DOG STORY (Excerpt)

by Adam Gopnik

…where we are creatures of past and future, she lives in the minute’s joy: a little wolf, racing and snorting and scaring; and the small ingratiating spirit, doing anything to please. At times, I think that I can see her turn her head and look back at the ghost of the wolf mother she parted from long ago, saying, “See, it was a good bet after all; they’re nice to me, mostly.” Then she waits by the door for the next member of the circle she has insinuated herself into to come back to the hearth and seal the basic social contract common to all things that breathe and feel and gaze: love given for promises kept. How does anyone live without a dog? I can’t imagine.
Excerpted from The New Yorker, August 8, 2011. Find the complete story here. In “Dog Story,” Adam Gopnik describes how his family came to adopt and fall in love with a Havanese puppy Gopnik named Butterscotch.

Photo: ”Havanese puppy” by Martin Taylor