My Dogs, My Life

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They yip and nudge me to go to bed,
But first a walk outside,
One last time in the fading light.
They wake me in the night,
To warn me of thunderstorms,
Shaking.
Scared.
Or they wake me early before the neighbor’s rooster crows,
But don’t allow me to return to my warm bed.
They are hungry, energized, happy.

Catcher nudges me after breakfast to train,
Anxious to run and jump and play with the toys,
Or a treat or two?
Catcher and Tommie and I go to the barn and work,
Like athletes in training.

We return inside the cool house.
Catcher takes a nap in a comfortable chair,
Levi settles in a quiet spot in the back room,
Tommie settles down at my feet, on the cool tiles.
While I sit and read or bead or write.

“Want to go outside?”
They all come running.
We walk around the big yard.
Catcher and Tommie play rough and tumble,
Rolling over and over in the grass.
Catcher’s heavy fur covered in leaves, twigs and dead grass,
Like Velcro.

Or Tommie and Levi do laps up and down the hill,
Effortless, long strides.
Then they each turn and twist and stop to sniff,
The run ended
One young, one old dog,
Together.
A tender moment for me, as I watch them.

They run to me and sniff my pockets for treats.
“Food. Give,” Their eyes seem to say.
Levi nudges my hand.
He knows I have goodies.
He can’t be fooled.

Like a mini tornado we swirl around the yard,
And finally go through the gate,
Returning inside.
To nap, eat, relax.

Later in the day we return outside to train,
The dogs enjoy the attention,
The rewards and play, their job.
Class in session.

Then “Suppy-time”.
They run to their food stations
Except for Levi.
He follows me,
Hurries me. Herds me.
Don’t doddle.

They finish, we walk,
Run, play around the back yard again
And walk inside for another quiet evening.
They settle around me in my bedroom,
Each coming over for a hug,
A pat, an evening treat.
Eyes close.
They are fast asleep.
Waiting to start another day.
Like this,
A good day.
I am blessed.

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