It's seven am. Orion's whining in my face. I'm debating acknowledging it or hoping he'll sleep longer.
He whines more.
"Okay come up here."
I toss the blanket over my head and wiggle around. He pounces trying to eat my arms that are now nicely padded under the blanket. I whip my arms out and grab him in a hug. Kiss his whiskers. Rub his head, roll him to rub his tummy.
This is our usual routine. I liken it to the sleep button. A stall tactic to actually getting up. I roll myself, and bump into something hard.
"A trash can Orion?" It's true. There is a small bathroom barrel trash can beside me.
"Bored last night?" He dives for my un-protected hand. I roll out of bed.
I look at him.
"French park or Oliver?" He wiggles his tail at his friend's name.
"Good choice, I could use some Dunkin's." Oliver, the nine month old brown labrador resided north of us and was always at the dog park and up for a good run, mouth wrestle or tumble at the early hours. We met Oliver, and Jack--the older stray dog that was adopted by the Booths, in the spring as we were the three idiots standing in the mud puddles and rain letting the dogs tare around the dog park. It just so happens there's a Dunkin Dounuts right off the exit if we opt to go to that park. Not that I notice.
Orion does his business outside, I tackle the shower, hollering out at Orion as I hear chaos in the kitchen, and then we're loaded up cruising along the highway north.
"You know, for waking me up at 7 you have a pretty nice life." I say, noticing his head plunked down on my middle console, his eyes closed. "Humph. Wish I could have someone drive me around so I could sleep."
I pat his head.
"You're cute when you're sleepy."
We pull up to the Dunkin's drive thru. I turn to Orion who is now fully alert, sitting up in the passenger side. "What are you having today?"
"Welcome to Dunkin Dounuts, how may we help you?" The speaker rattles off.
"Hi, I'd like a small coffee cream and sugar and the plainest munchkin you think a 8 month old labrador retriever might like. "
"Well I don't know what an 8 month old labrador would like, but we have the plain glazed donuts?"
We pull around and Orion happily gobbles up his munchkin. I nuzzle my warm coffee. "Thanks!" And we're off.
It's 8 now. Late enough to call the Booth's and have them meet us.
"Bob Oliver Dog." I mutter as I scroll through my contacts, past Abby Dog Park, Monica Apple, Katie dog Park. I have a very accurate contact list. "Bob?"
Bob is one of those men who likes to act like a crotchitie old guy even though he's pretty entertaining and is very nice to his dogs. "Bob, this is Molly."
I hear the phone fumble. I stare at my phone. I hear him saying, "I can't hear anything, here, you talk." The phone is passed to Rosemary.
"We're headed over to the dog park. You wanna meet us there?"
"Oh sure, when are you going?"
"Oh sure, we'll be there."
I hang up the phone chuckling. They aren't that old, but you'd think I was talking to my grandparents. "Jack I can't hear, I need the battery turned up!"
We make it to the park and Orion sprints around hopeful to find a dog hidden in the trees. Then he tears around just because he can and we see the Booth's car pull up.
"Who's that Orion?"
His ears perk up. The gate opens, a brown dog comes flying through the gate. Orion bolts after him.
"Go get him Oliver! Squish Orion like a bug!" Rosemary loops in, empty leashes dangling from her shoulder. Bob, lumbers in, water bowl and jug in hand, Jack tagging along with him.
"Here. I brought you something so you won't starve." Bob passes me a folded paper. I unfold it, my face lighting up. "AWESOME! Dunkin's coupons!"
The dogs come crashing into my knees.
"Up, guess you're home base today," Rosemary exclaims, and we all shift to have our backs against the fence. The dogs are tearing around the park. Two hours later, huffing and puffing they return to us, wedging themselves under the bench, the one place the now mid morning sun can't reach. Dirt flies up underneath their bellies.
"What a picture!"
"Orion just wants to look like Oliver."
It's true; his butt was half covered in dirt. A snicker doodle.
"Well that's what best friends do."