My dogs are very friendly fellows, especially Tralfaz, the older one. He is past all immature puppy fighting. He greets all people and all dogs with enthusiasm.
But his favorite dog is Magic Dog.
Magic Dog is a brown and white dog who pops by unannounced at any hour of the day or night. He and Tralfaz will give each other the ol' snifferoo, then adopt the play position, crouched down in front, butt up, tail waving like a friendly flag. Then they'll jump around and goof off for a while. And then Magic Dog will take off, and Tralfaz wants to go with him.
That's been a problem when Tralfaz is off leash. The first time Magic Dog joined us, in fact, was one dark, chilly night when Tralfaz was maybe five months old. They took off together with me in panicked pursuit, and got three houses away before I corralled my guy. Magic Dog continued on home.
And that's the problem with Magic Dog. He is a runaway, a repeat offender. He's got a collar, but he never lets me get close enough to see what the tag says. He's way too magical for a mere human to grab. Plus, he's a tagger -- unlike my dogs, who release a huge stream when the time is right, Magic Dog releases dozens of teeny peepees to mark the places he travels. I'm sure there are times he's been at our place and vanished again, leaving nothing but little spots that make my dogs crazy the next day.
As I considered the problem of Magic Dog, I realized that I'd had several humans of that sort in my life, especially when I was young. People who seemed wild and free, who blew in and blew back out again to places I could never follow. They seemed to be charged with life and creativity in a way I could never be; they were privy to secret knowledge I could never comprehend. These relationships always ended, and usually poorly. Sometimes the people actually ended poorly, too, their promise and potential always unfulfilled.
My dogs don't think about Magic Dog's worried people, finding him gone through the gate or under the fence, wondering if this is the night he never comes back. But I do.