Day Sixteen, Tuesday
Cleaning day at Nancy’s. She walked across the street at nine-thirty, the day already warming. This time of year was like a teetering act between summer and winter. Warm days, hot days sometimes, and chilly nights, the air with a bite in it, an edge of freshness. Morgan unlocked the door with her key, and heard Joey whining in her crate. She let her out.
“You don’t like being alone, do you? Me either.” Joey’s tail wagged hard and fast. She tried to jump up on Morgan, who held her hand out flat, a trick the kids taught her. “No,” she said, and squatted down to Joey’s level, ruffled her ears, talked to her.
All morning, as she went from room to room, cleaning, Joey stayed close by. Usually under foot. Except when Morgan pulled the vacuum cleaner out of the closet. She laughed as the puppy dove under the table, peeking out from behind a chair. “It’s okay,” she told her. “I won’t get you.” But Joey stayed under the table the whole time she vacuumed.
Sweeping was a different matter. Joey chased the broom and scattered the dust piles so Morgan had to sweep them again. “No,” Morgan told her, but Joey wagged her tail and pounced again. “Outside with you for a little while.” She put the puppy out the back door. She raced around the yard once, did her business, then came and yipped at the door.
Morgan remembered the big dog her boys had. It stayed in the yard, never in the house, her own rule. She couldn’t stand the idea of a muddy, messy, hairy dog adding to her workload. Besides, she had never been a dog person. Never liked them, had no patience with them. The boys would play with the dog in the yard, tearing up grass and plants. She ended up doing all her pretty gardening in the front yard. The dog got old and died, and she didn’t even care.
Now, with Joey, she enjoyed her. She could understand some of her personality (funny word to use on a dog, she thought – “person”ality), and appreciate her enthusiasm. She could see that the puppy was just trying to please her, and that the puppy enjoyed being with her. Of course, Joey would have preferred her own kids, but she knew Morgan, too.
I guess no person can match the exuberant greeting of a dog when you arrive home, she thought. She used to greet Tom at the door, get a hello from him. Then, he would go to the backyard and the dog would wag its whole hind end, bark and jump in circles. Tom would laugh and play with the dog a little. She remembered thinking she couldn’t compete with that. And decided she didn’t like dogs.
This puppy, though, wasn’t about competition. She wanted companionship and comfort. Morgan found it easy to give, and get plenty in return.
Have you browsed the buffet table of ideas over at The Nester? Plenty there for everyone!