Monday 26 Sep 2016

Her Moments
AJ Robinson

Our dog Juliet isn’t very old. We don’t really know her age with any degree of accuracy, as she was a “rescue”; we got her from the humane society. Their estimate was about three years, which means she’s in the full bloom of youth. It means she’s quite playful and frisky!

When we go on walks, she can be quite the handful. Her chief goal on each walk is simple: find cats and squirrels to chase. While she is sometimes successful in this endeavor, it is most amusing to see what happens when she fails.

On one recent walk, she was bound and determined to find a squirrel. She just about pulled the leash from my hand as she zipped from tree to car to bush looking for one. There weren’t any around. Finally, in frustration, she sat down to scratch an itch. This required quite the bodily contortions as she had to get her mouth around back to right above her tail. As she wasn’t in any hurry, I took the opportunity to catch my breath. Then, suddenly, right in front of us was a squirrel! I was amazed and literally did a double take. It took a moment, but I figured out what was going on. The squirrel had jumped from tree to tree above us, and the branch it had landed on was not very strong – it couldn’t support the squirrel’s weight. The branch bent, and down came the squirrel – to right in front of Juliet! The thing was she was too busy scratching to notice. The squirrel didn’t miss a beat; it scampered up the branch and into the tree. As its weight was removed from the branch, it snapped back up into place. A split second later, Juliet finished her… ministrations and looked around.

She never knew what she’d missed.

A few days later, we were out again, and she caught sight of a cat. Before I could even react, she was off. She raced away from me so fast that she yanked the leash right out of my hand. Around the corner of a building they went, and I gave chase. I had no idea how far they might get. Rounding the corner, I hoped that I might keep her in my sightline – so I could at least stand a chance at catching up with her.

She was right around the corner.

She stood there, looking around, woofing and growling. Again and again she spun around; she zipped in and out of the bush, and her head whipped from side to side. As far as she was concerned, the cat had up and vanished. The cat was sitting on a branch of the tree growing in the middle of the bush. Juliet just didn’t think to look up.

I grabbed her leash and we walked home, and by the time we got there I was laughing so hard my sides hurt. These kinds of events make me wish I had a video camera with me 24/7 and turned on.

Oh yes, she definitely has what we call her “senior moments.”

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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