21 August 2009

The time she was all feeling the love and everyone's all, geez, hope that doesn't last long.

It's hard to remember sometimes, when Team Small Dog was four. Not three. Almost every morning now, sky barely light, when we brisk step home from the beach, we walk by the old guy with the front yard full of stoves. Not sure what he's gonna do with them. He collects cans, too, and is always sorting them out there by the stoves as we're walking by, getting ready to take them wherever the can guys take them to get their coin. He always looks up from his cans, chuckles all, "heh heh heh" and says something like, "you sure gots your hands full today," or "heh that's sure a buncha dogs there."

The three of them together, such a unit, can't imagine it any different. But everybody on their different trips. You got your Otterpop, glaring around the corner, then charging out of nowhere, plowing through everybody, everything, some kind of weaponry in her mouth. You got your Ruby. Sometimes a little shellshocked looking, needing to be the stealth player under the ever present gaze of her sister, then slam dunking that tennis ball catch with the grace and quirkiness of a ballerina on acid. And Gustavo. Just like some days it's hard to remember when Timmy was with us, it's hard to remember when Gustavo wasn't. The eternal puppy, possibly now 3 years old, who we could never, ever, ever imagine living without.

Not that he's without his quirks. Afraid of things like garbage cans or plastic rocks that might move from one day to the next from one spot to another. Doesn't bark, but screams like a starving monkey when the banana boat sails away into the sunset. Has a penchant for finding treasures that include credit card bills and borrowed paperback books and stealing them away to his lair for a good old fashioned shredding. Kind of like handling the ratty little piece of lure course fur that zips along at 100mph out on the agility field . Can completely lose his gourd out in the forest and not stop running for hours.

But never had a dog that makes every single person he meets, his new best friend. BEST FRIEND. Never had a dog before that has a heart so stuffed with joy that it just spills out his bony little body every second of every day for him. Like oozes out. Spews out. High pressure spoutage out, because it just can't stay stuffed in. Creepy old guy who just fell off the curb, hacking up phlegmy, stringy old wads into his goatee? Love. Nearly naked guy at the beach, fluorescent orange shorts not quite covering all his manly bits, floppy boobs flapping over his flabby gut? Love. Teenage gangster, sporting colors, zit faced and just handed over a wad of something to black hoody guy down by the little creek? Love. No boundaries. No hangups on race, class, or gender.

Is he the favorite? I think I can honestly say no. I look at them all, sleeping in a big stinky wad on the couch over there, dog heads piled on dog butts and pillows and think, how do some people keep their dogs off couches? But like I said. All on their different trips. Where Gustavo got the love, Otterpop has the intensity. And Ruby has the conscience. The three of them together, all of them the favorite. No way to pick. Don't know why I have to think about it like that, something about the way the light's fading and the cold comes up now, and the smoke still red in the sky. Air feels like a vacuum, quiet out on the street at dusk. Every single day I have with my whole team, no matter what else happens that day, it's the best day.


Anonymous said...

Awww, Laura. You made me cry.

Kathleen said...


Unknown said...

Oh man, and here I thought when Gustavo was inching closer and closer to me with a flop onto my feet and a look that said "please, love me 'cause you're the ONLY one for me" that I had been chosen. Now you're saying he does that to everybody???? I'm heartbroken.

Anonymous said...

Tania. But he means it. He really means it for each and everyone of us. (Note: Do not marry this type of human being, thou

team small dog said...

This is exactly right! He is very sincere. He DOES love you. And you. And you. And you. And you. And so on.

Also he loves spinning around in circles only to the right when waiting for the gate to our yard to be opened. I wouldn't marry a human that did this either.

Or that was afraid of stumps.