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Friendless I can never be, for all [dog]kind are my kindred, and I am on ill terms with no one member of my great family.
-Charles Dickens, Master Humphrey’s Clock, courtesy of litquotes.com
While I endeavor to develop a suitable plan or to hear from Edgar–or both, I have decided that it cannot be ill to befriend additional local canines. To this end, I’ve convinced Man and Woman to take me further afield, to other neighborhood parks to meet other dogs.
I am a most congenial animal and get along with every dog I should happen to meet, so long as she or he is largely free of character defects, as I am. I do like to play with all the toys at once, so of course, friends of mine must take this into consideration and accept their roles in Nature’s hierarchy. I am as I was made. I do love to have other dogs chase me, and occasionally I meet a worthy opponent who can beat me to a ball when it is thrown or who can manage to relieve me of the ball once it is in my jaws. At other times, I love for my canine companions to chase me and to strive to take the ball, even if they strive in vain.
But I ramble…
I only met a few dogs this morning, and do not have photographs to share, but I will keep a careful record of those I meet here, to aid my recollections when I speak to Edgar. It may be that we can share our mission with worthy dogs who can help us to overcome the coyotes.
In that spirit:
I met a young pup who looked to me to be a beagle. He was very friendly, though a bit intimidated by my size and noble bearing. We sniffed one another quite politely, but were not able to engage in a very meaningful conversation.
Other dogs I hallooed from afar, including a charming Airedale Terrier and another German Shepherd, like myself.
The park was quite lovely. I found many new scents and paused a moment to view the hydrant in the midst of the trees and clover–an object dear to human and canine set strangely in nature’s glorious flora.
Near the end of my stroll with Woman and Man, we stood for a moment on a bridge. I looked out between the railings and mused once more on the strange combination of human industry and bucolic landscape which I could see before me. Just so are humans and dogs combined, are they not? Mostly, they can coexist quite peacefully, yet there is an important balance which must be maintained.
There are some fields near Manchester, well known to the inhabitants as “Green Heys Fields,” through which runs a public footpath to a little village about two miles distant. In spite of these fields being flat, and low, nay, in spite of the want of wood (the great and usual recommendation of level tracts of land), there is a charm about them which strikes even the inhabitant of a mountainous district, who sees and feels the effect of contrast in these commonplace but thoroughly rural fields, with the busy, bustling manufacturing town he left but half-an-hour ago. Here and there an old black and white farmhouse, with its rambling outbuildings, speaks of other times and other occupations than those which now absorb the population of the neighbourhood.
-Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton