Gift From a Dog

There are days when being a responsible adult just drains you. Yesterday was one of those for me. A storm had taken out my primary internet on Sunday. This means all day in the office, rather than a half day in and then finishing up my work at home.  This means no tadpole kissy faces to step away to look into for a change of perspective. No checking the wildflower buds that whispered the promise of a new bloom after Sunday’s rain.  It means I’ll be arriving home after dark. I knew it by mid-day, that it was a day that was going to kick my ass.  Still you must press on, because flouncing away in irritation just isn’t an option when there are bills to pay, responsibilities to uphold, tasks to accomplish. I swore more yesterday than a complete month of Sundays.  And so when I leave the office twelve hours after arriving, in the muggy and dense dark, all I can think of is getting home and going to bed. Maybe I’ll only take off my shoes and not even my make-up and good clothes. Just fall face down on the bed and be done with the day.

Except, I have this small little furry thing that waits for me every day. He’s no longer used to my fourteen-hour absences, as I am usually home by two or three and he gets to go chase lizards on the patio or just snooze in the sun.  Sometimes he annoyingly digs a cool spot in the flower border and returns to the sliders with the dirt of guilt on his nose. But on my hour’s drive home, my resentment builds.  I do not want to take him for his nightly walk dammit – I am tired.  Why can’t HE be waiting with a cool drink and a back rub?  Silly, I know.

I arrive home at almost eleven..  I lug my work paraphernalia, my two-ton purse, travel coffee mug and my empty lunch sack to the door.  I fumble with the key in the dark while trying to balance all of this weight.  I push open the door and there he is.  Delight incarnate, turning into a comma shape with joy, wriggling and sniffing me (to make sure I didn’t cheat with any other dogs during the day you know), and dashing up and down the one small straight-away from door to bed.  And I laugh. I think it was the first time all day. But I am still grumbly about having to walk him; to go back into the heavy, muggy and damp darkness and slog the dog.  I shrug out of heels, work clothes and grab my rattiest, comfy shorts and a faded shirt, slip on my antiquated Naots (which my feet thank me for immediately) and load up the phone with “Dark Night of the Soul”. I grab for my headset while a brown and white tornado circles my feet in anticipation. He darts out the sliders, racing around the patio while I locate the leash. He is dancy and teasing when it comes time to clip the leash. Can he not tell I’m agitated, frustrated and tired? Just. Be. Still!

But as I walk out the gate and he dashes off into the darkness, a sea breeze blows up out of nowhere, carrying the scent of hundreds of blooming Plumerias.  The palm fronds rustle, rubbing against each other like they dream they are cricket legs.  I turn on the music and we begin to walk.  Jasmine greets me as I hit the main street and the breeze picks up speed, as if trying to match the piano tempo.  And so we walk, dashing past slumbering cats and investigating new piles of debris dropped just for his inspection.  Long grey beards of Spanish moss sway gently in the breeze and the left-over scent of new-mown grass  earlier in the day adds to the fragrant damp earth smell under the oaks. It is the scent of life, of living, outdoor things.  He circles around me, encouraging a faster tempo as if to say “Come on, come on, there’s stuff to see, sniff and investigate.  Get a move on!  Time is wasting.”  We startle night-wading birds in the culvert backwashes and I stop momentarily to watch their silent forms disappear, dark forms against greater darkness.  We get to the lake and a thousand frogs are discussing pond politics politely but insistently.  Sweet grass is growing somewhere nearby and it marries with salt water, verdant vegetation and cedar as the breeze nudges me along. He is happy; darting, trotting, peeing – just being a dog.

By the time we get back home, the night has washed the day’s grime from me.  I sit on the patio and watch the moonless sky, noticing the different cloud shapes and luminosity as they move across the sky while I listen to music.   I take off my make-up, spritz rose-water, make the coffee, and head for bed. I am still tired, but now it is a different, sweet kind of tired.  An evening I would have missed the beauty of altogether if not for a small, furry thing that waited in anticipation for that which we do together.  And I am thankful.

~SE

 

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  17 comments for “Gift From a Dog

  1. alfredsalmanac
    August 5, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Sounds fantastic. I love little dogs. Your dog sounds like a perfect little whirlwind. Great writing with wonderful imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 5, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      He’s really a grumpy old man in a dog costume 🙂 But in that first five minutes I’m home, he’s young again.

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  2. August 5, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    This is so true! Nice! Greetings from the professor! So how’s it going?

    Like

    • August 5, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Today is looking much better already, thanks 🙂

      Like

  3. August 5, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Hi Sister,
    Unconditional love from a pet does that to us. No matter how many times I want to yell at my dogs or the cat,their little faces make my heart melt.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I think the only time I’ve ever had to yell at mine was when he was dashing off into danger and twice during dog fights. He’s a Jack Russell who thinks he is a Rottweiler :/ He either represents ‘No Fear’ or ‘No Sense’, lol! He’s currently laying with his back legs stretched out, growling at a wasp OUTSIDE. Silly dog.

      Like

  4. August 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    From burden to blessing💛 your fur baby sounds like quite the character…beautiful imagery-I was there with you…

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 5, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Some days go like that 🙂 I hope you didn’t step in a puddle (if you were there with me!) 😀

      Like

  5. August 6, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Fantastically written! I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 7, 2014 at 4:48 AM

    Just loved your post. It warmed my heart and brought back some happy memories, from the fragrance of jasmine to the beloved pooch. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 7, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Scent memories, they seem the strongest at times don’t they? Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. August 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Amazing stuff! Delight to read! Sorry I’m just now getting caught up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 16, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      I wondered if you and the li’l woman had gone on an excursion 🙂 Good to see you writing again, too! Thank you for your thoughtful words.

      Like

      • August 16, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        Ha! If only… It’s just been work piling in top of work. No excursions for me. Not yet anyway. Still waiting for her to get back from a tour overseas. Then we’re finally getting a chance at our honeymoon. Kiawah Island here we come… It’s either that or Florida or bust.

        Like

        • August 16, 2014 at 7:51 PM

          Boo hiss boo WORK! Well, I hope y’all make it to Kiawah Island, but if you come to Florida, you have to at least wave as you pass by. I can hook you up with some quiet, great, non-tourist local beaches if you two head this way 🙂

          Like

          • August 16, 2014 at 8:09 PM

            Haha… Yeah, tell me about it. We’re right here in Augusta, GA. So anything in SC isn’t more than a stone’s throw away. I’m really pushing for Florida, so I might just take you up on that offer. Thanks SE!

            Liked by 1 person

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