Saturday, August 7, 2010

Watching

This is what I can tell you about Duncan:

--he is left-legged, meaning that when he pees he always lifts his left leg
--when I come home he will wait for me to set my bag on the couch and take my lunch box into the kitchen before he gently takes my right hand in his mouth and guides me down the hallway, his back end gyrating like the needle of a compass
--when you turn him on his back to rub his belly, his mouth will fall open and his ears will slip back making him look like a rabid bunny and he snorts and sneezes uncontrollably until you right him again
--he will howl, his mouth a perfect oval whenever he hears an ambulance, but he ignores a police or firetruck siren
--when I set his food dish down he will sit at my feet and wait for me to say a blessing to his health and long life and then kiss him on the head, but if I skip the kiss he will wait to eat until I remember
--he brings his toys to bed, lining them up next to me before settling down and curling up at my feet
--when asked who he loves he will say. "I love you" and jump up and down in celebration
--there is nothing as wondrous to him as new-fallen snow, which speaks to him and asks only that he bury his head in it and run in circles, kicking it up so that it may take flight, if only briefly, once more before resting forever
--he cheats when we race up the steps to our apartment, always leaping forward on the count of two rather than waiting until I reach three
--he can tell you when it's 8 o'clock because that's when it's breakfast and dinner time
--he will bow to you first thing in the morning and then stretch and yawn and wink once as a welcome to your day
--he will sidle up beside me when I'm sad, lick my cheek and lean his head on my shoulder, sighing as though to tell me he understands and is here for me
--his craving for pumpkin cookies will make him do anything you ask
--the vacuum, which frightens him, makes him stand between it and the cats, as though shielding them
--he knows the names of each of his toys and will fetch them if asked

Sometimes when I lay on the couch and read or watch a movie, or wake up in the middle of the night, I will catch him just sitting and watching me, his head cocked to one side, and I wonder what he could tell you about me, the little things even I do not notice. Perhaps he would say nothing, content with his knowledge, silent with the magnitude of our friendship.

2 comments:

Marty said...

Curt, I never got around to buying that grooming brush you recommended and now I can't find the name of the brush. You got it from Hero's I think. What's the name of it again. Basically, it's a deshedding tool for dogs like Dakota who have that thick undercoat.

Marty

Lori said...

I have similar small but meaningful memories of each and every one of our dogs... Like old Seko, who would start back the hall and "stalk" toward us in the living room. He looked so predatory, head down, taking careful, stealthy steps. Then when he got about ten feet away, he'd raise his head, start wagging his tail, and bounce over for hugs. "JUST KIDDING, DAD!" :-)

When Ozark scratches the back of a front leg with his hind foot, he sticks out his tongue.