We took Black Dog for a walk at a nearby lake, our first visit here. He’s pretty feeble lately, HW keeps a plastic box in the car that she deploys as a step to stage the drop from the back seat to the ground. Once he has all four on the ground, and he’s moving, he gets along OK. He’s only eight, going on nine, so not a pup, though the days of him tearing up a mountainside to chase ground squirrels, darting from one hole to another until he’s but a speck in the distance to our eyes, those days I’m afraid are behind him. And not that far behind him. Look at him less than a year ago. Still, the full measure of a dog is not to be found in stamina alone. Being in the company of a good dog day after day, it’s hard to explain the connection that develops. A one hundred fifty year old tree in a public square has grown up so well and for so long it can no longer support its own weight, succumbs to a disease and must be felled, and the townsfolk weep as though a legend has passed, the place of its rooting forever memorialized by a modest plaque and a handmade bench where posterity may sit and ponder how much that tree, a mere tree, had meant to generations of people back then. Resilience alone can sometimes be a feature deserving of our admiration.