Sunday, June 3, 2018

"How much does it say?" Silky Josephine asks. 
     She's on the scale at the Veterinarian's. 
     "You have to hold still Josie," I tell her. 
     Every day of the seven weeks she has been on her diet, Silky has looked at her reflection in the glass of the oven door and asked if she didn't look skinnier, asked if we can't go to the Veterinarian and confirm this possibility. 
     Despite her excitement, she manages to sit still on the big scale, not rabbit still, but near enough the devise can run its calculations. 
     We watch together as it sorts through numbers ... up and down, down then up, until finally it decides. 
     74, it reads. 
    "Two pounds, Josie!" I tell her. "You lost two pounds!" 
   Silky beams. "I knew it!," she says, "I knew I looked skinnier!" 

     Maybe Silky did see her loss in the oven door, but to be quite honest, I didn't. In fact, I was a little worried she had gained some. But the numbers don't lie. Two pounds down. 
     "You are skinnier, my sweet, silly girl," I say, and hug her deeply. "Light as an Angel's feather." 
     And walking through the Veterinarian's, past the other dogs and one grey cat in a box, I can see it, too, proud as Silky was, she really was light as an Angel's feather.               

Saturday, May 12, 2018

“We had a little trouble out of that one,” Larry Gantt tells me from his porch. 
     I don’t need to look to where he is pointing. I know who it is. I’ve been trying to catch her for twenty minutes. She broke free again. 
     “Silky!” I holler, and she ducks into the woods, ignoring me.  
     Larry lives behind us. It’s down the graveled road that leads to his house that we walk every evening. Our woods on the east, his on the west. They entwine above, a lush canopy. In the swag, a live creek cuts beneath the road and falls into a pool of stone and toppled trees. Every foot is a new adventure of smells, deer and possums and squirrels. 
     Larry is the type of man who goes to town for his mail, whose food comes primarily from the property that surrounds him, the woods and the land he has cleared. Silky had been chasing his chickens that roam free in the yard. She bursts from the woods and collapses in a panting heap at my feet. I apologize to Larry, explaining, as I clip on her lead, that Silky is still young, despite her grown-up size, and just wants to play. 
     Larry understands, he’s a kind enough man ... has had a dog or two himself. But this is a world of fair warnings and we’ve been given ours.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"What was that?" Silky asks, the way she asks when her mouth is full of stuffed animal (which it was), ears perked and tan eyebrows raised. 
     The animal in Silky's mouth was a black and white cow, acquired from an enormous bin at the local second-hand store for forty-nine cents, along with a small pink cat and a giraffe with removable legs. 
     Silky had torn a hole into the cow and was shaking the stuffing loose, as she always does, when we heard the caplink, tink, tink, of something hitting the floor. 
     We found it beneath the table, a little red heart, no bigger than an apricot's pit. 
     There's a list of stuffed animals that we never purchase at the second-hand store: puppies, bunnies, nothing with beans, and no Pooh-shaped bears, which limits the selection greatly. How it was that Silky knew what she saw lying on the floor, is beyond me. But she did. And she looked as though she might cry. She lay the black and white cow down gently and touched its red heart with her wet nose. 
     "Can you put it back?" she asked me. 
     "I think we can," I told her. 
    And we did, Silky helping me nest the little red heart back into the cow's stuffed insides. 

     No puppies no bunnies, no Pooh-shaped bears, nothing with beans ... and no cows, heart-filled or otherwise.                  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

"She's as big as a cow!" Priscilla says of Silky Josephine. 

     She and Carl have returned. They were busy the first couple of days, repairing their nest over the back porch light. There was mudding to do, before the feathering, and while the it dries, we have a moment to talk. 

     Priscilla tells me about their trip, about Anna and Luis, and I tell her what little I know about the mysterious disappearance of Bobo, and of Silky's curious growth spurt, our present topic. 

     "One hundred and forty dollars worth of tests at the Doctor," I tell Priscilla, "and all we learned was that she's just regular old fat." 

     We had suspected ... even hoped ...that Silky might have an 'issue', something glandular that could be resolved with a pill. But that wasn't the case. Silky is perfectly healthy ... other than, as Priscilla says, being 'as big as a cow' ... only a slight exaggeration. 

     We watch her chase a bumblebee, leaping and spinning and snapping, as if she were as delicate and dainty as a butterfly, which, inside, Silky truly is. 

     "She doesn't get any more treats," I tell Priscilla, "and she'll get more exercise, now that it's warmed up and she can be outside." 

     "I can help with that," Priscilla says, and like a bullet, she's in the air, swooping and tittering, and Silky, her eyes wide with delight gives chase. 

     "She'll be slim as a willow switch in no time," I hear Priscilla say. And if anyone is equipped to imagine a slender Silky Josephine, I suppose it would be me.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I doubt that I will ever stop looking to that field through which he wore a path going to and from his daily adventures, or that I will ever stop hoping, that through the Timothy and Sage, be it golden or green, I will see him return.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

If you sleep at night with your windows open ...for it's that time of year again ...and you hear something crying in the darkness that may be a dog or that may be a boy, but either way, clearly has a heart, broken by the loss of a dear and wonderful friend, go to your window, if you would, and blow gently on this sorrow as it passes, and lift it to the ears for which it was intended, the love for which it longs.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Silky is in her Terrible Twos. 
     I know this because sometimes she runs off in a mostly straight line away from me, and keeps on running even after she’s too far to hear me calling for her to stop, which is a very long ways. 
   I know this because sometimes she tears up the emergency potty pads, and then has her emergency on the wooden floor. 
     I know this because she chewed the shoe molding trying to catch a ladybird that was on the ceiling. 
     I know this because I’ve filled the very holes that I instructed her not to unfill at least twelve times in the past three days. 
     I know this because I have blankets now with fringes that didn’t have fringes before. 
     I know too, that if it weren’t for Silky's Terriffic Twos, I wouldn’t make it through her Terrible Twos, and I’ll tell you about those next, just to be fair.