By Mark E. Smith
I’m sitting on my deck, roasting marshmallows this summer’s eve, my English bulldog, Rosie, sleeping on the honey-colored wood. Years ago, she would have ran off into the woods chasing critters, but now she’s eight, and would likely rather be laying on the couch in the air-conditioned house. However, this eve, it’s just her and me, so we stick together, relaxing on the deck.
“Rosie, you’ve gotten old and lazy,” I tell her, and she opens one eye, not moving a muscle, jowls flopped on the deck. “You’re no good for conversation anymore when all you do is sleep.”
I built this place twelve years ago, loving the property – close to work and town, yet rural and serene. In fact, the deck is designed so that when sitting on it, it overlooks lawn and woods and a creek, no other homes seen or traffic heard – just the nature of the Pocono region that stays lush and green throughout the summer – the grass, the trees, the native ferns.
Oddly, although I’ve always maintained my property and deck – often mowing twice per week, spraying surrounding weeds, and keeping the deck stained – I’ve never really enjoyed any of it till this year. I bought some cheap patio furniture and a not-so-cheap gas fire pit, and it’s all turned out well, soothing décor that gives me a front-row seat to nature without leaving home.
“Rosie, you’re snoring,” I pipe at the dog, wondering if I’m getting old like her, too?
Some eves I sit out here with my daughter. Some eves I sit out here and read. Some eves I sit out here and write. And, some eves I just sit here – with Rosie, the fire flickering, the lush grass, dense woods, and evening breeze surrounding me. And, I’m content. Maybe I am getting older, wiser, more relaxed?
“Rosie, in people years, you’d be fifty eight,” I tell her, and she opens her one eye again, slightly. “If you were a person, you couldn’t get away with your laziness. But, because you’re a mush-faced bulldog, it’s charming. And, maybe you’re just smarter than most – no one bothers you, and you don’t bother anyone.”
Those close to me say they’ve noticed changes in me, too. My sister said she’s observed that I only tell funny stories about our parents these days – I guess I’m letting the bad ones go. I was just down in Washington D.C., having lunch with my life-long best friend, and I think he sensed a more laid-back me. My daughter, work, the house, the dog – it’s all good, and I just don’t worry about much else. Like Rosie, I try not to bother anyone, and I don’t want anyone bothering me.
I toss Rosie a raw marshmallow, it landing directly in front of her face. She sniffs it, then scarves it down, looking to me for another.
“You’ve got it all figured out, Rosie,” I say. “Why waste time chasing the futile when, with faith and patience, life will eventually bless us with its best – and sometimes a marshmallow.”
3 thoughts on “A Dog’s Life”
Yep…you and Rosie are definitely mellowing out. You’ll live longer that way (as my Dad use to say).
Sounds like the perfect place to be on a summers eve, I’ll bring the iced tea.
Dogs are absolutely the best. Rosie try not to eat to many marshmellows… you don’t want to ruin your girlie figure. 🙂 Sounds like you guys have got it all figured out, enjoy your paradise.