Dogged PursuitPosted: March 8, 2011
Finished this book over the weekend…
Robert Rodi is a self-deprecating and ironic, yet somehow open and genuine guide through the world of competitive canine agility.
Rodi’s rapacious appetite for food, politics, all things Italian and his generosity about the dog world and its people make this a funny and charming book. – Elizabeth Taylor, Literary Editor
While this book made me laugh – sometimes out loud – and helped me realize my own trials and tribulations with learning agility are part of the course (pun intended – 🙂 ), this passage had me in tears. No wonder we all love dogs!
“And that’s when I start watching him, in a way I’m never able to when I’m running beside him. And yes it’s true he’s not a fast dog, nor is he poetry in motion or an unstoppable juggernaut or anything like that. He’s a little wad of scruff with a scrap of determination, that’s all. But there are times – when he’s right at the apex of a jump, with his forelegs stretched before him and his hind feet still recoiling from the launch; or when he’s plunging through the tire, the velocity streaking the fur on his face and splaying his cheeks into a smile; or when he’s loping across the dog walk, his head low and his trail erect – that he seems suddenly beautiful, suddenly graceful, suddenly powerful. They’re just split-second images, flashes, nothing more, but they have the startling effect of drop-kicking me into profound emotion. In this setting, I’m seeing him for the first time as separate from me – not just physically, in the sense that I’m not out there with him, but as an entirely separate entity. And it occurs to me that I really do love the little guy. For all his peculiarities and pathologies, he has such tremendous dignity. The blood of wolves runs in his veins, the race memory of primeval packs that took down mastodons, the pedigree of canine legions who sprinted alongside the armies of Alexander. I can see all this in him, and I’m aware as never before that as fiercely loyal as he may be, he doesn’t disappear when I’m not there. In fact outside my shadow he seems to grow larger – as does his integrity, his honor.”