The Morning Ritual, Part I
Most of the week the alarm rings at 7:45 and Papa immediately jumps out of bed, groaning all the while. A couple days a week when the alarm doesn’t ring, I have to remind him with a wet lick across the cheek. This is a holdover from my puppy days when I had to go at any time and had no bladder or bowel control. I still have to resort to that occasionally when the urge presents itself earlier than the preset time.
Instinctively, he stumbles around the foot of the bed towards his shoes. He reaches for the long shoe horn he has used ever since his knee operation. Continuing to moan and groan he wedges each bare foot into a leather Rockport. Sometimes he has to switch shoes when he realizes that he has been pushing the right foot into the left shoe and vice versa. That is so funny I have to suppress a chuckle.
Inevitably Papa turns and reaches for his dark blue bathrobe, all this while I am watching this ordeal with one eye open. I like to play like I don’t care one way or the other. Sometimes I even roll over on my back, reach for the ceiling and try to snore. It never works, thankfully, because he always reaches for me and cradles me in his arm and we walk to the family room.
I really feel secure in his arms and in the knowledge I will soon be able to do my business, ah, the sweet relief!
We sit down on one of the recliners and he fumbles with my collar until I hear the click of the plastic snapping together. Now I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.
I jump to the floor and look back anxiously waiting for the door to open. I can’t stop my tail from wagging back and forth, at least not until I see the sight before me. Here I am going out to expose myself to the whole world and I’m being led by this big old guy, with a dark blue bathrobe with white spots, a long pony tail, and the whitest, hairiest legs you ever saw extending from the edge of the robe into those broken-down black Rockports. It’s enough to make a grown dog want to go back to bed, but… business is business. “Let’s go”, I say with my bark and the door opens. “Look out world, here I come.”