Thursday, March 19, 2009

Borderless

In Denver for readings -- at Metro College today, which has the surprising distinction of being adjacent to an amusement park, so that from the campus you can see this big white roller coaster undulating in front of the distant mountains. Tonight I read at the Tattered Cover, one of the stalwarts of independent bookselling. After two readings and a talk, I can barely put a sentence together, and the whole day blurs. But there's this single image I want to keep: a woman brought a four month old golden retriever puppy to the reading, a dog who was in training to become to become a service animal for diabetics. Who knew? It turns out dogs can be trained to sense (via smell?) when there's a blood sugar problem for the person they're guarding. I think of young golden retrievers (from experience) as being wide-eyed, borderless little blobs of living jelly. But this one was self-contained, sober, and even when she was lifted up off the ground, off-duty for a moment so that I was allowed to pet her, she never dissolved into a wiggling puddle of fur, but maintained this beautiful reserve. I, on the other hand, after three events, am basically a pool of fur myself.

3 comments:

jayme said...

when i was at drew, the campus was not far from the seeing eye dog training school in morristown. though i couldn't pet them, it always made me so happy to see all types of dogs-retrievers, labs, sheepdogs-walking the paths of our campus. i'm sure you're well aware that it is within a dog's nature to be caring and conscientious, but it never failed to amaze me how fiercely dedicated they were to their tasks.

Webster said...

Mark, I'm sorry I didn't know you were in Denver (where I am existing now) . I was the marketing guy at UofI Press when we did Turtle,Swan/Bethlehem. Life kind of fell apart & splintered after that gig--but it would have been good to hear you read again. Sending greetings and warm best wishes, in any case.

David

Kelly O'Neal Thompson said...

Hey Mark! Say hello to my home town for me. Metro is where I got my undergrad teaching degree! Miss Colorado so much...What a fun puppy story. Thanks for reminding me of so many things I love.