It’s a crisp Fall morning here in Virginia. I know this because my knees are telling me, and so is Sammy’s hyper-drive. This morning had me dragging out of bed after everyone else was already up, which is not typical, but I had a hectic day yesterday and it took me a while longer to wind down and get sleepy last night.
I was settling in to write a letter to my son Ben, who is over the half-way point in Basic Training, when my stomach growled and Sammy leapt-to in search of the interloper that had wandered into his domain unawares. This gave me a good chuckle, but what is funnier is the fact that my husband is not currently driving the Rickety Ranger to work these days, and it has utterly thrown Sammy off his routine. My husband’s work is about 4 miles from our house and I can just about swear that previously he knew the exact moment the truck started, when my husband was coming home either at lunch or days end. What else can explain the fact that he goes to the door about five minutes before the truck pulls up, even though the time hubby gets home varies ten or fifteen minutes or more some days? But this week Isaac has been driving himself to school and Garrett’s been driving the CRV. So having not paid attention to the sound of the truck leaving earlier, or, at least, not putting two and two together that he heard the truck leave thirty minutes ago, now when my husband walks out the door, Sammy stands at the door sniffing, snuffling, scratching, and whining, wondering what his person is doing out there, and wanting to either join him, or at least climb up onto the porch table to see what he is up to.
“He’s not out there, Sammy. He already left for work. He’s not coming back until this after noon.” All he heard was “he” and there was no containing him. So I opened the door to let him onto the porch, thinking, maybe he will smell the trail going cold by the door, and figure it out. No……….no, not going to happen, to him, all this means is “we’re getting closer!!!”
“Well, ok. I haven’t finished my coffee yet, but it’s fall, and you are frisky and I could use a walk, so give me a minute”. (Oh, he’s pulling at the leash now….”come on, I smell him, hurry….HURRRRRYYYYYYYY!!!”
We make it to the end of the curving sidewalk from our front door to the fence!
Apparently there is some crucial clue in the tuft of grass growing in that crack between the sidewalk and step.
“Ok, Sammy, are we going or aren’t we?”
A little tug and he’s ready to explore. So we finally embark on our
walk stop-and-tinkle, and we’re rounding the first turn, when suddenly a scent is in the air. I’m assuming this because Sammy is stock-still in the middle of the intersection of two streets and finds it necessary to stick his nose high and track whatever-it-is (so that he can determine his next move, no doubt).
“Get a grip, Sambo,this isn’t Baskerville and you are not a hound. Or a ghost for that matter. If a car comes, you will die. It’s a walk. This assumes a certain forward progress, the accomplishment of which requires you going the way I’m going because you are on a leash and I am on a rare generous good-will indulgence for your sake, so don’t push it, Bub”
(Ok. Now we’re moving. Boy he’s just full of bold adventurousness! “Ah, so many smells, so little time“!)
Until we reach that block! (cue the ominous music; duh duh DUH!) It’s that ferocious mama-dog. The one that is chained up twenty feet from the road. Suddenly Sammy-the-fearless is quivering and trying to squinch himself up small enough to hide behind my ankles. Which though hardly delicate, still are nowhere near sufficient to hide a thirteen pound dog!
“Oh sheesh, dog! Really?”
(Mais, oui, Mamon. Le Samuel, he is ze loveur, not ze fighteur!)
“Five seconds ago I could have sworn I heard you humming an M.C. Hammer song (“Can’t Touch Dis”), but whatever, ‘dawg’! Look, if I get you past Cerberus, there, do you think we could wind this up?I’ve got laundry to do, and important news to read and blog about.”
We make it to the corner where Sammy sniffs a wide circle around the pile of spilled pop-corn he can obviously smell but not see right under his nose, wait, oh yeah, “there it is, got you a little snack there did ya Sam? Maybe it will tide you over and help you make it that grueling last thirty feet back to our front door!”
With only seven more “pit stops” I manage to lure him the final few feet into the house with enticement of “outside, boy?” (To him that means the back yard. I know. Dog logic, right?)
He makes a circuit around his domain, and assured that the perimeter is, for now secure, he ambles to his day- post under the coffee table, utters a deep, contented sigh, and settles in for a hard-earned nap.
A dog’s job! Somebody’s gotta do it. I guess it might as well be Sammy!