Sunday, June 06, 2004

My Shadow

I grew a shadow over the weekend. It follows me wherever I go - to the basement, my bedroom, my bathroom.

My shadow has four legs and a bushy tail. It sleeps a lot, and it's going to require some major adjustment in my life.

Yes - I am now a dog owner. My mother decided she no longer wanted our family dog, Trudy, so I agreed to take her. She's at least 12 years old and doesn't have the same old spring in her step - long naps, three walks a day and occasional petting is how she likes spending her days.

And it's going to be a pain. I'm still not sure how I feel about this. Don't get me wrong -- I like the dog. She's sweet and funny, but she's not a lot of fun - if you roll a ball at her she just looks at you like you're speaking in tongues.

But I enjoy my freedom. I like being able to stay out all day and leave at the spur of the moment. A dog just gets in the way. And when I left for an hour this afternoon, she left me a present in the sunroom. I replied by buying her a new cage.

It always comes back to this, though: on a cold winter night about ten years ago, I was returning home. I still lived with my parents at the time. It was so cold it hurt to take a breath. I was tired and ready for some serious sack time. Unfortunately, the door was stuck.

After a good 20 minutes of pounding on the door, someone finally let me in the house. I sat by the dying embers of the fire, hoping to coax a little warmth from them. Trudy walked over to me slowly and hopped up on my lap - something she had never really done before. I warmed back up, and she hopped off and went back to sleep at my feet.

A little act of kindness by a dog that has stuck with me all these years. So welcome aboard, Trudy. Enjoy the ride.

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