Friday, February 8, 2008

The Longest Day

I am burnt out. Today was the longest of the semester. From the moment I arrived at work this morning, turned on my dying computer and took my seat I knew I should just close up and go home. My patience with the customers is wearing extremely low and the only person I could stand speaking with was Amber, who understood but frowns at anyone who isn't at work when they should be. I've seen her work through strep throat and tonsilitus, which I think is just plain stupid, and would probably come in even if she was bleeding from the eyes. Although she isn't my supervisor and says she doesn't judge me when I stay home, I worry about what she thinks when I'm not there. She listened as I ranted, as she always does, and gave me that sweet North Dakotan smile of hers, the one that says, "I'm sorry, but really, it's time to buck up and deal with it."

I tried all day to remember my Duncan mantra, Hunt. Dive. Tree. but couldn't help watching the clock. When 4:30 finally arrived I shut down, grabbed my things and was out the door before the second hand had reached the five second mark. By the time I got home I knew there was no way I could walk Duncan without resting first, taking some time to be by myself, breathing deeply and putting my needs ahead of anyone else's. As I put the key in the lock I listened for his familiar chirp and the sound of his paws dancing on the tile in the entryway while he waits for me. I knew the minute the door opened he'd jump up, grab my wrist and drag me around the apartment until I put on my boots and leashed him up for the thing he'd waited patiently for all day. I took a deep breath, opened the door and found him sitting quietly, his head cocked, his eyebrows creased. I sighed, rubbed behind his ears and was shocked when he grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the bedroom. As I kicked off my shoes and laid back, he jumped up on the bed, licked my hand and curled up beside me. Without a word and no explanation I fell asleep. And that was fine by Duncan because somehow he knew that today this was more important than our walk. Having nothing better to do, he gave me a quick head bath then spooned up against me and we slept for two hours.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Duncan chirps??????? My Ripley chirped. It was when he was ultra-excited, usually to see me. I called it his "chirpy-bird" sound, and I never heard another dog do that. Your connection with Duncan is profound, as evidenced by his understanding your need for rest. And the breathing thing, when you were overwhelmed with anxiety... that is an incredible thing... I've read about it, Ripley could do that.