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.