I am watching a black Labrador named Abbie. I have stayed with her for nearly 9 years (she is 11 now.) I watch her for extended weekends, a handful of times a year, while her owners travel. Abbie is one of those dogs that just gets into your heart. She is very savvy. I swear, given a few months of serious tutoring, she just might start speaking English!
Abbie had a small cancerous tumor on her leg last year but she recovered and the cancer has not spread. However, the old black Lab just ain't what she used to be. She barely bounded off the bed to great me at the door when I arrived. Her chin is gray, her body is bonier, and she jogs slower and picks up a pant faster as we walk the block. The sun is golden orange and setting as she sniffs the bushes, probably for other passing dogs or a squirrel.
I have enjoyed my years with Abbie, it's like she's my dog away from home. You all have me thinking again with your insightful and passionate comments to my Thursday "forever homes" post. Dogs are not passed around like horses. Most dogs become a part of the family unless that family moves, has children, or the dog becomes aggressive or develops bad habits. I suppose it makes sense that many people see their involvement with horses as a sport, a business, or commodity, and therefore more transferable than a dog, which is considered a domestic pet. Being an animal lover, I realized that I view all animals as pets, regardless of their livestock or farming labels. That may be an emotional downfall for me. I just get too attached.
When all was said and done, the walk was just what I needed this Friday. Abbie and I get back to the backyard to find ripe tomatoes on the vine. As I pick them, the neighbor lady says "Hallo, she told me you vere coming" in her thick Greek accent. She is having a yard sale and I want to browse but I should be holding a yard sale of my own, not shopping at one. I admire the beautiful sunflower plant that rises alongside of her house. I am doing a sunflower project with my school children Monday and I was planning on purchasing some real sunflowers at the farmer's market to use as models. I wish to ask her for one flower snip, but do not have the courage.
Abbie padding along a head of me, I took the soft tomatoes back to the house. They are a pleasant surprise for this pony girl who has no idea what to have for dinner. They slice up nicely on a bed of warm pasta shells.
Afterwards, as the gnats swarm and gather in the cooling air around the back porch, Abbie and I sit and watch the last of the sun fold itself into the clouds.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Besides hanging out with Abbie, I plan to spend part of the weekend with my horse and I will return Sunday to share my stories.