I love my dog, not least because she is a sweet and unassuming Labrador who has lived a hard life, totally undeserved. Since I got her from the SPCA on Stock Island 18 months ago I have seen Cheyenne turn into a smart and cheerful companion with the unexpected capacity to make me laugh. I enjoy walking her and allowing her the time to pause and sniff and be a dog, and I let her wander off leash as much and as often as I can, usually away from traffic; though she is very obedient the smell of food will distract her when I call.
We were out walking last Friday and I was playing with the sepia setting on my camera. Cheyenne was wandering back and forth snorting as she sniffed and vacuumed up smells and disgusting things to eat, as she does. It was all terribly bucolic, until I heard a change in her tone and she started grunting and wheezing like a steam engine on a grade. I had the presence of mind to photograph her in her embarrassment but only in sepia; I was in a hurry to release her. She was stuck in the cleft in the rocks.
I put my hands under her chest and heaved her out. She walked two steps behind me back to the car rather disconsolately as though the adventure had knocked the stuffing out of her. At home she tottered slowly up the steps shrugging off my attempts to help. After dinner she lay down and slept loud and long, rumbling and snuffling as she does when in a deep sleep. I crept off to bed and the last I heard was the sounds of a Labrador on the bamboo floor reverberating like heavy machinery as she slept off the last effects of her adventure. Silly dog.