I was at the river, hidden in the reeds, hoping to take photos of wildlife when I espied a man tenderly carrying his dog into the water and gently setting her down.
The old dog seemed soothed and contented to be in the water and moved around using her front legs.
When she got into deeper water, the man lovingly scooped her into his arms again and brought her back to shallow waters and there they stood together in companionable quietude.
I approached the man as I was leaving and shared that I couldn’t resist taking photos of him and his dog. I learned that the man’s name is Tony and his 13-year-old dog is Maya, who slowly lost movement in her hind legs after an accident five years ago.
Tony had inherited her from his son who went into the Marines 11 years ago, and he and Maya have been inseparable since that time. He likes to take her to the river where the water makes her light enough to move around easily on her own.
As Tony and I visited, Maya made her way over to me for greetings and quiet caresses.
I gave Tony my number in case he would like to have photos of a candid moment between him and his Maya. I sent him these, and he sent me a very kind note.
Out of the river and back into the fray of everyday life I went, strengthened by the Grace I had witnessed.