A Interesting Walk With My DogI was about to take my dog out a walk when I thought I'd heard something, but I was wrong. It's actually what I didn't hear that made me pause. I glanced out the window, and then opened the door to see if it was really true. Toby stood next to me with a hopeful, pleading look in his eyes. I smiled down at him, absently scratched his golden head and said, "C'mon boy, let's go for walkies. Quick, before God changes his mind." Sunny, tail thumping loudly against the wall, looked up at me and smiled. Yes, dogs do smile. He lifted his head and responded with an energetic, "Woo, woo, woo,"( he didn't really do that I just thought it would fit. lol) and then bounded toward the kitchen closet where all of his stuff is kept.
When we walked outside, I paused and said, "Get your stick." He always has three or four "carrying" sticks to choose from that lay just outside the door. I learned early on that if he didn't have something else to hold, he would always grab a portion of his leash. I used to think that was cute, as it gave the appearance that he was walking himself. It wasn't so cute when we had to replace an expensive leash because his chewing on it eventually rendered it unusable. Toby retrieved a stick, worked it around his mouth for a few seconds, dropped it, and chose another. Finally satisfied, he looked up at me. I could almost hear, "So, what are we waiting for?"
We set off down the street, and hadn't walked a dozen steps before I felt the first, second, and third drop. I sighed. I knew it was too good to be true. Toby didn't seem to notice. He was too busy sniffing soggy wet grass and water-soaked plants for treasures that only a dog could admire. I was amazed at how the large stick he carried never seemed to get in the way of his olfactory pursuits. I tugged on his leash a couple of times to hurry him along. Water had found an opening at my collar, and was steadily dripping down my neck, snaking a trail down the center of my back. It was uncomfortable, and I thought about turning around and going back home. But it was only water, I conceded. I would dry, my clothes would dry, and eventually, even the dog would dry. So, we continued on.
I marveled at how quiet it was. Except for the soft pelting of rain against my nylon vest, there was absolutely no sound. The neighborhood folks were either at work, in school, or burrowed in their homes waiting for that momentous day when the sun would finally appear ( we live in Ireland now so very rarely did that happen). No dogs barked, no birds sang, but most surprising of all, at that particular moment, there wasn't a single vehicle to be heard, not even on the normally busy road, just a block from where we were. It was downright eerie, like something out of the Twilight Zone.
We turned a corner, and in the same instance that I considered this must be what it's like to be deaf, my musings, and the silence were shattered. Out of nowhere came what could only be described as rapid gunfire, like from an automatic weapon. I instinctively moved toward a large stand of magnolia trees thinking I could hide there, while Toby actually skittered, yes that's right, skittered forward about five steps, before reaching the end of his leash. He turned and looked back at me. By then, I was busy trying to drive my heart out of my throat, and back to where it belonged.
Then I laughed, equally as much to help me resume breathing, as to relieve the tension. Toby, with that four-foot long stick still perfectly balanced in his mouth, tilted his head to one side, and looked at me inquiringly. I reached down and petted him. "It's okay girl, it was only a bird trying to take down that light pole we just passed." He looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but sensing all was okay, took up the lead once more and pulled me toward home.