry about. Usually, the shadow is just a stick, or a kid’s toy on a neighbor’s yard. Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be there today because it wasn’t there yesterday. I guess the apparitions of the world startle all of us, now and then.

Peace (Where light meets dark),

  1. What a sweet moment! Yes, we all get startled. I’m glad you two have each other to support in those startling moments.

  2. Mans best friend. How fortunate you are that you have this friend to protect you from the scary things in your neighborhood!
    Love the simplicity yet depth in your post.

  3. The word “dog” was a lure … I love a dog story. I also love your line “I guess the apparitions of the world startle all of us, now and then.” Such truth. They appear so abruptly; they can be so stark. Equally powerfully: Your observational definition in your usual closing – peace, where light meets dark – a message to carry away and remember.

  4. “Dog” got me too. Over ten years ago, my dog saw a frog on the sidewalk where she was not expecting to see one–and she STILL gets jumpy at that same spot, even though we have never again seen a frog there. I really appreciate what a small moment you’ve chosen, how focused this piece of writing is, and how it resonates. It feels like a prose poem to me.

  5. Thank you, Kevin, for the beautiful post. There are so many apparitions, so much startle these days. In that way, ironically, his lack of vision may actually cause him to be more discerning.

    I have an old dog, too, who is teaching me a lot about patience and vulnerability and dignity.

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