Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aliens, English Setters, and walking in the rain

Penny has the biggest, most expressive eyes. Large, brown, soulful- someone recently said they are like people eyes. Sometimes when she looks at you, she is looking at you so adoringly you can't help but reach down and pet her, which is something she works to her advantage, because when she does something she shouldn't do, she looks up at you the same way, and it is as if she is trying to hypnotize you into forgetting what she did. You did not see me try to eat that nail, that wasn't me who knocked over the garbage... Billy and I have read this is a breed trait, that English Setters have giant eyes that are meant to mesmerize their prey, and keep them in place until the hunter arrives. Although with Penny, they are most often meant to manipulate any humans around her.

At times, mainly in the middle of the night, around 3 AM, I wonder if she is a tiny part alien. I stumble into the living room, awake for who knows what reason, and she pops her head up from where she is sleeping on the couch, and her big brown soulful eyes reflect the light from the streetlights in such a way that they are transformed into shiny, black, buggish alien eyes. I have to go over and pet her to make sure it is really her, and not some alien dog.

Lately Penny and I have been going for a walk in the mornings, somewhere between coffee and the rest of my day. She knows this too, and will begin her aquatic dolphin sounds as soon as I take my final glug of coffee, and reaches full cresendo as I pull on my shoes. This morning it was gently raining, and I wasn't sure I wanted to go, but Penny made me. I grabbed my umbrella, rolled up my pant legs so I wasn't dragging in puddles, and linked her to her leash and we were out the door.

It is very peaceful to walk in the rain in the morning, I never realized. It was so quiet, I could hear sounds that usually on our walks are obliterated by noise pollution, like lawn mowers and edgers, and trucks and kids shouting. (Sorry, I guess kids really don't count as noise pollution, although sometimes they should- I work in a school library, I should know). I could hear my Converse squishing on the pavement, the light backpack looped over my shoulder whooshing against my jeans, the clicking of Penny's tags, and the light tapping of the rain on my umbrella. I was just beginning to find the sense of quiet and calm within myself that I find in yoga, when Penny stopped to check out a lawn. She does this occasionally, she is a hunting dog, and smelling things is like reading a newspaper or checking the internet to see who has emailed. (Oh a rabbit passed this way where did it go where did it go) I usually let her do this for a few seconds, to catch up on neighborhood gossip. While she was sniffing around this morning, I closed my eyes to really experience the scent of the rain, the sound of the rain, the hushed morning - and realized Penny was doing more than reading the newspaper, it was more like she was reading the newspaper in the bathroom. She chose to relieve herself of last night's large dinner on someone's front lawn, right in front of their statue of Mary, just to further embarass me. As I pulled the currently empty soon to be filled purple, lavender scented doggy waste disposal bag from my back pocket, I thought about what I was doing - I was about to pick up after my dog like a good citizen, but it made me wonder who is more trained here? Me or Penny? She doesn't perform this task for me, and it seems rather demeaning, if you think about it. Then I thought, not only do I clean this up after her, but I clean up after Maggie too! In a past life, were they royalty and was I the servant who cleaned their chamber pots? If so, why haven't I moved up in the scenario? My next thought was, as Penny looked at me with her big undecipherable eyes, if aliens did exist, and were to land next to me at just this moment, who would they think was in charge?

I am not sure I want to know.


  1. It is all true, but we love her.

  2. She does have people eyes and your bog was really cute:)



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