Ducky Doodle comes out from his hidey-hole beneath the dresser and scrabbles at the side of the bed. I get up and open the bedroom door so he can go out to Scott, but instead he goes back to his own bed. Why? What was that all about? He does it a couple times a week and doesn’t always want to go out, so what’s up? Goddamn dogs.
There’s a thump at the back of the house. I hear Scott go into the spare room and say through the window to Sadie Doodle, “What are you doing?” She’s a busy girl, that one, with her guarding and gathering.
I swing my legs over the side of the bed and pull on my slippers, slip on my housecoat (Mom’s, which is starting to look ratty but I can’t part with it), and look out the bedroom window. The trees around the yard are laden with hoarfrost and on the other side of the frozen dugout I see a moose, and call Scott to let him know. I grab my camera and take a picture, do a little recording. Scott wonders if it was the moose that made the noise we heard; could it have been right by the house?
It’s a young one, he says; last year’s calf. It high-steps slowly over to the elm trees lining the west side of our yard. Sadie stands on the step and barks, but doesn’t chase. That’s good. Scott and I can’t see the moose any longer so we go about our business.
It’s 7:45 and since I’ve set the iMac to come on at 9, I force myself to stay out of the office till at least then. Otherwise I’d be as likely to bring my mug of coffee in here as I would be to sit on the living room couch with Ducky on my lap and watch the birds at the feeders while I drink it. The latter is the better way to start a morning but the former is a powerful habit, one that I’m determined to break.
Instead I get a batch of bread started. I let Sadie in to eat and play with Ducky — it’s 20-below outside — and when I let them both out, Ducky dashes off the step in a flash and heads around the front of the house toward the bird feeders, barking, and Sadie too. I rush to the window to see what they’re after:
I go onto the step and call the dogs back before they follow the little fella too far or perhaps get themselves kicked. Sadie comes as soon as she hears me but Ducky? “Ducky! Ducky! Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!Ducky!” I screech 10,000 times before he hurries ’round the corner of the bushes and rushes toward me, all proud of himself.
A blogger wrote about phrases and jokes some of her long-gone loved ones used to repeat. In my case, after I’m gone my friends and relatives may remember me saying “Goddamn dogs.”