Inside my sons' apartment, though, the view is blocked . Of course, the fall outside their window is extraordinary. It's a water color pastiche of blue spruce splashed among the red and gold erupting from the maples and ashes, and the air is crystalline against a Renaissance blue sky. But this was my view:
Meet Monk. Monk is a honey badger when it comes to appreciating fall or Flatiron views. Fifty-some degrees in Portland, OR, and raining? Monk doesn't give a shit. Can't see the Flatirons? Ditto.
What he does seem to want is to be fed, walked or both. Nevermind that he just finished breakfast and returned from his morning walk an hour or so ago. He seems to believe there's a very good chance I won't remember, and if not a very good chance, then a chance, and if not a chance, then a very small chance. Whatever. His life is spent sleeping and then awaiting the Next Fun Thing.
If you take in a dog from out of the cold, Samuel Clemens said, and make him warm and feed him, he will be your friend for life. And this is the chief difference between Dog and Man.
Humans don't have the constancy that dogs have. The first year of human life is spent eating and sleeping in three- or four-hour intervals, after which they stop looking like Winston Churchill and start turning into unique persons. But dogs?
They start out as enthusiastic puppies and pretty much stay that way, unless their owners screw them up. They're grateful for meals, even though it's the same food every time. Their forgiveness is instantaneous if you get cross. They're always thrilled to see you, no matter if you've been gone for ten minutes or ten days. Always there. Always the same in their nuance of differences.
And in this, it occurs to me, Monk may be more like the Flatirons than I originally thought.