Opening to light
dancing to the breeze of life
turning a new leaf.
© Xenia Tran
The rains have filled the loch and the path is under water. There is a light breeze and we are heading for the higher ground.
Our companions spray themselves to protect against the midges and I want some of that too.
The sun feels warm on our fur and there are a lot of interesting smells this early in the day.
Around the bend another path joins us from the west. A grey deerhound lurcher walks next to a man with a brown hat. Her tail begins to wag when she sees us and she trots over for a greeting.
We all give each other a good sniff before she leans into our companion and looks up with a big smile.
“You’ve got yourself a new friend there,” says the man.
“What a lovely girl, what’s her name?” asks our companion.
“I’ve renamed her Jazz,” says the man. “She was called something else at the shelter but I always like a fresh start for my dogs and give them a new name for their new life.”
I walk over to the man and sniff his hands. There are brown stains between two of his fingers. He bends down to stroke me under my chin and when I look into his eyes I see a lot of sadness.
“Don’t look at me like that young man,” says the man. “You can probably see a lot about my story.”
I put my paw on his knee and touch his nose with mine.
Jazz comes over and gives us both a lick.
“I’ve only had Jazz six months and she’s the reason I get up in the morning. I have even given up the fags for her because she did not like me smoking.”
Jazz walks back to our companion who strokes her side. The man gets up and lifts Jazz’s fur.
“See that big dent in her ribs there?” asks the man. “That’s where her previous owner used to kick her.”
“I just felt it when I was stroking her,” says our companion.
“I’ve had her checked over and x-rayed at the vets. They said it was best to leave it as it was. The ribs had been broken and have re-set. It does not seem to bother her and she runs like the wind.
It turns out the rehoming charity had already had four dogs in the past from this same man. They were all in a bad way, underweight, covered in sores. Two had cracked ribs and one had a broken leg. When I asked the charity why they did not report this man to animal welfare they said that if they did, the man might just kill the dogs off and not bring them in anymore. I had a big barny with them over that. Told them that guys like that should be banned from keeping animals. Told them that if they failed to show up on the platform of responsibility, they would become part of the problem.
Anyway, long story short, they decided to contact animal welfare and after a long slow process the man is now banned from keeping animals.”
“Well done for persuading the charity to report him,” says our companion.
“You think that on the surface of it, all charities are doing a good job, but they’re still run by humans with their own fears and ideas about what’s best,” says the man. “I am going to get a bit more involved from now on, doing a bit of volunteering when I can.”
Pearl licks his hand and he bends down to stroke her.
We continue to climb up the crag and Jazz walks in front us wagging her tail. Down below, the quiet lochans smile back at the sky.
We send you all so much love,
Eivor and Pearl xxx
Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, unedited.
Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Outdoor Action, iA and Landscape.
Daily Prompt: Surface