Discover more from Poiema
I am writing this because I couldn’t sleep. It’s storming outside and the dog was having a minor fit so I decided to move to the recliner where I could pet him without having to worry about him trampling all over my neck and ears
I woke tonight to the sound of whining coming from the bathroom. Peanut had gone to seek shelter beside the commode, dragging all of the floor mats between the toilet and the tub, piling them around him like baby blankets.
When I walked in, I could see nothing but a snout protruding from one end of a rug and a tightly tucked tail peeking from the other. After a while, I was able to coax him from behind the pot and into my arms. He was a trembling mass of ears and fur just like the day I found him.
His history is written all over his hide. One flop ear, a half-gimp leg, numerous scars from too many fat ticks and sharp kicks. Shaking like he was, I couldn’t help but see him as that weak, starved, beaten, and unwanted pup. And how it fell to me to rewrite his story.
“It’s ok,” I said. “That’s a good boy.”
He isn’t afraid of coyotes or snakes or bigger dogs or fast moving trucks. But two things seem to terrify him: thunder and the thought of being left behind.
Thunder is wild here. Not the kind that gently rolls across the landscape like a stoic drummer leading the rain and the wind in an elegant parade. It is feral and mean, knocking holes in the sky and pawing the ground like an angry bull. Rattling the windows, rattling the bones.
I reckon it's because of all these trees. These knotty pines do their dance in the storm and call lighting from the heavens. And when it strikes close to home, as it so often does, the piercing crack and boom that follows reminds all creatures great and small how fragile we are.
Peanut is lying under my feet now, presumably because that’s the most inconvenient spot he could find. Or maybe he imagines that thunder, like hunger and loneliness, can’t touch him as long as I’m around. I told him that everything was going to be fine, and he pressed his head hard against my feet and fell asleep. I think he believes me.