Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Life of dog

Every house has its routine, and ours is no different. Depending on the day, someone is always up early to write, work, or head to early choir practice. Our kitchen is a beehive of transient activity as lunches are packed, plans for the day are made, and hugs are given before everyone sweeps out the front door and heads off in a blizzard of directions.

Except for me. Most mornings, I wave goodbye at the front door, dog by my feet, as my wife pulls the car out of the driveway. And as she turns the corner and heads out of view, it's just me and a silver-furred schnauzer who stares at me as if he's asking, "Okay Dad, what's next?"

Usually, that means a quick walk before I get back inside and into my office. Words have to be written, and deadlines don't much allow for leisurely walks with the dog.

At least that's what I'd convinced myself. I figured a long walk later on would make up for the fact that I had to rush Frasier through his business every morning. I couldn't explain it to him, obviously, but as long as I justified it to myself, I figured it would be enough for him, as well.

Except this morning it wasn't enough. As I got my woolies on in the front vestibule before we headed out, I watched him standing patiently beside the front door, his nose practically pressed into the side window as he quietly waited for me to be ready. A quick walk suddenly didn't feel right, didn't feel fair to him.

He deserved something more. He deserved more time to explore the neighborhood, deserved more of my undivided attention, with no smartphone-reading or emailing.

So that's what we did. The phone stayed in my pocket as we took the long route. I let him linger over snowbanks, talked to him as he stubbornly refused to cross the street, listened to his voice as he growled at a passing bird, laughed at him as he dug his head deep into the snow and yanked it out with ice embedded in his fur.

By the time we got home, he didn't want to go back inside. Instead of turning toward the door, pulled me further down the street before turning around as if he was inviting me to stay out all morning. He finally bounced his way back to the front door when I promised him a treat. As I put my key into the lock, I unlatched his leash and just petted him for minute. I'm not sure who was smiling more as I cracked the door open and watched his wiggling form bolt into the front hall.

I headed downstairs and checked my watch: our leisurely stroll had cost me barely 15 minutes more than the usual quickie. Time definitely well spent, and there will be more leisurely morning walks in our future.

The irony is I thought he was the only one who deserved the extra time, the extra attention. He is, of course, but he's not the only one. Lucky me indeed.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Maggie is a visiting Golden Retriever. She's very enthusiastic.

Especially when we got to the mud puddle...

Alexia said...

I know that feeling. Sometimes I have to give myself a stern talking-to and head out with the dog for a lengthier walk than I feel I have time for. After all, all of those things I 'should' be doing will be there when we get back. And of course, I enjoy it just as much as he does!

MorahMommy said...

I love the way you write. You create a picture, making me feel like I was right there with you. Xo

Aunt Snow said...

This is a good reminder.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Sweet!, I bet he was thinkin' " wow, he got it!"... btw 15 min. isn't long unless its pouring down or its a blizzard....You saw things from Frasier's perspective- now that's a good thing!.