Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Missing my boy

It's been a week and a half since I left my best friend dog. I have a week and a half left to go. I told him when I left that if I could take him with me I would but unfortunately work did not support this and I didn't think I wanted to have him in an airplane as much as I could help it.
"Now, I have done the very best that I can to get you people to spend time with you, let you out, go for walks. I have Laura and Katie living here. Neither of them are use to you and I know your routine is going to be off, but try your hardest to be on your best behavior so that I still have human friends when I return as well."
His level of listening more often involved chewing on something.
As the time drew closer, as I shoved clothes in a suitcase and our belongings in boxes, I felt guilty for not being able to spend all my time focused on him.
"Orion, I am going to miss you. I wish I could play all day with you but we are moving the day I get back so we have to get this place packed up."
He just did his Orion thing and trotted along behind me, in and out of rooms, toting whatever food treat toy I had given him.
Days drew closer and I became more and more stressed out trying to organize the details.
I laid in bed the day before leaving, curled up next to the boy, ready for bed, "Truth be, I'm nervous about leaving. I like knowing you're around to come home to, to talk to, and I kind of rely on you for my emotional support. I'm use to you. And I'll miss you booger." He continued sleeping. "I'm coming back. Don't go thinking I've abandoned you. I have to go on this trip and then it'll be a little weird because we're moving and getting a housemate... but I think you'll like the housemate, and I think it'll be better for you because you won't have to spend as much time in your crate. You've met Jamie and are fine with her..." Still sleeps.
I call and check in on my friend. She's sounding frazzled. I do my best to explain his behavioral patterns, what he needs to make her life more sane. "Oh, we're getting along fine, I just think you might be a bit of a masocist. Clearly Orion has more energy than I do." I call later, she sounds better. I suspect she will not choose a labrador for her first dog.
I call the second friend a week and a half later, "He's been barking for three hours. I don't know what's wrong."
"He doesn't stay in his crate when people are home. He sleeps with you or roams the house. That's why."
"Huh. Well he's quiet now."
Oh my boy, I think. He must not have listened to all I was saying and is probably all stressed out by all the comings and goings and me not showing up in all of this. Oh dear Orion, I will be home as soon as I can.
But it is just the half way mark today.
Most of the first week I was busy with the bustle of learning, new place, new routine, new time zone, too flipping tired to think of anything else. But now it is the second week and I am thinking about all the patience of my friends taking care of my dog. The schedule of half my colleagues coming by to walk him. Of the friend who's stationed at the apartment for the week.
And I realize, a. I have amazing friends and b. I miss my dog.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a Marvelous night for a Moon Dance

It's a full moon tonight. We pull up to the parallel park job like we're merging on a highway, but the moon captures the show with its large beautiful self rising about the silhouette of a leafless tree up the way. "Wow." I think of my friend in Oregon and wonder if she will share in the gorgeousness a few hours later.
Orion and I scamper up the steps, and I find, though it's only six pm, I'm ready for bed. Pj's on, dog bone for Orion, I watch a tv show cast a lamination into my dark room. Orion moves about the room, couch to bed, bed to couch, chewing his bone, my toes, his antler, his reindeer. I wonder to myself how he has such persistent energy even after our hour walk. Ah to be him. Sleep eight hours a day. Food gifted in the form of toys. Snuggles. Hugs. Told I love you daily. The boy has it made. The girl does too, I think as he lands across my legs all 58 pounds of him.
"Orion it's 8 PM. We could go to sleep." I roll horizontally beside him, throwing an arm over him. "Or, we could go check out that moon." I start singing, "It's a wonderful night for a moon dance..." as if for once, I might actually know the words. I sound Frank Sinatra like. I'm conjuring the spirit, and so I fling my legs over the edge of the bed and will myself up.
Tangled in my toes are leashes I've woven together to extend into the worlds longest Orion leash. "Perfect!" I say, scooping them up to hook them on my boy.
Leash around waist, red light lit around his collar, we are out the door for our moon dance.
I'm spinning circles, arms spread out wide. Pirouettes in the gravel. "Well it's a marvelous night for a moon dance..." Orion is content chasing the constantly moving extendo-leash. Tired, I plunk down in the single chair positioned in the yard. The back gives a little where it's broken and I think of what I would look like, pink plaid legs tossed in the air, likely into dog poo in the pitch black night singing to the full moon. Life is good.
Orion climbs in my lap and I delight for the brief moment he allows the ability to give him hugs and snuggle him closer. "There's your star set Orion," I say, and I tell him again how I choose his name. "It is the only star set I can find no matter where I am, and I moved a lot Orion, so it was a grounding experience to see them always up in the night sky. I figured that would be a great name for my first dog." He listens intently.
"I use to have a friend too who loved to sit out under the full moon. We'd go camping," I say. "Ironic, your stars and that memory side by side." And I pause thinking of the friend long past and how like most things one can apply whatever energy they want to memories, and I smile at that friend and of that time in my life.
Orion climbs off.
"Well, should we just go for a walk?"
Leashes collected, we loop through the front and pop out on the main street. Strutting across the street, I like the image of our shadows stretching out in front of us.
"Oh if I could capture this as a photograph I would dear friend," but instead etch it into the mind, tug his head away from the discarded McDonalds bag and round the corner of the block. We cruise down the street, jerking right to scare a bunny. I note to myself that perhaps my intention for a litter-box trained bunny may indeed be ill conceived with this boy, and bump into our friend Herb, out walking his small dog as well. Herb wishes us a good year, misses a few lines from me with his hard hearing, comments on Orion's "christmas light" and then continues on his way. I enjoy Herb. I enjoy knowing there's a 70 year old guy who gets up and walks his 15 pound dog each and every day and smiles in greeting whenever he sees me. We pass by a house and I think about how I want to own a house. And as we walk along the sidewalk, see the lights flashing in the homes, I am happy. I have my dog. I have my neighborhood. And with the moon shinning, the hour nine o'clock, I figure I can sneak in for bed with a guilt free conscious.