Source: Secret Dream Life
It is raining hard today. The dogs come in one by one, soaking wet. I dry them each with a towel, and they stand patiently until I stop. Then they give themselves violent shakes and water sprays all over and I find myself wishing I could do that, it might solve all my problems, this shaking shimmy for which there is no human equivalent.
~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir
Side Note: “…Animals can shake themselves almost 70 percent dry in just a second…Imagine if you could come out of the shower and, instead of using a towel, you could just press a button and in one-thirtieth of a second you’re 70 percent dry…Researchers posit that the shaking dry was an evolutionary response. We think this has been evolving over millions of years of time to become so good…A furry wet animal can carry about five percent of its body mass in its fur, while a wet ant can carry three times its body mass in water.” (Source: Globalpost.com)
Charlie wants his friend to wake up and play!
I let Zeke out.
I step onto the porch. Shiver. 23° F. Dark and Cold.
There’s less than a inch, but it’s there, Snow smothering Spring.
Zeke comes trotting back in, he’s wiggling, with a full body twist and turn. How come I’m not that happy after solving my internal blockages?
My running watch, fully charged, rests on the counter, waiting to connect to the satellites circling overhead. My running shoes and running gear, set out last night, are poised and ready for the firing of the starter’s pistol. My water bottle, filled and ice cold, waits silently in the refrigerator. The team is ready.
Last night’s intention — was to run early and long this morning.
I look at the gear again. Go. Now. Go. Take that first step. Do it.
Mind shifts to breakfast. Hash browns, bacon and scrambled eggs. Potatoes from Idaho, brown and crispy on top, with a stream of Heinz. The intoxicating smell of Bacon. Eggs from free range chickens, yellow and cheesy on top. Toast (home made thick crusted white bread), glistening from butter produced on a farm in Wisconsin — one piece laced with golden honey from a bee hive in Maine, and the second with dark, sweet grape jelly from some vineyard in California. All washed down with sweet Orange Juice from Brazil. [Read more…]
Monday AM: It’s Zeke’s annual check-up. He remembers the six-inch needle from his last appointment. He’s not welcoming John, the GVW (“the Greatest Vet in the World”). Zeke weighs in. He’s up another 5 pounds, peaking at his all-time high. GVW’s scorecard on Zeke sets off vicious attacks: Family v. Dad. It’s you! He only sits next to you at Dinner! You are feeding him table scraps! Do you realize you are shortening his life!” Dad Growls in response.
Wednesday AM: GVW sends an email. He’s never sent an email to me before, but he needs to send this one. Zeke’s stool sample shows no evidence of worms. Vet Code Translation: He’s fat, but at least he’s clean. All is not lost.
Thursday PM: It’s bedtime. Zeke’s laying next to me. He looks up and stares. What’s up Zeke? He tells me he’s depressed. GVWs lack of bedside manner cut deep. GVW and the Family fail to grasp nature’s natural cycle like Mary Oliver and I do: summer falling to fall, to be following by what will follow: winter again: count on it. Same with weight. Down in summer. Up in the Winter. Down in summer. Count on it. It’s a bloody cycle. No need to overreact.
Thunder that is still too far away for us to hear presses down on Ben’s ears and he wakes us and leans hot and chesty first against M., then against me, and listens to our slow, warm words that mean we love him. But when the storm has passed, he is brave again and wants to go out. We open the door and he glides away without a backward glance. It is early, in the blue and grainy air we can just see him running along the edge of the water, into the first pink suggestion of sunrise. And we are caught by the old affinity, a joyfulness — his great and seemly pleasure in the physical world. Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?
~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
Photograph: Gary Choronzy at Pooch Doogie Photography