The dog’s paws padded through the fine dust sending the red poofs abruptly skyward. Steadily he ran, tongue rolling sideways, ears forward, then backward, seeking, listening, seeking, listening. He was determined though unaware of his destination… determined to lead or stay alongside the little truck as it puttered along the country road.
A run for him. To blow off the pressure of the past few days. To leave behind a memory. To run and run and run and forget that now he was in Wyoming, a universe different from the one he left behind in another state. Or was it to run and run and run and forget the life left behind? Tense muscles, a closed mouth, staring eyes, were leaving. On occasion he relaxed, panting, wagging his tail, *almost* *almost* letting himself do that infamous English Shepherd lean into my leg. A paw lifted, a wide open happy waggle of his body appeared at times, and the lady was content.
This run, this long airing out, was the next step after short runs to the creek and through the fields. He watched her, followed, and alternately led. The freedom, the lack of collars, the touch of a hand requested, not forced, was beginning his first steps towards new life.
They turned along the road, and he lept ahead once more, back towards the woman’s home. It was not his home, not yet, perhaps not ever, but he was accepting of her and her home would do for now.
Clouds of every hue danced along the sky, from golden to thunderous blue, from glaring white to grey streaked gunmetal. A flash of lightning to the south, a sunset beam piercing the west, the heavens were giving their best performance. A flamenco skirt flung upward in mare’s tails streamers. Parallel stairsteps of mid level moisture. Cauliflower florets with back lit sunshine. Would an artist dare to paint such a dramatic sky, full of threatening colors and brilliant relief, she would be deemed the artistic Cassandra, never to be believed.
This sky peered down, seeing the dog loping along the red dirt road watched unobtrusively by the woman. Clouds rolled and tossed, floated and sheered, formed earthly creatures that disappeared in minutes. Folded and refolded as if by an indecisive origami master, the performance continued.
What would the future hold?
The deep rumble of thunder laughed at the question. Time would tell, not the clouds.