Monday, July 28, 2014

Calm After the Storm

There was a tornado warning as I was leaving work today. We were told to seek shelter in the restrooms but of course, none of us did. My friend Sean and I stayed in my office and continued our conversation about Batman while many others milled around in the hallway watching the rain and clouds outside. While we were never in any real danger, a Facebook friend did snap a rather dramatic shot of a funnel cloud over Havana and Colfax, not too far from my office. The most difficult part of the entire experience, though, was the traffic on my drive home, which left me flustered and annoyed and eager to take Duncan for a walk.

For some reason we have been playing a game for the last month or so. Duncan has long since learned the sound of our cars beeping when we lock the cars with our remotes and is typically waiting at the door with Pip and Olive, who immediately begin yowling for dinner while Roo dances and chirps around me, his tail wagging while he grabs my wrist with his soft mouth and pulls me inside. But lately I've been waiting to activate the alarm until after I've slipped the key into the door and turned the knob. Occasionally he's there, full of smiles and wags, but sometimes, if I'm very quiet I can make it down the hallway before he's alerted to my presence. If he's waiting he gets a treat, but if if I'm able to make it into the kitchen without him crawling out from under Ken's bed he gets plenty of loves but has to wait for a goodie. 

Today, though, after a long drive through the rain and thunder among some of the worst drivers I've ever encountered, I wanted only to see him and kneel down on the floor and let him love me while I loved him back. The moment I opened the door he was there, ready for me, singing my name in that Golden way of his, dancing around me, and eager to play. I dropped my bag in the door and laid down. He chirped louder and plopped down next to me to lick my face while I wrapped my arms around him and laughed into his chest, the difficulties of the weather at work and the drivers on the way home melting away.

Some people drink wine or open a can of beer. I have a dog, and that's all the calm I need.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Morning Not Lost

The alarm did not go off this morning, but the woman walking her screaming baby back and forth in front of my aprtment at 6:30 did. Apparently she thought it a good idea to get the child some air, forgetting those of us still cuddled up in our beds. I was fortunate enough to have Duncan next to me, snoring soundly, his chin perched atop my calf. Pip was curled up between my chin and chest, but once the screaming infant roused him from sleep, he mewed and jumped away to seek shelter and silence under the chair in the living room. While I was tempted to shuffle to the window and remind her that hundreds of people around her didn't want to listen to her child, Duncan kept me where I was a bit longer, a comforting paw curling around my foot and a gentle thump of his tail more than enough to convince me.

Eventually though, as she futally wandered back and forth in front of the building, Dunc and I got up, had a drink of water and decided a morning walk would be better than a stranger's cantankerous child. We ventured down our forty steps, across the street and into the prairie dog village which we both love so much. As the baby's cries faded under the quiet song of the birds in the willows and the cranes paddling around the pond amid the choir of frogs, I knew that Out was a much wiser decision than In.

And when we suffered a doggy bag malfunction, a 'breach" I think one of my blogger friends calls it, and I found myself wiping my hand down in the wet grass and then holding it out before me while we continued our walk, the day was not lost. After the grocery shopping was done and the laundry was folded, Duncan stayed with me, never far from my side, occasionally licking my calf or cuddling up next to me while I read or napped on the bed. His soft head and gentle breathing are enough to rectify all the screaming infants and breached bags in the world, and I would gladly suffer them with and for him.

That's friendship. That's brotherhood.