Mornings bring smells made new every day. My brain has more space for smelling than my master’s brain, he told me once, so I feel sorry for Jermy most mornings. His name is Jermy because his mother was a poor speller with a GED, and see, even a dog can spell GED.
Saturday mornings are usually the very best. I spend more time alone with my master on Saturday mornings than other days; and my master likewise spends time alone with his Father. I sit in my master’s lap and he talks softly to an empty room but I know better than that. He doesn’t know it but he has told me enough about it that I know it’s a little bit like me rolling over on my back except he isn’t rolling over on his back and he is not getting scratched at all. So I will lick the back of his hand, and he will smooth the hair on my neck, and we will make lots of eye contact, both, I guess, wishing we could come closer to bridging some unseen inexplicable gap.
He makes a big show of sniffing the coffee that he then grinds and presses. He bitches about the litter box odors wafting down the hall and into the kitchen from the laundry room, I like it when he thinks poorly of Eva, felinity and its accompanying smells are nasty. But dog alive, do we ever share a serious nose for bacon. That is good. Jermy misses a lot. He doesn’t smell the chilled bacon in the special place in the fridge; he can’t even smell it when he slits open the package. Then he tells me, every Saturday morning before he even approaches the fridge, that he is about to fix us some eggs and bacon. Silly man distracts me. When he puts the skillet on the stove I lose myself in memories of every piece of bacon ever fried in it, individually, in detail. A dog’s life, or at least this dog’s life, can be laid out linearly, like bacon strips on a griddle. It’s weird, but I think like that.
Most Saturdays Jermy holds his head and prays, alternately crying and smiling, even raising his hands, maybe fists, in pain, in rage, in adulation. I know something of the Father he beseeches. And I know something of how the Father works. I am a dog indeed; and I am the friend of man, and we are the creations of the Father. We are not equal, no, but we are friends and we depend on each other. We love each other quietly. Always quietly, because I grew old and I am old. I sit, and I watch my master grow old. It takes up a lot of my time and I am grateful that I have it to invest in my master. There will come a day when one is gone, and for now we have each other and it is good, he for me, me for him.
I love him unconditionally, from another room or from six miles away where he sits in an office every day and yet I can still smell him; he tells me working there is how he buys the bacon, so it must be a very wonderful place. I want to go there but he tells me every morning, “sorry Dee, you can’t go to the office”…whatever the office is they don’t like dogs over there. So I stand in the middle of the floor and watch the door close, I lay until I hear his truck return sometime later and stretch my bones and give him a hero’s welcome…every time, every day. That’s ok, I miss him, sure, but then there is bacon.
My master and I know everything about each other. We’ve been together for ten years and that’s a long time at 7 to 1 or 1 to 1, whatever that means. He told me that, tried to explain it, and I don’t care that much except he looks sad when he says it and that seems strange to me, and disquieting, and quiet is a better state. I know that because I’ve seen things. I’ve heard about things. These things are not quiet things and neither was my master when they happened. I was there for some things. Others he has talked to me about when we were alone for a long time. Best of times and worst of times and how the hell do I even know to say that? I’m a dog for Spot’s sake. (But I’m a good one, he told me that too)
We met in a mall. Since then my master decided that that is not good and I hear him talking about dogs in malls and he seems upset. I thought it was super cool except I went there alone until my master took me out. He actually said I was ugly and his woman said no and she made him take me home along with Max who was a really ugly Basset and they should have listened to me if I could have even told them because they had to get rid of him after he pissed all over masters computer. I made a run on sentence and I’m a dog; get over it. I said pissed though so I apologize, because I’m a bitch, no really, I am, and bitches ought not to use that word.
Master told me once that the chemical formula for my urine is K9P, then he laughed.
I’m easily distracted.
It was Saturday again. And Saturday follows Thursday and something happened on Thursday that made this Saturday much different, no bacon, no making coffee, just standing in a place I know but yet is a strange place, especially today.
On Thursday when Jermy came home he didn’t stop to greet me near the door. He didn’t greet me at all. Master acted very strange; the woman wasn’t home yet and Jermy just stood in the center of the room, and I could smell the salt of his tears and I could smell the pungent mucus in his nose and throat and I heard master making a quiet low sound. Eventually he sat down and wept into his hands and I stood beside the kitchen chair and waited. I waited because I know him and he knows me and we know what to expect from each other and eventually he picked me up and hugged me and told me he loved me and that we were going somewhere.
