Just when I think that the Chronicles should close down because Andie and I have pretty much settled into a routine, she opens the door to new experiences. For example, Andie has been trying to get on the art table for sometime, stretching herself and placing her paws on the edge of it; I imagine to scope out some eatable treat stashed upon it amid the brushes, pencils and sketch pads. So, I picked her up one day last week at let her go.
It became clear that she just wanted a better view of the garden like she has in the bedroom when I rest or nap. Andie is a bird dog and the hummingbirds fascinate her because they feed close to the windows where pink Oleanders are still blooming and bright carmen-red Mexican Sage cluster near the pond. Andie just wants to be near and the feeling’s very mutual. She settles in on the chair, while I type stories about how much I love her.
Outside adventures are still vigorous and fun. The other day Andie and I drove up to the ridge for a better view of our Green Valley Valhalla in it’s Autumn glory.
Still, for all the outside adventures of which the above was a rare treat distinct from the usual run to the grocery store or pharmacy, we still stick closer to home or the trail. Sometimes, right here on the street, major happenings unfold right beneath our noses. The neighbors got a new set of living room furniture and in so doing set the old one out on the street to be gleaned by passer’s by——It’s how we do it here-bouts, because it costs about as much as a small mortgage to have it hauled away and even then the restrictions and conditions are so onerous it’s like passing through customs with a contraband falafel. Andie jumped on it and sat on the back ridge like the dog diva of First Street surveying all around her. I think she was trying to be closer to the height of the telephone wires where perch the doves she chases at dawn as they peck at Kumquats fallen from a neighbor’s tree. The same neighbors, I might add, where Andie found a certain unmentionable object a few weeks ago.
Even more fun on that same site, Andie discovered gophers a few days ago. She stopped paused, turned her head this way, then that and began furiously digging through the pile of Autumn leaves and uncovered a sizable Gopher hole. So, now that spot has become like one of the stations of the cross when we do our circumnambulation of the neighborhood from the house to the Church and back every morning. Sometimes I call her ‘Gopher Girl.’
—–Something about that Church! For all that soft dissing I do under my breath about the ground junk, gum wads, cigi butts and shiny candy wrappers in regards to Andie’s insatiable appetite for American fun poisons, I must admit her latest discovery was rather ‘heavenly.’ Andie found a $100.00 bill right near the preacher’s driveway. I was absolutely thrilled because Andie and I have been saving for a queen-sized bed-frame and box springs.
I have been sleeping on plywood and milk crates for too long now. As a result of that jury- rigged system it’s impossible to vacuum properly and Gawd knows ( Thank you Gawd for the Benjamin!) that accumulation of dog fur, dust and probably Freddy Kruger’s monster cave is not going well for us. It’s so bad we both get sinuses clogs and mouth-breath like certain politicians we loath.
It’s a restless cycle of waking up dehydrated, drinking water, going back to bed, peeing and so on and so on. The only good to come of of it is seeing our glorious night sky with its bounty of beautiful stars and glowing moon. Still, we’d be best off getting a good night’s sleep. I am now not strong enough to dissemble it all or haul in the neighbor’s bright orange couch (I’m sure is an equivalent of a 70’s shag rug) as a substitute. Andie would rather look at Hummingbirds.
But back to our story—- a hundred dollars! The answer to our prayers. Yes it’s true prayers still happen here, usually by some child-like conditioning which pops out at the strangest stress time, followed by thoughts like: ‘Are you listening?’ Are you really up there’ or finally, ” do you really give a shit?’. Blasphemy ruins the mood, especially when the Benjamin has just manifested at your feet. ‘Sorry, thank you anyway.’
Well, there is karma. I rang on the preacher’s door and showed her the $100 dollar bill and said” ‘ did you lose this’? ‘I saw your gardener out here the other day. Maybe he lost it.’ She said that she didn’t lose it, and she would ask the gardener. Well, the other day I ran into her on our Andie walk and she said:’ No the gardener didn’t lose it, so I donated it to the church fund in your name.’ Gaaaaaaaaaaaa! That will teach me to diss Gawd!
Still, there is the sales from the book on Amazon. So far about twenty have been ordered (Thanks my friends!) and we have earned about $23.00, which will buy half a bed frame. You see, if the books are ordered directly from Amazon we make about $4.00, but if they are ordered from an Amazon jobber at their discount we make about $2.00 on a book. That’s business and I take some strange pride in being a suffering artist with a child to feed. I imagine someday there will be a book about Andie in the works which will leave behind the legacy of a dog love that has transmogrified grief into a practical hope. That is payment enough.
Gotta go now, Andie helped make some chocolate chip cookies that will arrive at a neighbor’s house where we were so lovingly wined and dined over Salmon, asparagus, and roasted potatoes, brilliant conversation and all the entertaining wisdom that serious stories tellers reveal.