How lucky am I?

A wonderful young Bouvier I had the privilege of meeting. 

"How lucky are we to have each other?" I asked Elsa while smothering her.  We had a little chat between the hugs and kisses that we were sharing.  I told her how lucky I felt to have her in my life and she reciprocated with more kisses.  This was one of those closeness moments saved for members inside the pack only.  Elsa is not stingy with her affection; he adores humans.  Over the years she has only questioned the motives of less than a handful of people who have come into her life.  If you are welcomed into her home or circle of trust out of the home; then you will be lavished with a snippet of Elsa.  She is a treasure, as is her older house sibling Luke. 

While working in my office yesterday; I looked down to see Luke stretching, rubbing his head and licking his dog bed.  He is a happy guy; how lucky am I to have such a great old man in my life?  I get to share these very special senior moments with him.  There is a magic shared between a human and canine who have spent so many years together.  His wish is my command basically; it is my job to make him happy and comfortable.  His job has already been fulfilled; he came into my life and changed me forever, there is no going back.  From the moment we met; it was love at first sight.  Fate intervened on that day and I am forever grateful.

In the world of canines, there are many different levels of connection.  There are the dogs that you meet in passing, a quick glance while walking by.  Others may be involved in more of a greeting and quick get to know you moment.  There are ones who become friends and others who become almost like your dog with an amazing connection, but not quite.  I know a lot of dogs; when I have the chance to really get to know one I am always overcome with a sense of "how lucky am I?"  I remember meeting a dog by chance at a dog park.  I was there to shoot dogs for my first photography book; I was capturing the dogs of Laguna Beach dog park when I met Wolfgang.  He was 17 years old at the time and literally on his last legs.  It was not long after the shoot that he left our world; his job and been accomplished and I got to meet him.  His guardian shared a piece of him with me; explaining where they had begun, done over the years and were then; at the end of what had been an amazing relationship. 

I never grow tired of hearing dog and human stories.  Sharing the connection through a human's eyes; often delivered by wordless interactions.  I remember watching an elderly man as he and his dog shuffled with their walker to a park bench.  There he sat with his very old dog; sharing a moment, which I had the privilege of sharing.  I never met the dog or the human; but it was a connection that was undeniable and amazing. 

Dogs come into our life at different stages and levels.  If we get to live with one or two throughout their life; we are definitely given a gift of intense connection.  But even a chance meeting can be a gift; even when it is a fleeting one, it can have great impact.  Many dogs have passed through my life; some leaving more of a mark than others.  But each and everyone one has touched me; "how lucky am I?"