The woman came home and they hugged a long time and both of them smelled of salt and mucus and then they sat at the kitchen table and talked for a while. Master’s phone started ringing a lot and the woman was using her phone a lot and the brothers and sisters were coming in after school and after a few minutes they were all salty and with mucus and sitting at the kitchen table and I was left on the big chair in the living room watching Spongebob.
We drove a long way the next day. We drove into the dark of night and we finally stopped at a hotel. I knew I had never stayed at this hotel before because I did not recognize the smell. We took two rooms and some brothers and sisters stayed in one and master and the woman and me and the other dog Sandy stayed in the other and I slept in bed right next to master because he likes that and he was having lots of trouble sleeping. he stroked me for a long time. I love hotels because when we go to hotels we are happy and we usually get some breakfast in the room when master and the family brings it to us from somewhere else in the hotel. This time no one brought us any breakfast and no one was very happy and this was not a vacation, I decided. Master came back to the room that next morning and said it was raining cats and dogs and that always scares me a little even though I never get to see it happen, but it was raining a lot of just water when Jermy took us on leashes to walk around the bushes of the hotel.
When we loaded up the car and started driving it was totally quiet. Quiet is wierd. Master often says “be quiet” because he wants quiet, but then sometimes quiet means not good. After some time I knew we were somewhere I had been before because I knew the smells. I know the smell of coal mines and trucks and the smells of timber cutting and lumber yards and the terrible smell of the old shut down paper mill some distance away. Eventually I recognized the smell of Precious. Precious is another woman’s dog; master’s mother’s dog and they live in what master calls a mobile home on a hillside in a very small town. Precious is little like me and Sandy but she is annoying and loud and her and I usually get in fights. She is younger but I am tougher and Precious knows master backs me up.
We park and get out of the car and the little home is just there and master’s mother’s car just over there and no one is on the porch. Every time we come here someone is on the porch, well, not someone, Mimi and Precious are on the porch usually. They are not. And master says to all of us, “wait here”.
He went in alone and was in there for some time. We waited out here and the woman was crying again and finally master came out and he was crying too and everyone kind of crowded together and hugged and cried. I smell it and even when I like to lick the salty tears I know that it means something bad so I’d rather not smell that smell again. Master picked me up and one of the brothers picked up Sandy and we stood there and we are a strong pack and that makes me feel very good every time. But the pack had a problem and I did not know what.
So, it was Saturday morning and we were standing in Mimi’s small mobile home on a hill in a small town and Mimi and Precious are not here and it is very quiet, and there is bacon in the fridge but none is cooking.
Someone knocked on the door and when Jermy opened it whoever it was talked a little bit then released Precious into the home and she went in every corner of every room smelling and smelling and looking and smelling some more. That made everyone cry again, and more, and harder. The woman picked her up and kept telling her it would be ok but I knew what the people didn’t. I knew that worried and scared and I fesorry for her.
The next few days were very bad for us dogs. We slept there in the little home but during the day we were left alone a lot, and when people were there we were locked in a bedroom. The reason was that they were taking all the stuff out of the home and putting it on a big truck. The door was always open and we would run outside and master was protecting us. Pack discipline.
Precious watched Jermy place all of her toys into a big plastic bag, along with her bed, and put it into the truck with the other things. She was still worried. I went to her and treated her like a pack member. I let her know I was the master’s number two but that she was welcome in the pack. I did this for master because I knew he would want me to; when master is happy the pack is happy.
We drove again, this time in two vehicles. Master drove the big truck that had Precious’ toys and bed in it and it went very slow in the rain which let Precious know he was taking really good care of her things. We had to stop at another hotel. Master was really going extra slow in the hard rain. No cats and dogs though thankfully. We slept long that night and into late morning, and we drove on home the next day.
I realized eventually that master’s mother didn’t come with us and that that’s why he was so sad and why the woman was so sad and is so sad and the brothers and sisters too. I think master loves his mother a lot and misses her and so do the others and we have a new pack member and our lives will go on with one more and it will be the same but it will never be the same.
I am a dog and I love my master he loves his heavenly father and I pray that he will bless our new pack.
[I lost my mother last Thursday. She was only 71 and it was very sudden and unexpected.
Lets call her Mimi, and say I love and miss her and am very confident of her salvation which came later in life, though some years ago, and she is benefactor of God’s promises as we speak. Though mine was a very difficult childhood, I loved her and miss her terribly and appreciate those things she did that I was able to, as an adult, see as self sacrificial for my benefit.
I have been messing around writing things from my dogs POV and discovered that when I do that it makes me feel better. Odd? I don’t really care. (the book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is recommended for all dog lovers and its written like that]