There was nothing special about this particular morning. I was up early to do some writing, setting up shop on the couch in the TV room of my house. Tristan generally lays on his dog bed in the dinning room just feet away from where I am. He will only go on the couch in the TV room if I am in the corner chair and at least one of the schnauzers is on the couch with him. If I move at all, to adjust, to reach for the remote, answer the phone or God forbid I actually rise up from the chair, he is off the couch and into the front room quick as lightening even if he is asleep, always on high alert for what might hurt him, it is heartbreaking to watch. He remains very leery of me crossing in front of him at all, and generally maneuvers himself so that it never happens. At times his fear is palatable.
Taking the last swig of lukewarm coffee, I place my computer and a small moleskin notepad neatly on the ottoman in front of me. I begin feverishly typing away not paying too much attention to Tully or Tristan playing tug on the large chocolate colored dog bed in the other room. I had been gathering thoughts for writing about Mother’s Day, not knowing if writing about my own Mother would be safer than peeling back the layer to address the fact that life has not gone in the direction for me to have kids of my own. Many people in my life have started or are starting families. I thought having children or adopting would be part of my world at this point but that was before, and what has come after has proven me wrong. I have so many wonderful kids in my life, and for that I am grateful yet there is a dull ache that I don’t know I have really let myself feel until recently. Sometimes your life changes and you think moving on will be much easier than the gum you continually try to pry from beneath the old wooden desk that just won’t budge. It sounds so dramatic, so Johnny and June, but still I wait. I wait for the first and last thoughts of my days to reconstruct themselves from the carbon copy of each yesterday…975 yesterdays. I wait.
Like so many, my dogs are my family I would do anything for them, anything to protect them from pain. Unfortunately, I can’t protect Tristan from his past and he can’t protect me from mine but together we seem to make it through, somehow there is unspoken acceptance and that is a bond stronger than words.
For Tristan the pacing begins and I can almost hear the inner dialogue exchange trying to reason himself into making the move. His first attempt is unsuccessful and he aborts the mission last minuet as if a plane trying to land in the fog. He heads to the dining room only to circle back, he tries again, and on the 4th attempt Tristan’s large lanky body lands next to me on the couch, I do not move, I do not breath. I close my eyes and when I slowly open them, his head is resting on my leg. In the more than two years he has been with me this has never happened. I sit in the stillness soaking up his calm, and I have no doubt he understands.