The Dukester’s Back


Our friends are headed back out on a cruise and the call and response of shared commitment to our canine friends has Duke staying with us for 10 days.  Just last week, when we headed to Alabama, Boo stayed at Duke’s and our first night gone, we received a text that Boo had arrived at her host’s house with intestinal worms, visible intestinal worms.  Dogs and kids–you’d better have a significant capacity for living with mortification if you are going to tend to them in community.

We had geared ourselves up for a long night when we brought him home yesterday evening.  Last time he came, he paced and wailed all through the first night, made us crazy.  This year we knew what to expect–we thought.  No, there was no pacing and when Sherod and I crawled in bed, Daisy took to her robin’s egg blue, Martha Stewart bedding, Boo to her new, much deeper dog bed that is more comfortable for our girl who is getting old and arthritic.  Duke got on his own bed right next to hers–all five of us in the bedroom, Sherod and I giggling at our menagerie.

We turned the lights out, and still: all was quiet and peaceful.  Then, five minutes later–a most ominous sound.  The sound of liquid hitting floor.  A lot of it. Quite gushing, pardon the detail.  The Mallowman, who has been moving slowly for a long while now, was out of bed like greased lightning.  Lights went on. Investigation ensued. It could have been far worse.  Actually, Duke was quite civilized.  He chose to take a leak in our bathroom, on the tile floor which mercifully, is easy to clean up.  Some mild cursing and fussing later, lights back out, everyone back in bed and good night.

This morning Duke and I went out for our morning game of catch.  Daisy and Boo have their times of fun  but nothing quite like the pure, joyful playfulness I get caught up in, at 5 in the morning, throwing the ball with the Dukester, who is still all gangly, all dopey and floppy eared—and remarkably graceful–silliness.  He’s been following me around everywhere this morning and now that most of my work is at home, I suspect he will be stuck on me like white on rice for the next ten days.  Boo and Daisy look at all this askance, but with some resignation, and stay out of his way.  Damn it Duke–I still like you…

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