Thursday, September 6, 2007

Secret Dog

Duncan is always anxious for our walks. When we lived at The Breakers he'd sit in the window and wait for me to come up the walk, but now that our living room faces away from the parking lot he can't do that anymore, which buys me a few minutes to kick off my shoes, loosen my tie and put down the lunch box before he finds me. And once he does it's pandemonium. He jumps and chirps–a kind of whiny song–and clutches my wrist and leads me around the apartment as if to show me the places of his day: "This is where I napped. Oh, and I slept here for awhile! And check this out; I crawled under here and napped some more. Did I show you where I napped?" It's our ritual and as frustrating as it can be after a long day, or in bad weather, it's something I look forward to. Immensely.

I have been extremely anxious about the fact that we have not told the leasing office we have a dog (not to mention the three cats). I live in constant fear of discovery because it means an immense deposit, which we can not afford right now, and increased rent. Duncan is oblivious to such trifles. He merely wants to walk and doesn't care who sees him do it. In fact, the more the merrier. He'll announce his presence to anyone. I prefer to slink out the back way, incognito behind my glasses and cap, hedging along the fence hoping to escape notice. Duncan prefers to gallop and trot and hold his head as high as he can as if to catch every ounce of sunshine and attention available. He's very handsome--at least that's what most people we meet on our walks say to me–perhaps it's the same thing we say to parents we know, not wanting to admit we have seen a more beautiful baby–and I think he wants to share his beauty with the world. Why, after all should it be contained? Money means nothing to him.

I admire his courage. Or his ignorance. I can't tell which. When I watch Duncan plod along ahead of me, it's easy to see how valuable both can be.

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