Throughout the lockdown my face to face conversations were mostly with my dog Maybe and a few appliances; "Good job, toaster," or more often, "Maybe, what a wonderful dog you are."
Maybe wakes me every morning with a gentle nudge. She then looks in the mirror propped near my bed and studies her image with apparent satisfaction. Repositioning herself, she inspects my face in the mirror. I wave, she wags her tail, and the day begins.
This ritual, invented over a decade ago, makes me wonder how Maybe sees her world. Eight foot tall paintings of a mythical cityscape create a sleeping alcove in my workroom and a safe haven for us both. I am shown sitting in my bed, admiring photos of Maybe on my cellphone, which I share with her imagined parents. In fact, she was a foundling, locked in a cage from 8 weeks of age until she was over a year old. The people who processed her arrival at the kill shelter announced her heritage as "Pit Bull / Walker Hound Mix," but because she was sweet, she was not euthanized. Eventually she was sent to Vermont, a place where mixed-lot dogs are accepted.
Happily, Maybe has been a saga-worthy companion.