Pete, the Lovable Companion
Life is always filled with a whirlwind of thoughts and responsibilities. From an unfinished book that seems to resist completion to the challenges of book sales that often leave me feeling disheartened. On top of that, a bustling family reunion at our lake cottage awaits, along with its accompaniments of children, grandchildren, five dogs, and the dreaded one-bathroom situation. And let’s not forget the intricacies of organizing a baby shower, a joyful occasion overshadowed by its logistical complexities.
If anyone doubts the self-imposed complications in my life, I can proudly point out the three large dogs under my care. Their various health needs have led me to embark on the journey of preparing homemade dog food, especially with the upcoming family visits. It would be wise to have eight days’ worth of dog food ready in advance. Alas, this means dedicating an entire day’s work to sourcing affordable meat for their meals. It may be a hassle, but my dogs, although unappreciative, remain healthy and vibrant.
Sleep eludes me, and my mind is constantly racing, defying any attempts to find tranquility. I find myself challenging the urge to do laundry in the middle of the night—an act that would disrupt the recommended protocol I have set for myself. To combat my sleeplessness, I’ve resorted to pouring a late-night bourbon, an emergency remedy to coax some slumber before the demanding day ahead.
Even in the depths of the night, the sky shines brighter than the trees, casting an ethereal glow on the house. The abstract silhouette of leaves against the pale night background creates an enchanting pattern that encapsulates and comforts me. Restlessly, I lie on the couch in our cozy library, finding solace in the night sky. The dogs are by my side, their rhythmic breathing providing a sense of companionship. Pete breathes rapidly, as if engaged in a fierce race, while Moses emits deep and sonorous exhales. Both of them accompany me on my nocturnal wanderings throughout the house, their presence a reminder of our shared bond and wakefulness. Auggie, the youngest of the pack, blissfully slumbers.
Last night, around midnight, I discovered Pete curled up in an unusual spot on the kitchen floor. Yesterday morning, I found him amidst the towering piles of laundry—no, mountains of sorted laundry. With the influx of visitors, bed linens, beach towels, and garments, Pete was far from his slumbering family. I pondered whether he sought solitude or if he had become disoriented due to his fading senses of hearing and sight.
Despite his age, Pete finds immense joy in his life. He eagerly devours his meals, runs and frolics with unyielding enthusiasm, and fiercely protects his territory. He takes his role as the elder statesman of our dog pack seriously, diligently keeping his younger brothers in line. Yet, his calm demeanor often results in him being overlooked amid the chaos of daily life. Each day, I make a resolution to dedicate time exclusively to Pete, to make him feel truly cherished. Yet, each day, I fall short of this goal.
In the wee hours of the morning, the booming bass of a passing car stereo disrupts the tranquility of our peaceful rural road. Whose child could be responsible for this nocturnal disturbance?
Unable to sleep, I rise from our bed and quietly make my way towards the laundry room to start a load of clothes. The weight of grief engulfs me as I recall vivid dreams of my father’s distressing demise. To avoid disturbing my diligent and hardworking husband, I seek solace in a secluded corner. Sensing my anguish, Moses, with his acute sense of smell, gently licks away my tears. I remind myself that my troubles, in the grand scheme of things, are relatively minor. The world is replete with tragedies and suffering, while my life remains comfortable, fulfilling, and abundant. Nonetheless, finding the right mindset to alleviate the troubles that plague my mind requires conscious effort. Yes, I lead a good life, but grief has firmly gripped my heavy heart.
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