It's 85 degrees outside and it's 10 PM. Orion and I sit in the living room--decidely the coolest room in the house. We don't have air conditioning so a tiny desk fan rotates at my feet on top of the coffee table and a window fan blows in the presumably soon to be cool air from the outside. I'm drinking a Strongbow cider in hopes that by the time I am done, and one Benadryl in my system I might knock the persistent cough out of my system and sleep. At my feet a poofy blanket is crumpled from last nights sleepover. Orion and I decided the back of the house was off limits in the heat wave, unfortunately for me that includes my nice mattresses and sprawl out bed. Luckily, my parents taught me to sleep anywhere after evenings of growing pains, a tylenol and Dad's bathrobe as a blanket beside their bed. Sure, I have the futon, but to unfold the futon requires assistance for when I want it back up, so I leave the futon to Orion and make peace with the floor.
Orion happily chews his chew bone.
"Orion, do you know why I like you," I say, leaning sideways on him, my bare legs resting on his crate.
"I like you because you're my buddy. You are always with me. I like your cute face. I like kissing your wiskers. I like that I got to pick you out and that you and I are going to be in this life together. I like that I am a better person because you're around and you make me get up and go on hikes with you."
He moves to make a jab for my ear.
The Strongbow precariously balanced on the futon armrest spills on my tank top. "Oh no! Save the Strongbow!" I have never been one to be able to consume much alcohol.
"I like that I enjoy doing things to make you happy. I like that you make me focus on something other than myself. I like that you make me laugh. And listen to me. I like that you're just always here. Did you know that?"
"I have fun going on adventures with you. I like that you wake me up with sandpaper kisses. I like how excited you get to see other dogs. I like that you check back on me when we're walking just so you know I know you and I are pals. I like that you make me appreciate what it must be like to have a child. I like that I get to know you as you grow up."
I start to cough.
"Huh. This isn't working." He pauses.
"You think I should get another?"