Two of the dogs and I were out stumbling around in the yard this morning because I couldn’t sleep anymore and even though it was 5AM, it was time to get up. So I got up and the two dogs that keep my company, in these early morning hours (Tessa and Josephine) were immediately up too, scrambling down the stairs, dodging cats on their way into the kitchen where they would casually flop to the floor and wait for me to feed cats, grind coffee beans and then take them outside.
Except that sighthounds don’t ever flop. Graceful is wired into their DNA so that there is NEVER a time when they move awkwardly. And, despite the most recent weigh in on what Tessa is, she does have that look of a sighthound about her, so you can be assured that she didn’t flop anymore than Josephine did.
They lounged about in various places in the kitchen. Josephine draped herself on the dog bed inside of the dog crate at one end of the kitchen and Tessa curled up on top of the heat vent. (That’s my smart girl!)
Waiting for me to hurry up and kick the morning road show into gear.
Sliding my feet into boots, grabbing one of the jackets that are piled onto wall hooks near the back door, and leashing up Tessa, all the while keeping my balance on the back stair landing, we were outside in less time than it takes for me to say, “Tessa, pee.”
Which are the only words that cross my lips during this first forage outside.
And, it was very dark. Dark enough that Tessa blended into it which meant that the only way I knew she was safely tethered to the end of the leash was the fact that my arm was moving.
Tessa likes to take her time while Josephine gets right to it. While Tessa is air-sniffing and strolling around in the wet grass, Josephine has taken care of business and at least on this morning, she cam flying across the yard and smacked into Tessa.
There was a whumping sound of two bodies connecting, a startled yelp out of Tessa and my own still sleepy brain putting two and two together to figure out what had caused Tessa to make any kind of noise as Josephine veered off to the left.
That whumping sound immediately transported me back to my adolescence and to the dogs that were part of my life during that time. Back then, I was still an early riser. My routine was to wake up and head for the kitchen with a stop in the dining room to open the french doors to let the dogs out.
The dogs – there were three or four – would gather at the back door, happily pushing against each other, ready to make that mad dash out into our very spacious back yard. I think their collective goal was to see who could be first to reach the fence at the back of the property.
One morning, when I let them all out, I noticed that two of them waited until their more rambunctious buddies had scrambled out the door, chasing each other in their gleeful race for the fence.
These two lined themselves up so that the nose of the second one was touching the hip of the first one. Neither one moved until they had assured each other that they were in place.
This wasn’t the first time that these two had paired up. I just hadn’t
put two and two together done the math until this particular morning.
Watching them pass through the door out into the yard, I suddenly realized that the dog trotting to the rear was blind and relying on the other to lead it outside.
How, I wondered, had they come to this arrangement? Did it have anything to do with the fact that they were mother and daughter? And, just how long had this been going on?
As I was mulling this scenario over, there was a tug on the leash I held, and I was back in my own yard, listening to the sounds of geese overhead and the hiss of air brakes as a school bus pulled up to the corner.
Tessa and Josephine touched noses as we all stood at the back door and, without any more fanfare, we went inside. [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]