A year and a half, more or less, of stress and misery masked by smiling fortitude. Yuck. I’d rather wail and screech. Family deaths, an unjust nation, job hunting, and illness. The horoscope writer in the newspaper hates Sagittarians because every day I’m told to keep my head down, trust no one, stay close to home. I drag on my cheerful stripy socks and live each day like it isn’t preceded by something wretched.
Miss Tibbit the Useless, Crooked Hankie the Corgi, the WideEyedSpouse, and I walk the three block walkies circuit most evenings. Christmas lights are going up all over the neighborhood and legions of bagged leaves line the strip between the sidewalk and the street. Hank pees on as many as possible, his stout corgi body rushing to the next leaf bag each time. I can tell he loves marking up the captive yard parts. After each leg lift, he gives me a sideways look and a grin and then accelerates to the next, ears aflap.
Tibbit ignores the leaf bags and gathers sticks. Our yard is the neighborhood stick repository. She is selective, only sticks with decent heft or length make it worthwhile. A stick pile makes sweet Tibbit smile, tongue lolling. “Ok, get a stick,” I tell her. The big sticks take some thinking, and I mean ALL of her thinking because this dog qualifies as Not Smart, and because they have to be balanced in the mouth. Twiggy ends are long but weigh less than branch ends. A dog can’t just grab hold of the middle and call it done. Her sticks fwap our legs as she rushes past us, leading the walk with head and tail high, stick mission in process.
This is when walkies get really dynamic. Hank can’t leave the stick missions unmonitored and unmanaged. He runs just millimeters in front of the stick, the twiggy ends brushing his fuzzy corgi haunch hair, evidently an annoyance to be endured stoically when one is managing a mission. Passing leaf bag clusters require his attention so of course he falls behind. Then he rushes past us, ducking low and sleek, grabs any part of the stick he can reach to slow the mission, and heaves his body in front again. Tibbit marches on, aloof inside her sticky mission.
So anyway. A long period of stress and misery alleviated every day by an indefatigable corgi and stick obsessed useless little black dog. Maybe not so miserable after all.