"Walking the Dog" Pencil. Copyright 2011 Jessica Boehman
It's funny that as an adult I've come to love the zoo. We only went a handful of times as a kid, but since living in closer proximity to the animals while in Rome, Philadelphia and New York, I've gotten to spend more time there. Last year, I met my best friend in Pittsburgh for my birthday. Together with our fiances, we wandered through the zoo. It was a beautiful, warm fall day. We spent lots of time enjoying the antics of a baby elephant and listening to the surprisingly loud (and slightly terrifying) sound of a gorilla pounding his chest. She always loved those elephants and I remember how we both reacted with childlike excitement when we got to ride one (although not together). The one animal she loves even more is the basset hound, with their silly seriousness, those large, melancholy eyes, that funny, low-slung gait, and their deep hound dog howl. We even spent one day in State College, PA, driving to a nearby basset hound farm, where we got to pet those short lil' fellas. Now that we're both crazy old married ladies, I hope we will never forget those days of childlike wonder and imagination. So this one is for you, best friend. I hope that life will always bring you elephants and basset hounds, and if you're lucky, it will bring both at the same time.