You walk through the gate, hearing the creak of the hinges. Your puppies greet you with wagging tails and wriggles of delight. Your adult waits patiently behind the puppies, confident that you will not forget her. You touch each puppy, and in doing so, look into each of their eyes and seeing their adoration.
You make your way through the pack, and greet the adult, you look into her deep brown eyes, and she looks into your soul. You see her love for you shine out of those eyes and your soul melts just a bit more. As you start to turn away, her jaws part and she quivers in anticipation of the walk she knows you are going on.
You start to walk away and she springs smoothly into action while the puppies run, stumbling behind. You feel her jaws close for just an instant over your elbow and you turn and to see her spring back, jaws open, laughing at you. You smile.
You walk to the end of the paddock, where another gate will let you out into the wide open space of pasture with rolling hills, and shallow valleys. You step through the gate, the puppies and the adult following you.
You start to walk, taking deep breaths of cold air. You feel the cold of the winter breeze. You see the brilliant blue of the sky, the deep green of the evergreen trees. You both hear and feel the crunch of the layer of crusty snow beneath your feet, the rustles of dead, brown grass as the dogs pass by.
You watch the adult who moves with beautiful ease and grace, her muscles rippling beneath her golden coat. She stretches into a smooth run, it almost appears as if she was flying, a concept at odds with her massive size. You watch the pups try to match her, clumsy, still learning where their feet go. They fall behind and she circles back to them, leaping over the ones who are not fast enough to get out of her way.
Then, she speeds away over the hilltop. The puppies following her. All except one, you look at her as she looks with longing after her pack. Then she looks you full in the eyes and you know she has taken it upon herself to guard you until the rest come back.
You reach the reach the top of the hill and pause, you lift your face to the sky, soaking in the rays of the pale winter sun. You revel in the contrast between the chill wind and warm sun, and breath deeply of the clean air. Your cares melt away and you are content.
You look around and see the dogs coming back to you. The one who stayed behind wags her tail ecstatically. Soon you are surrounded by your pack again. You continue your walk, over hills, back through a shallow valley. The pups and adult playing and running all the while.
You watch their joy and delight in the scents they find, in just moving their bodies. When they look at you, you see their love shine bright in their confident gazes. And you find joy in the moment, your spirit lifting to soar in delight.
You make it back to the gate you came through, the hinges creak as you open it back up. Your whistle is high and clear, and cuts through the wind. The adult and pups pause and most start your way. You whistle again, and call, and the rest reluctantly leave what they are doing and come.
When all are inside, you shut the gate, that latch clicking shut. As you walk back through the paddock, the puppies crowd around you, asking for hugs and pets. You oblige, even picking up the smallest one who drops her head onto your shoulder and breaths a contented sigh.
You get back to the first gate and pause. The adult comes to you and leans into your legs and lifts her face to yours, wordlessly asking for a hug. You lean down and wrap your arms around her powerful neck and breath in the mixture of scents from her coat. And for a moment in time, there is nothing else in the world, but the two of you.
The moment comes to an end as you release her and walk through the gate, leaving her to her job of guarding livestock and supervising pups that are not even hers. Even though the moment came to an end, the memory will stay with you forever, and the content still lingers as you walk away.