Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walking Angel

10:49 am

I take Angel out for our last summer walk about 7:30 am. The dear was up late last night watching the Olympics with me and slept in. She is an 11-year-old lab/chow mix, adopted last year by my friend Martin. They are meant for each other. Both are from broken homes, hers by divorce and his by death. Now they are a couple.

The first and longest of her three daily walks falls to me. And once I relent to her constant prodding and bid a reluctant farewell to a delightful bed, it’s a joy. The route varies some, but always includes the outskirts of two abutting country clubs. (If there is a social distinction between the two, it escapes me.)

This morn we pass by to the tune of ponging tennis balls from a social foursome. We cannot see the men through the solid fencing but their repartee is clear.

“Do you want me to serve this to your forehand or backhand?”

“How about right down the middle?”

“Well, that begs that question. First in?”

“First in.”

Not exactly the Open, but probably much more fun. Then Angel and I find a treasure, a bright yellow tennis ball napping under a bush. I scoop it up for later. She is generally quite frisky on these forays, prancing up and down the hilly terrain, sniffing and aching to go full out in a futile attempt to catch a bunny. The only sign of her age is arthritis which acts up at times. Then again, so does mine.

The other day, I take a pass-through instead of turning around, and she bounds to a skinny, shallow brook for a drink. Before I can react, Angel jumps in, splashes around and emerges with black muddy legs. On our return, I am treated to a Lucille Ball-moment, as I chase her around in circles trying to get her into the tub. Finally, I settle for washing her legs one by one with a cloth, as her highness stretches out on her bed. I abandon that route reluctantly.

After all, Angel is 70 pounds of the finest food available. She is fed three times a day—at least. Then again, you can say that about me, also. And while I am here, I eat as well as she does, which is to say T-bone steak (bone in, please), salmon, ground beef, loin lamb chops, brown rice, couscous, pasta, veal parmesan, pizza etc. She is definably a Jewish dog, with a real taste for bagels and lox, herring in cream sauce and matzo brei.

She does have her quirks. Thunder storms and fireworks being the most troubling. They send her into a quivering, drooling frenzy. She is known to throw herself into the bathtub, under tables or the car in the garage. Unfortunately, the house is a mile or so from Playland, an iconic New York summer getaway, so fireworks are scheduled twice a week. And let’s not even talk about holidays.

I spend July 4th on the floor, huddled with Angel under a table, covered in doggy drool thanks—not only to Playland’s extended display--but to celebrations from the numerous boat and country clubs in the area. Geez, I wonder what Labor Day weekend will be like? Instead of being relieved, though, I am surprised to find myself disappointed I won’t be here to help a bit. Back to the Jersey Shore for a week, then on to Sarasota.

I’m really gonna miss you, girlfriend.

1 comment:

shannon said...

You changed all of your text to ITLACS?? Its very difficult to read, I would not recommend it.