Is it time yet? Is it? Mom and Dad clear the lunch dishes. I know I have to wait for the last meal of the day to be over before I get my treat. But I can hope.
Shucks! Mom is leaving the kitchen, and I didn’t get even a corner of that great-smelling meatloaf. But wait. Dad opens the refrigerator. He pulls out a piece of jerky and-yes! He gives it to me. It might not be my first choice, but it’s something. In dog years I’ve reached the age of 70, and I’ve learned life doesn’t always turn out the way we want.
Mom sits on the couch, and I jump up alongside her. I rest my head on her leg. I can tell she needs extra cuddling. She started off the new year with big dreams. She even got on the floor and did those crazy sit-up things, but I see she’s given up on those. Mom’s still getting up extra early to write, but she’s not spending as much time in the kitchen cooking all those smelly broccoli and kale-type vegetables either. She mentioned something to Dad about adjusting her goals and soon after, I caught her sneaking cookies out of the freezer.
Mom gets up off the couch. Now what is she up to? She’s zipping up her coat. It must be time for my walk! Wag, wag, wiggle, wiggle.
“No, Josie,” Mom says in a low voice much different from her happy voice. “You need to wait here.”
Wait. I hate that word. I won’t stand for this. As soon as Mom creaks open the outside door, I dart outside. I can’t tell if she caught me or not. Mom and Dad are busy putting these long stick-like things in the car and talking about skiing at Mirror Lake. Mom catches sight of me.
Busted. “Josie, I told you you have to wait.” She ushers me back inside and closes the door firmly.
I go to my sunny spot on the living room carpet, flop down, and wait. And wait. I’m not great at telling time, but it seems like it’s not all that long before I hear the garage door open. They’re back! I dash down to greet them.
As soon as they open the door, I wag, wag, wag, and then jump on the chair so they don’t have to bend over so far to give me love. They reward my consideration by a pet and ear rub.
Dad rummages through the closet muttering, “I know I put that wax here someplace.”
Wax? I don’t understand what that is, but Dad seems happy when he finds it.
They take the wax and head for the door again. Oh, no!
“Josie, you need to wait.” Mom says that dreaded word for a second time, and Pop! A dream bubble bursts again.
But then, I see that Dad is looking sorry for me. There’s hope! I immediately flop like a puddle on the floor and give him my saddest puppy eyes ever.
“You know,” he says after a few seconds, “we could ski around here in the woods. Then Josie could come.”
I hold my breath.
“I suppose,” Mom says.
Dad breaks trail, and I bound along behind in his tracks where the snow isn’t so deep un-til—squirrel! On the ground! Close enough to get! I give chase.
Shucks! That furball scampered up the tree just in time. Another dream bubble bursts.
But then, the scent of that male German Shepard that lives nearby! I get to leave him a message. I squat. This will show him what I think about his using my trail. Like jerky instead of meatloaf, it’s not quite as satisfying as catching a squirrel, but I’ll take it.
We return home and Mom and Dad have supper. Afterward, I hope that Dad will be the one mixing up my kibbles. But, Pop! It’s Mom. She doesn’t give me as much of the good stuff, but hey, this isn’t too bad. I lick up every last morsel.
I cuddle up on the couch next to Mom. I hope she knows hopes and dreams don’t always turn out the way we want, but that doesn’t mean we should give up.
Dad opens the ‘fridge. I hop off her lap and dash in the kitchen to give him my puppy dog eyes. The container of meatloaf is within his reach. And I will always dream big.