Eight Hours

gallery_6214_546_29691“There they go, off to their two jobs leaving me alone for at least eight hours.  Why both of them need to work I don’t know.  I heard talk about a bigger TV but I think the TV they have is plenty big, it takes me two swings to pass it by.

I tell myself each morning to pace the water.  It’s eight hours and if they stop for groceries or a parent visit, it can easily grow to nine or ten.  Do they think I have two bladders?  I only have one and I try to pace it but this cheaper dog food doesn’t help much, I think it makes me more thirsty.  Cheaper dog food?  I wonder if that’s a part of the new TV scheme.

I like the eight hours alone.  I know where everything is but still like to know if the smell’s changed.  It hasn’t.  I heard talk about kids but none in sight, just as well with both of them working.  There’s that darn water again but I pause as if I can think which I can’t so I quickly lap up what’s provided for me.  Mmmmmm, tastes good but it’s only 1 o’clock.  I can hold it.  Have you ever tried to nap with a filling bladder?  I wouldn’t suggest it and the back door key is too high and being stuck with paws doesn’t help either.

Sitting and staring can kill a lot of time while I’m intently and diligently staring at nothing.  Maybe humans could learn from me, who knows.  I hear a car but it could be the neighbor’s car, they sound alike to me.  I consider one more lap of water but the release feels too risky.  My first week with them proved troublesome between their wish for me to wait and my wanting.  Of course they won and here we are; I mean here I am with these eight hours to kill before I get to yellow the green grass.

It was their car.  ‘Make sure your tail is pointed up,’ I remind myself as though greeting them is more important than relieving my number one.  (They’re fooled every time, by the way.)  We exchange seconds of pleasantries and I’m out and running and smelling and running and smelling until, yes – all those eight hours of holding finds a suitable place.  Number two is saved for special places that they’ve already found.  They scoop up my number twos for sanitary reasons.  Why number ones are ignored is beyond me.  There must be something toxic in the ones as well as the twos but scooping seems a problem for the ones.

Even though they’ve taken care of my reproductive rights (yea, rights?) my number one release I consider superior to the joy of the joys I will never know.   They went back inside but I don’t mind.  ‘Frolicking’ is now my time in their small back yard.  I run and run always avoiding my numbers one and two.  Ahhhh, that was wonderful.  I hurry to my door for reentry and sit in a waiting posture for what seems a long time but there is no response.  ‘Ummm, that’s weird,’ I think to myself.  They’ve missed me for eight hours and now I’m out here with them in there when only a few minutes ago those roles were reversed.

I think of putting on my adoring face but don’t have a mirror to check it. My tail is perky and the relief was unbelievable.  A quick bark will alert them that I’m still around but it seems to alert no one.  Are they assembling the new TV and forgot about me?  Three more barks to tell them that I’m empty, ready and anxious to begin another eight hours in their home.  Nothing.  If it’s not the TV then perhaps they’re creating the kid I was promised?   Now it is time for random and loud barks for any neighbor to hear who wishes to own a lovable, small blonde, cuddly dog who know the length of eight hours.  Nothing.  Then a swift opening and the mom holds the door for me in spite of my spirited tail and adoring face.

I made it back inside to the familiar people and smells that I’ve grown to love.  But, alas, there’s that darn bowl of water.  Oh well, what the heck.  I indulge.”

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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