As we leave the cabin the dogs jump on us, or they fall at our feet presenting their bellies. The dogs seek our love and affection. The look in their eye is, ‘Are we pleasing you? Are we doing what you want?’ The anxiety in their bodies subsides only for as long as a minor pat or murmur.
This morning I went for a walk out into the desert that surrounds Alice Springs. Sitting on a hill overseeing the surrounding bush and desert I saw three Dingos. They calmly surveyed their surrounds ignoring the minor disturbance that I was. The sun warmed their backs, the breeze spoke to them of the landscape and all it contained. They looked content and masterful.
Too see animals that are truly free is to see a whole world and culture that belongs entirely to them.
This reminds me of Sezza. The dog who lived with me when I was 14. We went on walks, played in the beach waves, watched television and went on adventures together. One day I was walking down to the beach and Sezza crossed my path walking towards the hills. She was walking with two other dogs who were free to roam the village. She glanced at me briefly with a look that said, ‘I am busy now, I’ll see you later,’ and continued her own adventure off towards the hills.
Sezza always wanted to be free. One day she was tied up on a lead. She made a giant leap over the backyard fence. The lead was too short to get her to the other side. She hung against the fence breaking her neck.
I sometimes imagine her at the top of her hill overseeing the landscape, her landscape, full of her own adventures and thoughts.