Mostly we sit by the brook in the woods. It’s nice to stare into the beautiful water while the trees gently sway in the background. The warm air is perfect for breathing and there is plenty of comfy moss upon which to sit. We talk to each other just by thinking.
My dog Paddles and I agree, without speaking of course, that it’s time to go directly into the cold water for a special mission. Enough daydreaming. We should get to work. He is a Labrador Retriever puppy and I am a 5-year-old girl.
What work are we telepathically talking about? Rearranging the rocks in the brook to create an even faster and louder flow of water. Also to change the type of music it makes. A redistribution of rocks can cause a distinct difference in sound if you listen closely. Fortunately, he’s a good listener.
His paws endure the cold much better than my soaking wet sneakers, so I have to work fast. He picks a up big rock in his little mouth and drops it right in front of me with a splash, hoping I’ll throw it so he can retrieve. Very funny, Paddles. I remind him we have tennis balls for that. Let’s stay focused on the task at hand and not wreck your teeth.
I position the rock he provides so that it holds the smaller rocks firmly in place. After a few minutes of doing this, we sit back down on the moss to admire our efforts. Ah yes, the perfect transformation of velocity and melody. A great gift to humanity and earth. Plus we just want something fun to do before dinner.
Secure in knowing the brook will remain this way until tomorrow, we are now okay with moving on. A yummy meal awaits us if we walk up the wooded path ahead, and through the kitchen door.
Paddles doesn’t need to be psychic to know what he’ll get for most of his dinner: a smelly can of dog food. The only thing worth wondering about is what type of extras he’ll get from what my mother calls, “The Dog Dish.” This bowl on the counter accumulates a daily mish-mosh of food scraps, along with the drained juice of vegetables, a scoop of powdered vitamins, and a tablespoon of oil. You can see him jump with excitement when the mystery meal is placed before his paws.
I love to watch him go at it, wolfing down his food in two seconds, which is the way he likes to do it. I’ve given up suggesting he go slower. We accept each other exactly as we are. I prefer savoring my forkfuls of mac & cheese slowly - and it’s fine if wants a small sample. I start to read MAD magazine. By that I mean, look at the pictures.
“Where’s Dad?” I ask my Mom.
“I don’t know. He’s lost” she replies.
Lost? Paddles and I look at each other because we are thinking the very same thing. Let’s find him! Sensing Dad might be in the backyard, I motion to the door which means, “Shall we?” His doggie dance in circles confirms yes, so it’s back outside we go.
Although it’s getting a little dark and hard to see, we have walked out here so many times that our confidence is strong. Yup, we had a feeling this would happen. Dad is asleep on the hammock with a glass of wine on the table. We never know where he’ll take a nap next, so that is why we must be smart detectives.
“C’mon, Dad. Time for dinner. Mom thought you were lost but Paddles and I used our intuition to find you. Isn’t that great?”
“Yes, that’s wonderful,” Dad replies, barely opening his eyes. “I’ll be there in a minute.”
Paddles gives me his trademark Labrador wiggle that I love so much. He leads the way as we return to the house and I watch his tail move side to side with every step. He always shimmers with joy no matter what. Patting his head I tell him, “Another mission accomplished. We’re really good, right?”
At bedtime, I am cozy under the covers. He is resting in the middle of the rug. In my mind I ask if he thinks Dad will come up to say goodnight. He looks up at me with his beautiful eyes and wags his tail, thump, thump. That means no.
That’s okay. We’ll go back to the brook tomorrow and watch it flow exactly the way we want. We can listen to the soothing sound it makes and jump right in.