Remember Your Trick

Tennessee TripperDog-Dog-Dog

Tennessee TripperDog-Dog-Dog

The newspaper is using words like “biting” or “frigid” to describe our current temperatures. My favorite was this morning’s weather paradox: sunny and bitter. Sunny and bitter sounds like an umbrella drink I might order at a Tiki bar or a perhaps a comedy team. If I had twins I’d name them Sunny and Bitter.

After standing on the deck for several minutes, making sure that the arctic winds blowing off the lake had subsided, Tripper-dog-dog-dog and I took a walk. Certain that we would not be cut in half by the wind, braving the sunny-bitter paradox, we high stepped through the snow drifts, stretching our faces to reach the sun. It was glorious. It was not as advertised: sunny, not bitter.

It had been more than a few days since we could venture out and Tennessee Tripper-dog-dog-dog was eating the baseboards, chewing on cabinets, and pacing from door to door. We’ve been teaching him tricks to keep him occupied but he’s a fast learner and mostly bored with “stay” and “shake” and “roll over.” When I realized that I was pacing door to door with dog-dog-dog I knew that advanced cabin fever was setting in and we needed to run (he runs and I watch but it sounds better if I use the royal we. I like making you imagine that I am fit and running through the arctic snow with the dog-dog).

As I stood in the field, face to the sun, watching him romp and run, I had one of those moments that I am certain will appear in the slide deck that will move through my mind’s eye at the moment of my death. All of my stories dropped away; all of my senses flung wide open. There was the cold air and the warm sun and the sound of Trip leaping and playing in the deep snow. There was the sound of ice clacking in the lake, squirrels cursing in the treetops.  I had no past and no place to be. I had no cares or desires to distract me. I was present. I was there, fully alive.

I think Tripper sees those moments. The Dog Whisperer tells us that dogs are energy sensors and I’m convinced Trip sees my aura. During my moment of presence, he stopped his romp and we stared at each other. If he could talk, he’d have said, “Finally! I was beginning to doubt that you’d ever get this trick. Want a cookie?” I smiled and as if to prove a point, Tripper-dog-dog-dog sat as if by command. His eyes glistened, saying to me, “I remember my trick, will you remember yours?”

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One Response

  1. I know the sound of squirrels cursing in the tree tops, but never thought about it just that way… form now on I will always think about it in just that way!

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