Heat lightening skittered across the sky. The absence of answering thunder leaves me unsettled. Ginger barks at heat lightening. She wants the distant rolling thunder, too. I stand listening, instead, to her gallop out to the fence line and bark at whomever or whatever has trespassed across the property leaving their scented trails behind to agitate the hound. My hound. I am a cat person but having a dog asks me to open my heart and show mercy and kindness. Cats seldom need expressive affection, certainly they don’t ask for it. They remain aloof and appear indifferent – impassive and even apathetic. But a dog? A dog wants affirmation and love, they want to see your smiles and the lilting, joyful tone of your voice. They seek the ear scratch and the belly rub. And they are rarely bashful about their wants and needs. Ginger barks and skips and dances around my stride, hoping to get me to pause and pay her my mind. She is a gentle, sweet dog. And I have much to learn.

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