The winter night sky in the Catskills is beautiful beyond description, with stars plentiful and bright and acute. When I step outside at night and look up and out, I feel as though I am seeing all of eternity. And I realize I never would have experienced this feeling if I didn’t have a dog. Because, believe me, I would not be outside in below-zero weather for any other reason.
In the mornings, I am the one who has to coax Chloe inside after our walks. But at night, it is she who rushes back to the house first. Now, even on the darkest, longest winter nights, I feel as if I could stand underneath that starry sky forever. It reminds me that there is no such thing as sadness. Just an infinite number of worlds, working in harmony. “Look,” I say to Chloe, pointing up. “Sirius. The dog star. That’s you!” She wags her tail, and her breath forms a cloud in the air, which seems like a loving answer. And we go inside. Where it is happy and warm.