Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Orion loves to snag this off the table, Kennel Cough and all, and run around the house...

Monday, December 12, 2011

On Point

I come home from work and I'm buzzing. Adrenalyn buzzing. Appointments were behind, phone was ringing off the hook etc. etc. Pulling in a hour later than I should have, I half expected to hear Orion's high pitched barking from the outside of the apartment. "Boy does he know your car," my neighbor once said, as I lept out and commented that Orion never barks. "He hasn't been barking at all till you pulled up." I paused. "Could be cause you can hear my breaks squeak all the way in Texas." The old woman chuckled and went back to rocking in her chair. Tonight though it's quiet. I loop through the door, feel my way through the dark to the switch above his crate.
"How is my boy?" I ask as I watch him lazily move from his curled position in the back of his crate. As he emerges I just can't help but smile at his little Santa kerchief my mom sent in the mail propped sideways on his body.
"Do I get my wookie hello?" He stretches and starts his usual wookie greeting before moseying over to the door to be let out.
Outside it's quiet, the kind of quiet that makes me think I am the sole person awake on the planet. The moon has a hazy cloud dulling it's brightness, the stars blink around me.
"You wanna go for a walk?" I glance to Zachary's window as he is often my night walking buddy. The window is dark. It is past ten after all.
Orion and I head out down the sidewalk. A couple is talking in a dark car. I think of my mother and how she would not be thrilled to know I'm walking alone at night. I think of the fact I'm in karate and if I could take two people at once. I think of how cool I look in my blue vest that I stole from home. How very New England. And how I use to be told I couldn't wear it because I looked gay. We cross the street. Orion stirs up a bunny rabbit and I nearly jump out of my skin as my arm is ripped sideways and I see a little white tail bounding across the fenced yard. Orion the constellation shines brightly above my head.
"I named you for Orion to ground me," I say. I pause reflecting. "It was the only constellation I could always find. and I think it was a good choice as you do a nice job grounding me."
I see the houses lit up for Christmas, trees aglow in the windows, lights and blown up Santa's in the front yard.
"Someday Orion, I'll get us a house."
Orion is completely on point, trotting, nose and ears erect. Labrador instinct fully activated.
"I tell you what. I will make it my goal to have a house by thirty-two. I'm almost twenty-eighty now, so that gives me four years to save."
I think about this.
"Huh. I may be getting too old to have babies."
"I think I would like to have a baby some day." I picture this.
"But it may not be in the cards for me and if that's the case that's okay too. I mean, I'm not even close to married. But then Carolyn just got married, she's older than me, and she still can have babies." I rattle on. "Yeah. That makes me feel better."
We keep walking. A car is parked across the street with the lights on. I think of spy shows and stakeouts. I think of boyfriends and girlfriends getting in fights. Of drug deals. I see my breath in the night air. We cross to the apartments.
"Well that was just perfect don't you think?"
Orion bounds up the stairs.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cross Country Training WHAT?

"Our goal is to have it so you don't eat the kids at the dog park, or my ankles."
I look at Orion who's sitting looking up at me in the middle of the tennis courts.
"You know you should review your goals before starting so you have a clear picture of your objective." I pull out a milk bone, my fingers popping out of the finger/mitten combo I have on. It's 8 AM. We're the only living creatures alive and outside on this 23 degree morning. I shrug out of my winter coat, leaving it in the middle.
Orion's tail flicks rapidly. His eye is on his prize alright. I snap it in half. "Okay, let's go running." I start shuffling a slow shuffle. He trots beside me, eye stuck on the milk bone. We make the width of the court.
"GOOD BOY!" I say enthusiastically and give him the half of a bone. "Okay let's try again." I start shuffling, then somewhat jogging. He dives for my pant leg.
I stop. I stare. There is no warm karma aimed in his direction, no milk bone at my fingertips. "Would you like to try again and this time try harder not to be tempted?"
He barks impatiently.
We make it half way around the court.
"Woohoo! NICE JOB ORION!" I give him a bone.
"Sit. Ready?" Repeat.
On and on we go, sometimes pausing to breath, shed a layer, remind myself this is crucial training, get my leg nearly chewed off, arm too.
Suddenly Orion veers on and plops down in the leaves.
"I take it you're tired?"
No acknowledgement.
"Okay. Me too." I drift off to my bench. Orion resumes rummaging through the leaves that back up against the fence. God only knows what he finds to eat in them but he's content. I rest. Look at my clock. Has it really only been twenty minutes?
"Alright, let's keep going going on our walk buddy."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tennis courts

