Meet my dog Willie by Nick Galaida

I was sitting at the desk in my home office, staring at my computer, but felt the intense gaze of Willie’s dark brown eyes from the couch nearby. In a minute, I said – realizing that he was not-so-subtly asking to go outside. He jumped down from the couch, making enough noise to ensure I looked his way, then sauntered over to the side of my chair, initiating contact with the back side of my calf in a way that communicated his needs more urgently. 

We went for a leash-less walk in our cul-du-sac, with me incessantly checking my work email while Willie was carefully dictating the path of our journey – the one with all of the best smells. I looked up from my phone to see Willie, lost in an aroma that caught his black nostrils just right in the wind blowing into his face. 

In moments like these, he reminds me that he is not my dog – to be obedient and work around my schedule. We are two friends, who have priorities and equally fleeting moments in our lives. In small ways, he teaches (and re-teaches) me that our lives are best spent experiencing the richness of the world around us, and that our own priorities should not always come before others. Willie reminds me that the wind is blowing outside, and that we could all be pleased by every part of the universe, if only we could be present in a moment with someone we love. 

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