moonlight and orion

it is early morning, the air is crisp and cold and the wind is blowing.  she wakes me with chewing on my pillow, I pad out in my hard soled slippers and fleece jacket over my pjs.  not to be scatological but this first trip of the day, is the one where she likes to do her business, i walk up the hill to the first tier to encourage her, if i stand by the door she doesn’t always take the time she needs to.  i look up in the sky and the moon is just peeking through a crack in the overcast sky and it shines light on clouds in the shape of a heart, silver against the purple-black of the sky.

i go to work, but am immediately regretting it.  my hands ache, my fingers ache, my shoulders and back ache and i am nauseous from anti inflammatory.  I try to work with paper and my fingers cannot grasp it to tear it.  I huddle inside of myself, waiting for the day to end before it even started.  i look at my schedule and realize that a day off today will not be so bad.  i go home sick and spend the rest of the day in bed, though the sun is shining and perfect for a crisp autumn walk.  washing the dishes feels good on my stiff fingers.  half gloves after hold in the heat.  ah.  this is fun.

i walk the dogs after they eat their dinner.  i put on more glove than i usually would for this time of year.  even if you are sick, and i am not so much sick as sore all over, a puppy needs to be walked.

I have come to love, over many many years of it, this quiet walking.  and now she has come to walk quite pleasantly beside me.  halfway through she stops me nipping at the back of my knee until i bend down to hug her and pet her, he joins her and we are just three dogs loving each other.  i make them walk farther than either of them want to.  puppy energy i say, and achy old bones.  we can do it, sancho is not so sure.  he knows the pirate is making food. inside.

and outside.  there is Orion in the autumn sky, and in my heart.  these night walks are a part of me.  they make me whole, even when parts of me are missing.

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Bad dreams.

He has returned to me, and then after a week goes back to her, she was on vacation?  I scream, you didn’t have any place else to go?  He cowers on the floor, you are immoral, I scream, immoral.  He wears a mask, and I put my hands on the sides of his mouth and like a puppet make him say I am shit, say it, I tell him, I am shit.  I punch repeatedly at his groin and miss.

And I am sobbing.

She is nuzzling my face, her paw on my back.

I cry into her warm velvet soft body.  She just cuddles up and licks me.

Its cold, and I am barefoot and in my pajamas.  She is going to the bathroom, and I am shivering in the doorway, he is standing beside me.  Come on, I call and go into the sun porch.  He looks at me askance.  He waits outside until she has leaped into the house and patiently follows her in.  I praise him profusely.  He has accepted her as part of the pack.  Whenever we walk, he always waits for the stragglers, be it the pirate or another dog.  He talks to me in that dog way, telling me he is okay with her.  I still don’t trust him, he still wears his gentle leader, a kind of halter that is meant for walking a bossy dog, whenever she is out of her crate, he can still pant and chew and drink with it, but biting is harder, and he knows it is a control.  Last night he even played with her, while wearing it.

She is sharing my pillow and I am drifting off to sleep, she puts her head on mine, her warm chin against the side of my neck.  She begins to twitch, and then growl and then bark in her sleep.  I whisper into her ear, its okay honey, Mama is here, and her movements calm.

I fall asleep.

I do not dream.

Black Lab Puppy Nose

Black Lab Puppy Nose

By Meg Posted in Dogs.

Consolation

These walks have become a sanctuary.  Is this life not so amazingly, incredibly difficult?  He pesters me for days about a photograph from her, that in a flash of insight I realize could have been replicated right here at home.  This is the definition of insanity is it not?  This.  And how another person’s crazy can spill over onto you, like the movie Bug.

He walks close at my knee, while she walks ahead, or more, runs, jumps, leaps and twirls ahead.  I let her, we two are old, and prefer the solitude and serenity of this.  One lap becomes two becomes three.  He rubs his cheek against my leg, she bites at me.  But without this she would be impossible.

I am impossible.

I mean it.  I am unsoothable.  Beyond help.

I fall asleep with a book on my chest and wake to her velvet nose on my neck.  Nuzzling me.

Maybe not completely inconsolable.