"Okay Orion, the plan is this," I say after being woken up to scratching on my face. Orion mistook my face for the path to China, but all was forgiven once the consciousness surfaced and I realized our nap had turned into 2 hours. "We're going to go down to the tennis courts. I'm going to bundle up cause it's freaking cold. You're going to run around and do dog stuff. I'll pack your tennis ball, but I'm going to knit. I have to get this scarf done by the 17th. Questions?" Orion blinks up at me. I roll over, tossing the feet to the ground, search my room for adequate clothing. Currently my house looks like a wind storm came in and threw my clothes like debris in a tornado. That and bits of paper shreds littered about make for a house for which Martha Stewart would be proud. I find enough layers to suit my New England intelligence at dressing warmly and out the door we go into the three day consistent drizzle.
Down at the tennis courts, I fasten the doors closed and he's off, chasing the tennis ball. I meander to the bench, pull my coat so that it covers my butt from the wet seat, and settle in for some quality knitting. Knitting with gloves on seems a touch more than my skill set I soon discover, and so I hop up, track down the abandoned tennis ball and give it a toss. Yellow lab goes flying after it, goofy as hell with his ears flopping up and down. My phone rings and I answer, tucking it into my wool hat. Ah, it is my best friend. I'm happily chatting, kicking the tennis ball, watching Orion intermittently chase, then ignore the ball to quest for food particles that magically might show up in the leaves against the fence.
"You're kidding, you got in a bike accident? Are you okay?" I'm noting the humor of having moons and stars poke out from my fancy thrift store jeans. Gotta love the adapted thermals, aka, pi's. I look up in time to see Orion flopping towards me.
The bright green knitting needle is cockeyed in his mouth. He freezes, crouches down. He thinks this is a game.
"ORION LEAVE IT." I sternly say, excusing myself from my friend on the line.
He shakes his head. The ball of yarn spills out of the bag.
"O-R-Y-O-N!" I stretch each syllable as I march closer.
He bolts. My ball of yarn rolls into the puddles. I watch the line of yarn grow longer and longer. Orion loops back and suddenly he has the yarn wrapped around his ankles. I make a grab for him.
"Oh no, no, no."
This scarf has been through the ringer. Orion already jumped on the table to get the bag so that he could eat the graham crackers I had also left in the bag with the scarf so that I had to pick crumbs out of the scarf for weeks.
"STAY STILL," I demand.
I untangle his legs. Dislodge the knitting from his mouth. Wind up the soggy wet yarn.
"When are you going to cease driving me bat-shit crazy?" I ask.
He saunters off.

Powered Mix

It's 11 o'clock at night. I've just eaten a frozen, small, pizza as a substitute for cooking at this hour as I had the late shift at work. I happened to have opted to eat this meal in bed, lemonade from a mix in my lap, computer too and yellow lab staring me full in the face just hoping I might spare a bit for him. Nevermind that this labrador has had training time (insert handful of kibble) and bribery time (insert me filling peanut butter into a devoured old Starbucks reusable cup, while I shower so he stays in the bathroom and doesn't go all destructo on me). I eat my pizza. I'm happily checking out The Bloggess. Orion has since left the room and I wait for the usual clatter of dishes to tell me he's scouting out the countertops. There's the interaction with the cookie sheet (for which I cooked the pizza), there's the clang of the cup full of silverware I have to wash--let's be honest, who DOESN'T save the silverware for last. I hate washing them. And then in walks my dog, calmly toting the empty lemonade powder mix. I look up. I acknowledge what he has and just laugh. I mean really, what more can you do?

And so the final is..

Boy is all snuggled up next to me, don't know what hit him as all week he's been full of piss and vinegar as I furiously ignore him to crank out Christmas presents. He did, however, get to be a part of this years Christmas card: