Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wind in the Fur
There are many simple pleasures in life for dogs but near the top for many is a car ride and this was certainly true for Erin. From an early age she was exposed to the unyielding wind that whipped through the vehicle like a vortex as a result of multiple windows being lowered. There was no whining, yelping, or panic in her eyes just a look of contentment as the airflow swept downward and pounded the tiny creature for all its worth. The little butterball of a dog's face displayed nothing but happiness and that expression would continue for the remainder of her years. As Erin grew in stature and was able to see out the window, she discovered the ultimate source of bliss...shoving her head out the window. Generations of canine dna ensured that a car ride was not just a car ride but an experience to be enjoyed time after time.
"Go for a ride" was the magical phrase to get Erin's tail wagging while immediately moving towards the door. As the driver door was opened, in a flash she leapt upwards onto the seat, over the center console and into position upon the rear seat where she often gave me the look of "why are we not moving." Without fail the right rear window was lowered so she could scope out the passing scenery and enjoy the ride at her discretion, which usually meant her standing to fully extend her head out or in a sitting stance with her eyes darting in every direction. The right rear seat was her vehicle throne, where she maintained order in the castle on wheels and from this perch her sworn enemies could be easily spotted.
Squirrels were of the utmost importance and never far from Erin's mind, lucky for her they could often be seen scampering across the roadway, sprinting parallel to the car, or enjoying nature unaware of ogling eyes. A squirrel being spotted was as exciting as life got, there was uncontrollable passion when one was spotted and I'd do my best to slow down so the occasion could be extended. It was not unusual for me to chauffeur her around residential areas until the sun set, often passing the same house several times during these periods of elation. Whenever the urge to return home hit, a peek in the mirror convinced me otherwise as Erin's big beaming smile propelled me onward during these joyful moments.
Car rides in Europe were not spent crisscrossing adjacent neighborhoods but rather journeying great distances to view some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. Snow rain or shine, her head darted in and out of the window as the horizon was scanned for something of interest which was usually found in the form of some animal wandering near the roadside. If boredom overtook her, a sprawled out sighing dog was the result and that was totally unacceptable so the first available rest stop was sought for rejuvenation. The roads of a dozen European countries were trod upon with Erin's happiness being a major reason that we traveled frequently, her wind in the face smile gave me infinite joy and that was enough reason to keep on moving.
Regardless of the destination, rate of travel, or route taken, a car ride was as exciting as it got for Erin. It's impossible to not see her facial profile in the side mirror after so many years together, often I swear she is still in the back seat glancing my direction then surveying the passing landscape. It was a simple pleasure for sure but it meant everything to her and that's all that matters. RIP Erin!!