Dog Days of Summer


Hi again, Max here. Viv is slowly drinking the kool-aid. The Apple kool-aid. Now she’s all about figuring out the iPhone. I overheard her talking about how the Chinese in her decided to jump in and get one since unlimited data with Verizon would no longer be available after this month–and you know how those Chinese are when it comes to good deals. She still uses this computer for her writing. I guess it’s hard to type a lot with thumbs on a tiny screen. Well it certainly is no picnic trying to type with my long claws. Gotta get them clipped but I shudder at the thought.

So, here I am enjoying my first summer with the family. It’s pretty awesome having all five of them around. There’s lots of coming and going. Two big news items: first, Viv has started working on her official book proposal for the cancer book. Apparently it’s a big deal because the day she started I would see her get up from the computer now and then and dance in little circles around the kitchen. She would type something, mutter to herself, scratch me behind the ears and exclaim, “Max, it’s actually happening!” The other thing is that Michael has this enormous hard cocoon casing around his arm and only his fingers stick out. Something about football camp, broken wrist, surgery, three screws, elevate, take white happy pills. He’s sleeping in the TV room and I enjoy keeping him company.

The rhythm of daily life is kind of off with the days getting hot and all of this and that happening around me, so I never know when I’m going to get out for a walk. Walks are still one of my favorite things. Walks and ham. I get so excited when the shoes go on and the leash gets taken off the hook. I spin in circles and opera sing my howl bark. It takes everything in me to follow their command to sit so they can clip on my leash.

I usually spend the first chunk of our walk pulling on my leash. I want to get in every whiff of every bush and pole. Sometimes I get fearful and jumpy with the smells and sounds. So over and over Viv (usually Viv, but sometimes the boys, but really mostly Viv) has to pull me back next to her side. She has this leash that has two handles so she can keep the leash short during that first part of our walk. Sometimes I can hear her singing songs with those white ear buds stuck in her head or she gets in some conversation with a friend on the phone. Sometimes I can tell she is deep in thought, or maybe praying. I never know exactly where we are going or how long we will be out. But after a while, I fall into step with her, and I feel the leash loosen. And the looser the leash, the wider her smile. It’s at those times when I will briefly place my head in her hand as we walk. It’s my way of saying, “Hey, thanks. I love being with you.” And I look up to her and our eyes will meet and the smile I see shows her teeth.

Reminds me of those verses in Psalm 123

To You I lift my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He is gracious to us. (v. 1-2)

How often I stress and strain, trying not to miss anything. I become fearful and I struggle with trusting in the pace being set and the course that is laid out for me. And much like our walk with God, I miss out on enjoying walking in step, looking to His eyes, experiencing His presence, His smile, His pleasure in me. I see older dogs on my walks who lumber along enjoying their walks. The mellowing that comes with time. Confident from the consistent care provided. A faithful track record. A knowing that comes through experience. I enjoy being around them. They are not in a hurry, they are not afraid and they are secure in who they are and their relationship with their master. Perhaps in time I will be like them.