It is day two of a fifteen hour car ride. Already Orion woke me up at 5 am in the hotel room to get going again. Already I looked up a dog park in southeast Cleveland and stood in the rain kicking a ball for a half hour so my dog got a break.
"Mom?" I say, sitting inside a gas station Starbucks looking out at my yellow dogs head as it pops up and down in the front of my car seat.
"Hi Molly, how is it going?"
"Mom, what did you do when you were ready to kill us on car rides?" I imagine what he might be shredding in the front seat, but my where with all has worn thin.
"Oh. You're ready to kill your dog?"
"Mom he's poked holes in my passenger seat, while seat belted in; ate the spray that I spray him with when he barks, even though I put it in the front seat and he was seat belted in the back, and he hasn't stopped barking for an hour."
"Well. I use to pretend to put up a sound proof shield."
"Yeah. I've been trying that. But I really feel angry towards him."
"What about getting him a bone?"
"Well I just told the gas station attendant he probably saved my dog's life by having bones on sale."
"Good. Where are you now?"
"At the gas station taking a break from him."
"I thought it might be a bit too much for him that long of a ride."
"He was fine with Dad and I, but I think he just doesn't have anyone to entertain him. And I know he's just being a puppy, but I genuinely want to explode my anger on him and I don't like feeling this way. That, or leave him in a big field with cows for a few days and then pick him up."
"Well hon, try the bone, and then maybe take a few stops to run around with him."
We hang up.
I sip my coffee. Continue staring at Orion in the car. He knows I'm watching him but fortunately has stopped barking. People start eye balling me funny anyways. "Oh he thinks I'm putting him up for adoption," I say as I fill gas and he barks as if he's being electrocuted. "Slight separation anxiety." If I let him out he's happy trotting along beside the car while the gas fills.
I'm still watching. His head dips below the steering wheel.
You can do this Molly. I prompt myself. I swallow the last of the coffee, sigh, toss it in the trash and grab the bone from the table, head out to the car.