Sunday mornings are my time to just be. Although there is the rare morning I might luxuriate under the covers till 6:00 am, truth be told, I am usually wakened by the snuffle and sighs coming from the top of basement stairs way before the crack of dawn. No sleeping in for this fur baby mom.
Following a stumble through the dark to the kitchen for my wake up cup of coffee, I turn back toward those stairs that lead to the basement and begin my morning routine. Catching a whiff of the corn chip scent of puppy paws as I open the door, I start my day with one or two of the most loving looks ever bestowed upon a human.
Over the years, I have opened that door to Bo, our precious Boxer mix; Cali,
our smiley, low to the ground beagle-basset mix; Waylon, our coon hound; Cash, another Boxer mix and one who we call the happiest pup in the world; or to Harper, our beautiful retriever mix who came to us a bit older than our others. Down the stairs following an ungainly canine descent to the garage I go and round the corner into what is known as the Dog Cave. Amidst the wagging tails and prancing feet I make my way to the door to the outside and set the pups free for the morning constitutional before heading back in for my feeding chores.
The pups and I live away from the city and next to a lake where there are acres to explore and no fences. At night it is not uncommon to hear a pack of coyote circling close to the house, howling and foraging in the wood, seeking sustenance. Our first dog, Bo, would stand in the open doorway, his eyes piercing the darkness, ready to let the scavengers know he would not put up with intruders. He would growl menacingly then let loose what I called his “big boy bark”. It was deeper in tone and carried much more
weight as it traveled through the air. After each warning, Bo would look pointedly at me as if to say, “Never fear, you are safe”.
That early in the day, even the summer mornings are cool and refreshing and the pups run forward with abandon only pausing for the occasional sniff and marking of the territory to alert those still lurking
nearby that the canine patrol is back in action to shield and protect. They do not stay out long because they know there is kibble ready to be had.
During our early morning ritual, I speak quietly and murmur endearments to each of the pups.
To be continued