Every afternoon, usually between 2:00 and 3:00, JoHn heads into town to pick up a coffee and have a chat with the folks who own the Red Cup, our local café.
When he pushes his chair back from the vampire/dining room table, where his trusty laptop hangs out during the week, the dogs take note.
Oh yes, they get to go too.
Mornings may be for walks… but afternoons are for rides.
As he gathers their leashes, if both aren’t already by his side (or tippy tapping at the door), he calls “C’mon ladies!” (which does the trick).
They head downtown and, in this time of Covid, park in an extra long spot labeled ‘Busses Only” which not only happens to be right outside the café, but is – this year – free of said busses. JoHn can keep an eye on both dogs this way, and they can keep their eyes on him. And by ‘they’, I mean ‘Blaze’ because once John vacates the driver’s seat, Belle takes it and faces foward.
And stares out the windshield at whatever is going on in the forward she is facing.
This is totally true. She is, according to JoHn and Dan&Sylvie (who own Red Cup,), the subject of countless tourist photographs. Belle could be an internationally famous supermodel… er…. superhownd at this point and we’re just waiting for the royalties and stuff.
Eventually, JoHn returns to the car with his caffeinated treasures and heads home.
And then it happens, as it happens anytime he takes a certain adopted hownd from Oklahoma on a ride… and then they arrive home.
The first sign for me, from somewhere inside our old Maine house, is a sound – something between a thwap and a thud (so… a thwud). It’s the slam of the back, nearly-black-but-really-deep-green barn door.
If I’m in certain spaces, I can hear the soft twinkling of her name tag bouncing against the registration tag that shows she is a resident of the same little island I am.
The one sound following the other makes me smile.
To have someone in this world, after having a much loved adventure, want to… need to… come back and make sure you are still there for her, and show you that she will always be there for you… how do you describe that feeling?
The Hownd who has adopted me as much as I’ve adopted her, sprints – in the form of a greyhound (I’m not kidding), along the stone path, past the grasses and boxwood and little hydrangea tree, to the farmers/farmer’s/farmers’ porch outside my back door.
And there she dances, waiting for the man with the thumbs to come and open it for her.
When he does – whether I stay where I am, or playfully hide – she will find me, and joyfully wiggle her body when she does.
Then, if I decide to sit a spell, she will curl up as close to me as she can get…
And I will find myself hoping she knows that I am hers…
Because I am.
Thanks for readin’.
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