"He asked me what it is with balls...why I love them so much. I had a think about that. It is 'cause they fly. Like birds. I'm supposed to chase birds. I'm a bird-dog. 'Course, she won't really let me. It doesn't stop me barking at 'em and seeing 'em off from my garden. But it isn't the same. Somewhere, deep inside, I know what I am supposed to do, what I am supposed to be. But I can't be that for some reason... things aren't quite set up right for me to chase birds all day and bring them back to her. On the other hand, that's who I am...and you can't be anything else than that... so the balls let me be myself in a world where I can't catch birds all day. She says that's not unusual... She seems to think that we all know who we really are, deep down, and that we spend all our time trying to find a way to be that in a world that doesn't quite seem to fit. We either find other stuff to express it...like balls.... Or we try and be what others think we should be... But you can't be a terrier if you are a retriever, can you? A bit like asking a fish to climb trees. It can be done, but it isn't easy!" Ani, a very familiar spirit, was named for one of the ancient gods. It should, I suppose, have been no surprise when she took over the keyboard and began to write. A year later she had me collect her writings into a single volume at the insistence of her fans... who have been taken by her playful love of life and her odd wisdom...largely because she is saving for an automatic tennis ball launcher. The book is a collection of Ani's periodic posts, Notes from a Small Dog, on scvincent.com, with some other pieces she has asked me to include. She even lets me write occasionally... By this time you may, of course, think I am barking mad myself... you may have a point... but I stand with Orhan Pamuk, "Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
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