9am Saturday Morning
I am on my front steps addressing my feet with much needed tennis socks. (Mental note: Need to get a Spring pedicure stat.) Buford is laying dead in the grass. Well not totally dead. I can see his eyes moving. Only his eyes. He is alternately watching me to see if I start instantaneously sprouting string cheese and then his focus darts back to this stick that is about 11 inches from his head. He is willing the stick closer with his eyes. Buford is tied to the house. Because. Because when Buford isn’t tied to the house, and when Buford is not laying as if someone has shot him in my yard, then Buford is running. Somewhere. Anywhere. He has two settings. Dead and running.
My neighbor and her dog amble down the sidewalk, just back from their morning loop. I rise to meet them. Buford strains his eyes to an uncomfortable angle in an effort to follow me while not actually moving. He is waiting for confirmation that something (not cheese related) is happening that is worthy of exerting effort.
He hears the tags on Lilly’s collar and is upon her. All fat paws with his tongue trying to simultaneously probe her ear and left upper gum line.
I look at Lilly and she seems to say, “Jesus Christ woman what is WRONG with your dog??”
I apologize to both Lilly and her owner for Buford’s overtly forward welcoming. They are somewhat used to it though.
Lilly’s owner bends down to pet Buford’s head hoping to pacify him. “Ewww. Why is his head all wet?”
me - “Yeah, actually it is half of his body. The front half. Ironically the half that contains the brain. He visited me in the shower again about 20 minutes ago. It seems that I have made a poor habit of closing my eyes while shampooing my hair. Buford hears water and becomes thirsty. I need those skid strips for the bottom of the tub. He arrives quite unexpectedly and we commence what I can only describe as “Naked Twister.” I have a nice indented bruise of the tub handles on my arse now. I’m pretty sure if I was photographed naked from behind I would appear to be a cartoon animal. … But let’s leave that as ‘theory.’”
She mulls this over and gives me that smile people give when they don’t understand your situation and they have moved directly into wondering how you make enough money to live in a house. It is a smile with a slight head tilt to one side and the eyes appear to be overly squinted as if guarding the retina from strong winds. The mouth is slightly ajar. I sincerely hope you have seen as much of this look as I have. In fact I want you to have seen this look more.
The neighbor moves on home and I regard Buford again. He is laying downhill. Gravity has taken hold of his jowls and it appears as if he is smiling maniacally. He can’t see me because he is too lazy to lift his head so he is drawing large breaths through his open nostrils to geolocate my position. But he has allergies so he is also having fits of sneezing due to the pollen. He farts and I move inside to find a second cup of coffee.