Dog ghost prose, one Friday

img_4059There was a study they did on foxes, on domesticating them. They set up shop near a den and began luring the foxes closer with treats and talking to them sweet. Of course the foxes liked it and started sticking around. But they noticed over time, their ears dropped and they turned stupid. At the end of the study the foxes couldn’t go back in the wild for fear they wouldn’t survive.

My dog’s ears flop on the trail ahead of me; they look like hands inside a puppet making a mouth, flapping. But just an hour after sunrise coming around the bend into a valley that’s all quiet she stops, and there’s only the squeaks and peeps of some birds, and her ears stand up, like a fox.

And for a moment with the sun behind her she flickers in and out, a ghost dog, timeless, the spirit of survival threading through her and every dog that’s come before, all that knowing in the senses.

Coming back down the trail it’s warm, it could be the last scent of summer in the air I smell, the last breath of a leaf coaxed out by a breeze, a reminder, how much is left in me.

Categories: musings, writing

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16 replies

  1. You have to wonder how much instinct is left in humans. Maybe we’ve been too domesticated too.

    Great sense/scents going on here …


  2. Great observations, Bill. You’re right, how by domesticating dogs we’ve made some so dozy, so lacking in the survival traits they would need in the wild. There’s an animal place near here that has a pack of European wolves in a reasonably natural environment, in a patch of woodland. Watching them is extraordinary – how they move, slip between the trees, over fallen branhces, how they behave as a pack, nipping and chattering to each other, that raw, carnivores’ intelligence always to the fore.
    I guess that’s how an urbanised human is in contrast to out hunter gatherer cousins in isolated communities. Dogs and wolves.
    A great write as always

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yes, instinct is powerful and i wonder how much of it each of us has left


  4. Love the photo you paired with the story. Hauntingly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kiri, I’m glad you liked it thanks! I had a couple others with my dog in it but chose this one without her, glad you liked it. From the hills/trails 15 minutes from our house here.

      Liked by 1 person

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