I fear that my rescue-pup-now-adolescent-doggie Juno and I are growing apart.
Several mornings last week, she did not run along the porch for petting as The Pony and I headed off to school. And when we returned home, she did not always run to the garage door, sneak in for a mouthful of Meow Mix, stop the garage door from closing as her getaway trot tripped the sensor, and magically appear on the porch for a hug. I know that her black borador fur is a warm coat for this sweltering weather. I don't begrudge her more time in the hollowed-out dust bowl under The Pony's truck beside the garage.
We used to be so close. Twice-a-day sweet nothings. Fur pressed to flesh. Loving gazes from her amber eyes to my hazel. Juno actively jockeying for position, physically broadcasting that no fleabags need aspire to the stroke of Val's palm, so that Tank the beagle and Ann the shepherd had to hang back from the porch edge, lest they be shouldered into the sidewalk abyss.
On Thursday, Juno lay on the porch and watched me come out of the garage and up the steps! She made no move to receiver her lovin'. And ANN WAS CLOSER TO ME THAN SHE WAS!
I ran the past week through my mind. Had I upset her sweet, sweet nature? Ignored her advances? Shunned her unknowingly? No. I had not. It was her, not me.
Last night at 11:30, I stepped out the basement door to pour out the life fluid of D'Hummi, the dehumidifier. And there was Juno! She was shoulder high, laying on the deck of Poolio, in the corner formed by the railing. She turned to look over her shoulder at me. I could almost hear her saying...
You know when George Costanza thought he had a heart attack, and was laying in that hospital bed, and said that Jerry should just kill him now, so Jerry pushed a pillow onto his face just as Elaine came through the door, and said fakely, "Elaine! What are YOU doing here?"
Yeah. I could hear Juno's doggy brain telepathing such a question to me. "Val! What are YOU doing here?"
She trotted down the pool deck steps and came across the flat rocks to me in the alcove by the basement door. Of course I petted her. Leaned over to hug her as best I could. Then I told her it was almost midnight. That I needed to pour a bit of bleach into D'Hummi's gullet to keep him fresh. So she should go back to bed. I'd see her in the morning. Juno leaned against my leg. I stroked her silky side. Then I grabbed the bleach jug and twisted off the cap. Juno stuck her head up under my shirt to put her wet nose on my belly. She likes to do that when my hands are busy. Like when I'm tossing stale bread to the chickens off the front porch.
I think we're besties again.