Saturday, November 08, 2008


I am pondering life’s mysteries—the big ones—like, Why does the sun shine? And Why is it harder to launch a kite on a windy day than a zillion-ton airplane in the calm? And, get ready for the biggest one of all, Why do dogs roll in stuff?
Pirate escaped yesterday. I suppose it was my fault really. I didn’t check to see if all the gates were closed. I simply let him out when he asked. It was such a sunny day, the kind of day when pirate can pass two happy hours in the yard without ever calling on me for anything. So out he went, and that was that. Silence was golden.
Maybe an hour had passed when two big dogs strolled by, dragging their person behind them. The neighbourhood went into an uproar. There were deep wolfish barks from across the street. There were yelpish barks from down the street. Pirate wasn’t barking. I was so proud of him for that! Well, on second thought … How much can a dog actually change in an hour?
Out I went, calling pirate’s name. No response. He’s a good dog. It was probably my mistake. No response could mean that perhaps I had let him in half an hour ago and simply forgotten about it. It has happened before. I checked the living room, the couch, the love seat, both rocking chairs. I checked the family room, the love seat and both rocking chairs. I checked our bedroom, the study, the spare room, Mark’s place. I checked them all again.
I sighed heavily. On went my shoes. On went my coat. Out went I, calling Pirate’s name.
Pirate came when I called him. I had to admit that he really is a good dog. He wanted to be at home. A smarter dog might have re-entered through the back gate which stood wide open, instead of marching along the front walk to the front gate, waiting for me to open it and welcome him home. But I did acknowledge that he was a good dog. Then we hurried inside, because it sure did smell bad out there.
We hadn’t been in the house for more than a second when the inside began to smell a bit like the outside. Bad smells can come in through an open door. I reached down to give Pirate a pat.
There are a lot of things I can’t say for sure. But one thing is certain. Somewhere in the neighbourhood there is a pile of poop that is a lot flatter than it was at this time yesterday.
I don’t think it would be honest to say that Pirate was grateful for all that I did for him, for the free shampoo and cream rinse and the time under the hairdryer, for the removal and washing of his collar, for scraping it out from inside his ears, under his chin, in the curve of his long bushy tail, lathering the flat of his back. In fact, though I confess that I don’t always understand exactly what Pirate is saying, I believe he may have told me that he’d do it all again if he had the chance, which still leaves me wondering—WHY DO DOGS ROLL IN STUFF????

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