A Day in the Life It’s early morning, well before the eyelids of the day have opened. A familiar noise I’ve heard many times before, brings my mind out of its unconsciousness and back into the real world. I assume it must be sometime around six in the morning, based on similar experiences. I can hear the sound of something small fumbling around on the other side of my bedroom door across the hallway. The sound is sneaking in from a space between where the bottom of the door should meet the carpeting of my bedroom floor.
Mornings that begin like this one make me wish I had thought twice about removing the carpeting to expose the bare hardwood floors, only for the pleasure I thought it might bring to my eyes. If only I had known at the time, I would be giving up many mornings of undisturbed sleep. I reluctantly poke my head out from under the burrows I somehow seemed to create in the midst of my deep sleep that chilly night. I hear the sound again, a little bit louder this time.
I lay there, head barely protruding out from the warmness contained under my 900 thread count sheets and the down comforter I had purchased, in fear that one day global warming would unexpectedly reverse, and the environment with which I was accustomed to would freeze over without warning. Having been forced to fully open my eyes, I now can see there are no signs of light creeping in through any spaces around the shades. The sounds continue for a while until the day finally begins, for someone else. I can hear her doorknob click when she turns it to open her bedroom door.
I can hear the morning greeting she gives to her faithful companion who waited so patiently for her to awake. Overly excited about seeing his loving companion, he quickly pants and snorts with excitement, almost sounding out of breath. She follows him down the hall into the dining room where he leaps at the sliding door excited to finally be allowed to relieve himself from the past 9 hours of having to keep from marking his territory. A loud, whimper like bark comes from the other side of the sliding door in her bedroom. With her bedroom door not closed, I listen to the sounds of the slider door open and then close quickly.
Shortly after, the sounds of him galloping down the hallway to grab his soft, squishy, black and white spotted squeaky bone could be heard. A sound of squeaks is heard beginning from one end of the hallway to her bedroom where he stops at her closed bathroom door. He drops his bone and takes a seat, and soon after, lays down sensing it may be sometime before his friend comes out from that doorway. I decide its time to remove myself from the comfort of my bed and prepare my breakfast. As I open my door, he slowly looks up, not satisfied with who he sees, he returns to his waiting position.
I seat myself at the dining room table with a small bowl of oatmeal and freshly toasted English muffins with a dab of jam for taste. A few moments later, I am softly greeted by her and the following companion, who now seems to be somewhat interested in me for the tasty morsels of food I have in front of me. I refuse to acknowledge him, as if he had not ignored me just a few moments earlier. He quickly gives up and continues his routine. She makes her way outside in order to fetch the daily paper and is promptly greeted at her return to the front door.
He patiently waits for her to get settled into her recliner chair after preparing herself a half slice of English toast with butter on it. She takes a seat next to her newspaper she brought in and begins reading. He looks up at her from his spot on the floor waiting for her to acknowledge the forlorn look in his eyes. She finally senses the eyes of fire burning a hole through the Metro section of the paper. Almost with a bit of irritation in her voice, she lets him know he is free to sit with her on his side of the chair, as if he thought things were going to be different than they were the day before.
He gladly hops up onto the chair and nestles in next to her, back leaning into the seat and all four paws dangling in front of him. At last, he is comfortably seated next to his friend with the fresh smell of toasted muffin only inches away from his twitching nose. He knows that if he waits patiently, soon enough he will get his bite. He watches her chew each bite with extreme caution while she maintains a direct line of sight with the current sentence she is reading. He glances out the front window from his lookout spot, searching for any unwelcome guests that may be lurking in or near the front yard.
She nibbles off one last bite before giving him the last small piece of crunchy crust and without delay, he gently snatches it from her hand and swallows. After reading another section out of the newspaper, she pulls herself out of her chair and proceeds to the kitchen. He follows her to what seems to be his favorite room in the house. On occasion he gets lucky and finds himself a crumb or two from some not so careful cooking. It doesn’t take him long to figure out what time it is and he bolts into his large carrying crate without a word being said.
She’s out of sight from him but he hears the pleasant sound of a drawer rolling out and a can clanking around. The clock hits eight am and she dumps a scoop of dog food into his silver metal bowl. He wait’s a moment for her to remove herself from the area and then he slowly walks over to his bowl, where he stares into it, not pleased with what he sees. He is not always fond of what meals are prepared from the tin can, at least not when some sort of tempting food is placed on top. He looks in her direction to see if the last ingredients are on there way but she’s already left the room.
Without any sense of urgency, he eats his meal and decides to pass through the kitchen on his way to her in case a fallen crumb might be found. It’s back to the chair with his companion once again. He snuggles into his spot, almost sitting on her thigh, and let’s out a sigh of relief. He now has time to nap while she begins working on her crossword puzzle of the day with a cup of coffee close by her side. Every few minutes he perks up in order to see if things are any different than they were the five minutes before.
With no major movements from either party, he falls in and out sleep, only to be awaken by the sound of a large truck driving by the house. After putting myself together for the day, I gather my book bag, wallet, and keys, and say farewell. She wishes me a great day and without hardly looking up, he nods his head with a clear indication he has no interest in my whereabouts or when I’ll return. So I leave the house and head off to school. It’s about three in the afternoon and he can hear the sound of the garage door opening. With energy and excitement, he leaps from the chair and races to the sliding door and smears his face on the glass.
I open the door to a greeting befit for a king, he smiles and sniffs me, quickly runs to grab the nearest toy in sight and runs in circles from the kitchen to the living room. After only a few laps, he flops down on the rug and begins showing me how playful he can be by squeaking his toy and snorting while rolling around, digging himself into the floor. I toss his wet little squeak toy only twice since he doesn’t want to return it after the second time. He is far too tired after that show to do any further playing so he backs himself up against her chair in between her feet and listens to our conversation, intently.
While at the same time, grooming himself, paying close attention to his paws. At approximately a quarter to five, he makes his way to his crate and as usual, waits for his dinner to be served at five. Usually for dinner there may be some sort of special treat with his dinner that he gets to make it more appealing to him. This just happens to be one of those nights. She drizzles some sort of meat juice left from cooking on top of his mountain of dog food from the tin can. He seems to be thoroughly pleased with her efforts in preparing his food tonight.
Within minutes his bowl is empty and he is beneath her feet in the kitchen, hoping to get more. A few hours after dinner he senses it nearing the time her bedtime, so he crawls into his doggy bed and waits patiently. As soon as she removes herself from the chair, he waits for her command for him to take a trip outside before going to bed herself. After being outside for less than a minute he is back at the door, with a bark to insure she knows his presence. She opens the door for him and he quickly bolts into the crate where he happily waits for his goodnight dog treat.
She makes her way down the hall and I can hear her door click shut. Seconds later, you can hear him jump from the floor onto the couch where he pulls down the afghan and ruffles it up so he can sleep on it. He closes his heavy eyelids and drifts off into a doggy dream world, waiting for the next day. The relationship that forms between an owner and its pet can be so unexplainable. The way each of their lives are so deeply entwined with one another’s. The unvoiced love that they share for each other, only expressed through gestures, is truly a gift. It is a strong bond that goes deeper than playing catch.