Sunday, May 28, 2006

One of these days, I’ll let the dog sleep in the bed.

One of these days, I’ll let the dog sleep in the bed.
Why not?
He’s attentive, caring, devoted.
He follows me around with unabashed admiration and curiosity:
“Where are we going now?
What are you eating? Why are we walking to the laundry room?”

I feed him the same thing, every day.
Yet he is so grateful when I put his food in front of him.
No complaints, just a wagging tail and a busy mouth.

When I’m bored, he lets me play with his paws.
I tickle the little bits of fur sticking out between his foot pads
and even though it torments him, he always brings the paw back.
I toss a stuffed toy for him, and he runs and gets it every time.
“Good boy!” I croon, and he listens, even if he’s heard it all before.

When I’m sad
He lets me cling to him for long minutes at a time,
never shifting or restless
or thinking about what else he could be doing at that moment.
He lets me stop hugging first.
Sometimes he even licks my chin.

When I go out the door in the morning, he rushes towards me
in the hope that he can be my companion for whatever the day might bring.
“Can I come, too? I’ll miss you while you’re gone.”
“No,” I have to tell him. “Stay.”
Sometimes I wish I could open the door wide and take him along.
When I come home, he’s waiting in the same spot for me,
so excited to see me he’s dropped everything just to say “hello.”

At night, when I climb into the bed,
He’ll come and nose my hand before he wanders off to his box
He in his place
me in mine.

One of these days, I’ll let the dog sleep in the bed--
A soft snorting companion to my dreams.


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