Thursday, March 25, 2010

Magical Moment 49, "A Well Earned Prize"

My puppy, Joy, and I walked outside on a windy, spring evening. Still clumsy and a poor judge of distance, Joy often stumbles and trips over herself. Walking downstairs sometimes causes her to tumble head over feet, exposing her pink, puppy tummy while she lets out a startled yelp.

Now that spring is here and the critters of the neighborhood are finding the courage to emerge from the safety and warmth of their homes, Joy is discovering that it might be fun to chase and bark at squirrels and birds. Which she does quite well now. I don’t mind it though. She rummaged through the leaves on the ground with her nose pressed deep in the grass and dirt, smelling all the new scents that now filled her world since the snow disappeared. Soon she found something that fascinated and amazed her on such a level, she had to have it. She must not let this treasure get away. She would carry it and protect it with her life. It was a big stick.

She clamped her teeth around the stick only to find that the weight was uneven on either side and she couldn’t carry her trophy. She re-adjusted, gripping only one end this time, and dragged it back towards the house. I thought about the mess it would make inside the apartment when she chewed it to bits and left a pile of crumbled bark on my rug, but I couldn’t bear to burst her bubble. So I watched as she lugged it up the stairs, step by step, losing hold of it several times but determined to make it all the way with her prize. Her awkward clumsiness and small size compared to the large branch made me laugh as I watched her struggle upstairs.

Once she victoriously reached her destination, she curled up in her corner and began to chew. She wanted it, she worked for it, she got it. I understand. So I let her chew it. I’ll vacuum later.