I think this picture says it all . . .
I took it while trying to write a blog post.
This is Henry.
He belongs to my older son. Who’s back home for a while.
Hmmm . . . thinking of all those pets I foisted on my dad . . . is this poetic justice?
I type a few words, then stare, unseeing, trying to capture the elusive idea, drawing vague images out of the shadows, turning words and phrases around and around for the right rhythm, my mind miles away. I am not even in the world at the moment . . .
A nudging at my lap. The worming of a furred head between me and the laptop.
I am pulled back from wherever I was.
From my lap, two brown eyes look up at me, unblinking.
The images recede, the lovely phrases fall apart in chunks, the idea skitters away.
“What, Henry, WHAT?”
Wagging of tail, perking of ears.
He runs to the back door. Does a dog-dance to go outside. I call it his reindeer dance, because that’s what he looks like, back feet stationary and the front part of his body springing upward, repeatedly.
He’s out there for forty-eight seconds before he’s barking to come in.
He needs his treat.
I settle back at the laptop. What was I thinking about—? Oh yeah . . .
I type, oh, five or six words.
A nudging at my lap.
I ignore it.
A warm head worming its way between me and the laptop.
I am NOT looking at him. I am WRITING.
He finally withdraws his head. Good. He’s giving up. He’s going to to the living room to get on the couch, thank heaven.
A soft whine.
I don’t look. I reach over, pat his head. Tail thumps. I am going to finish this post . . .
A low grumble.
Then a louder, longer, much more rumbly one.
I make the mistake of looking . . . and take the picture to prove why I don’t write.
He needs to be loved right now. That’s all he wants, to be petted and to snuggle. For me to give him my undivided attention.
It’s my own fault. I’ve spoiled him. I cave, but it gladdens my heart. His fur, especially the white patch at this throat, is silky-soft; he arches and rubs against my hand as if he were a cat. He exudes comfort and luxuriant well-being. Henry could be a therapy dog; it’s impossible to be sad, angry, or troubled in any way when he’s leaning against me or lying with his head on my feet or even while he’s devising clever ways to get petted. He craves being touched, responds to it with absolute bliss, wriggling, writhing. The words I say to him most often are Sweet boy. Sweet sweet boy.
He intrudes on my writing. He’d say my my writing intrudes on him.
One day I’m going to put Henry in a story. It’s a really important role; I’ve got it figured out.
I guess I’ll have to teach him to write it, because he’s certainly not going to let me do it.