This morning, the coldest winter day of the new year in Minnesota, I woke up to Miley’s off pitch howls from her crate, five feet from my warm bed. I ruffled the comforter as if to tell her she wasn’t alone, but it wasn’t time to wake up at 4:45am. She was not in the mood to listen to my nonverbal cues.
I reluctantly got up and picked up the growing 45 pound beast and let her outside (no way was I stepping out into the -10 frigid air). She did her business quickly and I urged her to sleep just a little longer. Nope. Okay, Miley you win again.
She leaped and bounded up the basement stairs to the dark kitchen and tried to playfully mess with Derby, our silent, 1/2 blind, 90 year old jet black Shiapoo. Derby immediately shut that one done with a modest growl. So naturally, Miley moved onto antagonizing Zoey, the Queen mut of the three beasts. Miley took a play timeout right when she saw the pantry door slightly open and ravenously shoved her head into a giant bag of dog food.
“Miley, BAD!” She’s a brilliantly smart golden doodle puppy and always know when she’s doing something she’s not supposed to be doing. Tail between her hind legs, she slowly backed away from the pantry door, looking up at me with shame-filled puppy eyes.
I fed Miley breakfast into her homemade ceramic dog bowl and made a cup of coffee in the Keurig while she devoured her food in under a minute. The vanilla coffee made the house smell like one of those little trdelnik sweet shops all over the Czech Republic.
I glanced at the clock on the microwave that read 6:15 AKA too early to really do anything thought inducing yet (** my mom is already at Lifetime halfway done with her workout). I grabbed the James Patterson book off my bed that I started yesterday and took a seat on the couch off the kitchen with my legs folded, feet to the right, socks off.
You have to really watch this dog. She eats e v e r y t h i n g. Yesterday was her 2nd sponge and 85th sock and God knows what else she got into. I pinpointed the crazy puppy and kept one eye on her and one eye on Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.
With just a few pages left in this tear-jerker, love story of the year, the climax hits and I start softly sobbing. Within seconds, Miley is on to the couch next to me (where she is definitely not supposed to be) and smothers my face in wet, slobbery puppy kisses. She stayed perched on top of my feet until she knew I was somewhat back to reality.
These are the moments that make life so amazing and precious. A book that evokes actual raw feeling and a selfless animal that can sense so quickly how you are feeling. It’s incredible. Miley can be horribly obnoxious, take this Thursday morning for example, but moments like this remind me of why dogs are such a blessing.
Isn’t it lucky? -James Patterson