Thursday night at the Casa; mom and Mia has wisely fled for the bedroom and solitude, as the kidlets are in rare form tonight. Charlie and Claire are re-enacting the epic Battle of Bitey Mouth, Ajax the Terminally Scrappy is taking every opportunity to snap at any exposed appendages. Marco Polo is skittling around in his underbritches that mom makes him wear because, although his weaponry has been altered, he still feels the need to practice his aim at any given time.
I keep trying to poke up the fire, but the cadre of varmints are continuously interrupting with their demands that I pay attention only to their shenaningans. Like a bunch of rowdy kids, having an audience is like piling pine boughs on a bonfire, and I can’t imagine them showing out like this while I’m at work; maybe they do, but I am assailed by doubts.
Now that our human kids have moved onward and upward, the dogs have helped to fill certain point of the void. I cannot imagine life without canine companionship; without at least one pair of conscious-searing eyes focused on every bite, how does one eat? Without a set of Frito-smelling feet crammed up your nose with another hairy mass forcing you diagonal on the bed, how do people sleep? As much as I love motorcycles, if something were to happen to Charlie, how would I continue riding?
Sometimes I think that people think that Charlie’s obsession with riding is an evolved form of her hanging her head out of the car window; I understand, but there is no way to experience the joy she radiates unless you’re on the bike with her.
On a recent trip to Utah, we covered well over 2500 miles in ten days, and at least while the bike was moving, she never laid down once. Searing desert heat in the morning, icy Rocky mountain mist in the afternoon, stunnng New Mexico sunsets at nightfall, it didn’t matter; she wanted to see it all, and see it all we did. But sometimes it’s not what you see with your eyes, but what you absorb through your soul, and a dog seems to be a conduit, a connections to a different level of consciousness.
Or maybe that’s just want they want us to think.
Maybe they’re of a master race, with powers of hypnotism so strong that they have convinced us that it is we, not them, that are at the top of the social hierarchy. The Bible says, “the greatest in the kingdom shall be the servant of all”; that must mean I’m the greatest, at least in THIS kingdom, as it is I that is definitely the servant of all these hairy little ingrates.
One of my worse fears is ever having to go into a convalescent home. Not just for the normal reasons, but also the weird ones: how to exist in a plastic environment without dogs interfering in every aspect of my life? Will they have to give me a stuffed toy black dog to keep me settled down? If that’s what it takes…
As my dad entered the last days of his dementia, the fine folks at the VA gave him a “fidget blanket”, a small piece of cloth covered with zippers, velcro, buttons, etc, to occupy his hands and his mind as his other senses failed. I’ve often thought of designing a stuffed animal with all the same features as the fidget blanket to lessen the loneliness of a fading consciousness while at the same time providing a tactile connection to the physical world. My problem is that any scenario I can picture in my overactive imagination ends up with a papaw clutching a stuffed toy that resembles a fuzzy Frankendog; maybe not too off-putting to someone with fading eyesight, but guaranteed to provide many a sleepless night for the great grandkids. On second thought, this might not be an un-entertaining idea after all; you could hide it under their beds, or leave it in their closets, and then start scratching at the door…
Just stop right there; where did THAT come from? Now you know why mom went to bed early, as I think that she can sense when I’m in one of “those” moods.
Happy Charlie Bravo day tomorrow; make the most of it and