I got over my stuck-in-a-honky-tonk-song mood. I was walking to work Monday morning, and there was a girl walking down the sidewalk in front of me, probably about eighteen. She was being mildly hassled and overly complimented by a man twice her age, and she was polite but she looked uncomfortable, and that’s when I noticed she was barefoot. She was wearing a nice Sunday dress and it wasn’t that she didn’t have shoes. She was just carrying them down Martin Street. Nice black wedge heels. I guess they hurt. We’ve all been there. She was also wrapped in an old sweater, on top of the nice dress, because it was unseasonably cold on Monday morning. She turned and saw me behind her and she looked relieved that twice-her-age man hadn’t doubled back to compliment her eagerly some more. “Do you know where the new courthouse is?” she asked me, and I pointed it out to her and told her it was the weird Gotham City looking building a couple of blocks up, and then she looked hugely relieved that she wasn’t as lost or as late as she thought. But she still said she was freezing cold, despite the sweater. She would have been warmer if she’d put her shoes on.
At that point I had a moment of self-awareness, gave thanks that I was not also cold, late, hassled, lost, and heading to court first thing on a Monday morning. Also, not eighteen. Being fully adult is WAY more fun than eighteen. I went to work and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
On to other news. Dawg and I have reached a major milestone this week. Seven days of successful ear drops. I…I can’t even talk about how proud I am.
I still have to bribe him, and I tether him pretty closely to the porch rails. But a couple of months ago I bribed him, and tethered him, AND medicated him, and he still gave me a fat lip and thrashed so hard I was afraid he’d seriously hurt himself. The drama. Oh, the drama.
So every day this week I have given him a kong filled with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and honey (I know.) and he acts a little balky and sighs, and then he sits still for the drops, and then goes after his kong. Dare I say he’s becoming low-maintenance?
I dare not. Twice this week he has also managed to bolt from me, the leash making a faint whoosh as it slips through my hands while I’m trying to lock the door while holding a cup of coffee at dawn. Both times the neighborhood feral cat was involved. The first time Dawg charged through the neighbor’s yard, making a huge ruckus and turning over landscaping bricks and trapping the cat on the porch before I got to him. I put everything back together only to see a neighbor across the street chuckling. I would have felt kind of bad about it, but it happened to that neighbor the next day, when both of his dogs escaped and cornered the same cat on another porch. That’s when Fletch bolted for the second time, taking my cup of coffee with him, and my neighbor and I had to round everyone up and start again. Did I mention it was dawn both times? I may have dreamed all of that, come to think of it.
After that Dawg and I went for a long walk and he found a perfectly-sized stick on the courthouse lawn. He is so, so proud when he finds a stick that you can’t help but participate in all the stick-finding joy. He carries it around with him for blocks, in a full-body wag, turning every three seconds to say, “Do you see my stick? I found a stick. I love this stick, would you like to see?” And it is one of the most fun things we do. You can’t stay mad at someone for chasing feral cats when they’re that excited about the stick they’re carrying.
‘Course, this week Cool Hand Luke also ate a bunch of hard-boiled eggs off of the counter. He’s fast like lightning. He was nowhere close to me, and I peeled the eggs, turned 90 degrees to reach for a dish towel, and turned back and there he was looking nonchalant, with half the eggs gone. He hiccuped.
But then, Fletch does this thing where he curls up into a little ball on the bed, and although he is pretty big now, he looks tiny in that little ball, curled up except for his head upright. He cocks his ears in calm-but-alert mode, and he looks like a little tiny lion keeping watch over the savanna. If there’s lightning, or wind, or a funny noise during the night, I’ll wake up and open one eye and see him guarding me while I sleep.
After that I always sleep soundly.