Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Feel the Energy

It was already Lost Tuesday: weather so hot and humid that nothing past watering the poor, panting plants could be accomplished. The spouse and I finished up the New York Times crossword, decided that it was too hot even to go kayaking. It was too hot to go anywhere or to do anything.

It was my day off. I took two naps.

Evening finally came, and with it the slightest breeze. I went out to water --again-- and came back in, just as the severe thunderstorm that had been forecast rolled in.

The Maddie-dog barked at the storm for a while, and when it refused to be intimidated by her most menacing growls, she collapsed into her fear and trembling mode. We patted. We consoled. We embraced and reassured, all to no avail.

The pyrotechnics subsided, the dog calmed, and we headed for bed. Spouse on the second floor, I on the third. Too warm to sleep together, we agreed.

Alas--the forecast had been for a severe thunderstorm. Lightning flashed, thunder cracked again. From the bottom of the stairs, a dog-sob. Please!

We helped her up the stairs. No, not just one of us would do. She needed both of us. Spouse put on Beethoven, hoping that the music would soothe, even supplant the sounds from outside.

No dice. Toenails on the wooden floor--click, click, click, from one side of the bed to the
other. More knuckle-head rubs, more hugs. More soothing words. Back and forth, seeking consolation for the inconsolable.

No dice.

The Beethoven was finished. We turned on the light and looked at each other. I was grateful for having taken two naps. "If we're not going to sleep, we might as well have some radio."

Spouse turned on NPR, which broadcasts the BBC in the wee hours. News, horrible news. Starving children in India. Planes bursting into flames in the Sudan.

Suddenly Maddie sat down on her bed. She stopped trembling. She wasn't sleepy; she was watchful.

We looked at each other. The BBC?

She turned away, her head lifted in doggie dignity. Yes, she seemed to say. Two hundred dead. Not enough to eat. This is as it is--don't dress it up. No Beethoven, no sugar coating, please.

We slept.

Maybe Maddie's going through Doggo-paws.
So now you are all dawg tired.
It's the dawg days of summer.
It was a beautiful story.
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