Because the heat has dissipated, the dog and I took an extra-long walk this morning. He piloted us along; I let him choose our paths. We went looking for the cows I can sometimes hear shouting even when I'm inside the house, but they weren't on their hillside. We walked along the broad verge beside the highway. The dog ate some broad-bladed grasses. I made sure we didn't get run over.
Once we'd returned home, I asked him, "Do you want to be a working dog? Shall we go for a ride in the car?"
Before they left, you see, my excellent friend taught me to drive his car, which has a manual transmission. I am still no genius at it; accelerating from stop signs in first is hard, especially if there's any incline involved. But the dog doesn't seem to care: part of his being a working dog now is not just waiting patiently while I go into the post office to pick up two PO boxes' worth of mail but also being my companion and silent cheerleader while I stutter and start around corners.
When I walked back from town after meeting a returning student for lunch, I paused to catch these buds and blooms.