I watch an over weight white and red miniature dachshund waddle across the yard.
What is in her mind?
Did she ever have this type of freedom in her previous life? Was she allowed out to walk on grass, smell the smells left by the passing day?
She looks aver her shoulder every few steps to see if there is a human watching her. If there is no seen observer, she sniffs more, looks up and down, left and right to see the yard.
Walking up to the make shift fence we put up to keep her out of the poison ivy. She probes it, every inch, methodically and with nose as well as mistrustful eyes. Once she reaches the end, she doubles back and looks from the opposite angle. The one opening she finds, she sticks her nose through. I can only assume she sniffed the air on the other side of the fence, gathering information on the world outside her yard.
The backward glance over each shoulder scans for the observer. I am inside and back lit. She sees me looking at her and she immediately walks forward to hide against the house. When she reaches the house, she lies down with her back to the wall and tries to get as close to some other object as possible to insure anyone coming to pick her up can't come straight at her. I duck to the side and she spots me through the next window and speeds up to lie next to the house and the water spigot.
What does she think of this new freedom?
Did she live in a cage with a wire floor and spend her days with no solid ground beneath those soft foot pads.
They told us her nails were so overgrown they had curled into her toe pads. Her tiny toes are so soft, like a creature who has not had toes on hard rough surfaces, she has no calluses.
Today she rolled in the dirt, four soft pad feet to the sky and wild abandon. She stood up and rubbed herself against the wall on the left and then the right side.
K said she had run toward the house tonight.
With all the bad things she has experienced in her life, she has intelligence, spirit and a drive to stay alive.
I smiled at her rolling in the dirt.
Small slow steps.
Or maybe, a few fast ones, when no one is looking.