Copyright © 1999 Walt Zientek
She woke with that familiar tightness around her head. The feeling that her
brain was just too full and couldn't tolerate another thought. The young dog
saw that she was awake and gently nuzzled her face, licked her cheek and
thumped a heavy tail against the bedframe.
The woman's hands were soon lost in the dog's warm fur and she never
noticed the tightness in her head had disappeared.
As the woman prepared to leave her home, rampant, unwelcome thoughts
filled her with a familiar dread. Her stomach tightened just a bit and the
room turned warm. Warmer than the day.
The dog bounded into the room and quickly realized that they were going
out. She jumped a bit and spun around and butt-tucked joyfully around the
house. The woman laughed and called to the dog and spoke softly, telling
her about the great adventures they would face that day.
As she spoke to the dog, she never noticed that her stomach had settled
down and the room had once again become comfortable and cool.
As the pair approached the dog-park, the woman felt her legs go heavy and
weak. Instantly, the dog tugged and strained against the leash, happy to see
and hear her canine friends.
The woman jogged behind the excited pup until they entered the gate. She
unclipped the lead and let the dog run free amongst the other dogs. New,
people friends waved and called to her and she smiled warmly and called
back to them as she hurried in their direction.
She didn't notice how light and strong her legs had become.
She never noticed how clear her head was, how still her pulse.
She noticed the joy in her dog's body language. She noticed the gentle tones
and soft support shown by her new human friends. She noticed the fresh air
and blue sky and gentle breezes.
She never noticed that the terror was gone.
If you are ever to see her, give a wave and say hello. Take a moment from
your life to say a word or two.
Oh, you'll know her by the way she carries her head so high, the hint of a
triumphant smile across her lips. By the strong and steady pace she keeps.
You will know that it is her. She'll be walking Willa.