Summer of LOVE … An Ode to a DOG DAY of Summer

It’s not Raining, the Sun is out – the Dog is an old one;
He doesn’t know he’s old or sick.
Bradley is my Grand-Dog and
He is waiting for me to awaken and sip some coffee.

We cuddle and I enjoy my caffeine.
And now it’s time! Bradley-The-Wonder-Dog
Can tell – it’s Time For A W-A-L-K!
It doesn’t need to be said, or even spelled.
The cadence of our morning routine has evolved into a
Comfortable groove; full of certain expectations.

There are signs most days…
That preparations are underway,
And are not moving along quite fast enough:

A half empty coffee mug set down,
Shoes and socks now retrieved and going on,
Finding my jacket, sunglasses, cell phone, his leash,
And finally the smoothing and folding of 3 “poop bags”…

The poop bags sliding into my pocket trigger a resonating bark,
Such a look of love and appreciation, much tail wagging, and
Finally sitting still and silent, for the leash snapping onto his collar.

And we’re off!
Bradley takes his walk seriously; no tail wagging while in motion.
But he is stopping to pee every 20 feet, it seems,
And pooping after about a half-block.

Thank you, Karen!
I know you don’t mind.
A little bag of poop in the trash can
You left on the roadside.

Down to the Church. Ah yes!
A walk we’ve done before, but
Today, it is with my new eyes;
To see things as the Dog does?!

Why didn’t I bring my camera?
Would it capture the Awe?
I wonder…

Past the Church and Cemetery,
Down the Wooded pathway to the
Labyrinth’s natural cathedral
Of Treed walls
And Sky-blue dome.
Bradley stays with me this time,
As we wind along the way
To the Sacred Center.
6 Slugs on the pathway,
The Muddy Moss sinking and worn
With the steps of previous visitors,

And once we’re to the Center,
The old Dog grows impatient and
Signals: Time to Move On.
Now he leads past the picnic tables,
Past the Memorial Stone Bench and its lonely Pine,
And down the Hidden Steps.

Now onto the Stony Beach…
Rhythmic slapping of the Waves in tune with the
Swooshing, rustling of the Breeze –
Oh how Divine! And the
Navy Blue Sea (has it ever been this Color before?!)
With petite lacy White-Caps
(are those Diamonds sparkling out there too?)
And then looking up…
The tips of Lummi Mountain, and Mount Constitution,
Each smothered by Foggy grey Clouds.

We plod along the slippery Coastline;
I, being careful not to slip on the smooth wet Rocks, or the
Green-bright-fresh slimy Sea-Grass bordering the Water’s edge.
Dog, being not so careful.
For an old Dog, he’s nimble, much more than I am!
Leaping the white Driftwood Logs – no problem; and they smell
Very Interesting, observes the Dog.
Some so white and smooth,
Some so rough and home to chomping Bugs,
Soaking with Saltiness.
I wonder: what is the Story of their Journey here to this Shore?

We pass the “Private Beach” sign (Private? “Ha!” I think.)
Soon Brad does a U-turn and we head back.
So interested in the Smells is he and
Interested in the Driftwood Forts am I,
That we are surely past the Entrance-To-Our-Exit…
So another U-turn and yes, there it is:
The Secluded Opening, allowing our ascent to the
Island Bluff and the Church grounds.

Heading up the Stone filled steps and through the
Verdant tunnel of Branches, Leaves, Needles –
Is it always this Spectacular?

Climbing up and out,
Back along the civilized and mulched trail
(a blessing of thanks to the soul who did this –
Now I don’t get soggy shoes!)
Through the Church parking lot, past the cluster of mailboxes,
Down to the red-roofed green home
Nestled behind the splendid Roses, and
Down within sight of Legoe Bay and now
We are standing by its back water.

No Ducks and Ducklings today.
But the ever present lap-lappity-lap of the calm Waves in the Bay;
The trills, chirps, tweets and squawks of God-Knows-How-Many Birds.
Down past the waving flag for a
Quick count of the Reef Net fishing boats;
Are there 6 or 7? It’s tricky to tell from this angle.
Soon they will be hauling fish out there…

We make another U-turn.
We are heading towards home and,
It is time for another poop.
We are back to the Church grounds…

I hope they don’t mind!
A little bag of poop in their trash can?
No I’m sure they don’t.

Behind the Church, I notice Brad’s Ears are perked and
His Eyes are glued toward The Way to the Labyrinth.
Two Fawns scamper over to the Labyrinth sign and then
Head in for their Labyrinth Walk.

We’re back home now and,
The Grand Dog is Snoring on “our” gold chair;
A nice wide chair where we snuggled, and
I sipped my morning coffee just this morning.

The old Dog is not hungry.
He hasn’t eaten all day and,
It’s almost lunch-time. I urge him and,
Attempt to tempt him with his
Special prescription dog food;
He has no appetite.
I make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and slice an apple.
I carry my lunch and Bradley’s lunch out to our Sunny deck.
Now We eat. (Note: even dogs enjoy company at mealtime!)

We know, as the Day warms up,
There will be Time to lay on the Grass in our Flowery yard.
Brad will find the warmest and driest spot to start with;
Then when the Sun cooks his Bones, he’ll move to Shade,
Then look for a compromise between Sun and Shade,
Maybe Dappled? Maybe on the edge of Shade-Meets-Sunshine.
I will move my chair accordingly;
Then he will nuzzle up and gaze at me,
Reassuring himself that we can
Stay out as long as he wants.

Of course we can…

These are The Dog Days of Summer we share… Days of Love.
And the old dog shares an old Lesson, a Lesson worth repeating:
The Joy of Unconditional Love.
Maybe the closest we get to knowing Divine Love?
And the Lesson of Slowing Down to Smell the Whatever;
And that, although this Life’s Journey can be so Fleeting,
There is So Much to Enjoy and Appreciate Each Moment…


8 responses to “Summer of LOVE … An Ode to a DOG DAY of Summer

  1. This is so lovely– and so bitter-sweet, because we know Bradley is ailing and we are all getting old and still the world is so amazing and amazingly beautiful. thank you.

  2. You’re welcome and I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Now it’s time for another walk 😉

  3. I’ll save this for rereading and more enjoyment.
    I wrote a poem in Jr High & I’ve saved it all this time. Its Christmasy, so I will send it to you in December for your critique. m

    • Thanks Mary! Fun stuff – I’m still learning myself, so I’m not sure how valid my critique would be. How great that you have saved it for all these years. I bet it’s good, we’re so uninhibited as kids, I think.

  4. Beautiful and moving. I know every step of your walk with Bradley and you have evoked it so elegantly. May you and Brad have many more such walks. What lovely gifts we give and receive with such love.

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance | RetireRant&Rave

  6. Lovely… simple joy described simply.

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