Wolf, reservation dog, found on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. He is a dog who wasn't meant to live- but then he did. He'd been abandoned and was found lying on his side, dying. Susan took him and gave him a chance at life, which turned out to be a very good one.
Wolf exuded dignity, confidence and calmness. He was steady, consistent, composed. He would look you straight in the eye and communicate his take on things, which was pretty much always, "no reason to get bent out of shape, everything is fine."
He was unruffled, even when there was chaotic activity around him. It was like he would watch and assess a situation, and then place himself in it as a calm, non-reactive presence, modeling for us how to live in this world of change.
When Susan and Wolf and my cranky Chihuahua, Pablo, and I would take walks together in a wooded area of Seattle where dogs often walk off leash, he would choose some giant fallen branch to carry along the path then drop it for me to sling a few feet so he could bring it back, with us wondering how in the world he could carry, in his mouth, something so massive. I started throwing his log choices over the ledge into the gulch just to make it require at least as much effort for him to retrieve as it was for me to hurl. As a young dog, he was tireless. His physical stature was impressive- strong, capable, in command, and gorgeous. He knew it. Sometimes large dogs would start to approach little Pablo and Wolf would place himself between Pablo and the intruder as if to say, "You gotta get by me first". He was Pablo's protector, even when Pablo would have a snappy outburst right in his face. Wolf never reprimanded Pablo, not once. He would just turn away and walk on as if nothing happened, and he would protect that pesky little pack member again the next time.
If I were to put words in Wolf's mouth they would be, even about his own death- "There is nothing serious going on here, all is well. I am still here. Now throw the log."
( I made greeting cards of this painting for Susan to use as holiday cards- on the inside she wrote:
"May you be blessed with peace, joy, and love. In other words, a bed, a book, and a dog."