(Boomer sits in once more for Nancy E.)
They say he’s coming back soon–my master. It’s that word soon. They keep saying it.
I’ve been here for a long time. Time. It’s a word like soon. Time seems always to be just ahead of us. But we never catch it. Soon never seems to arrive.
It’s been a long time for the humans too.
Since the last time I addressed you, it’s been good. The humans and I get along fine. I’ve made a second home here. I have beds all over the place. The people here think a couple of them are for me. What they call a dog bed sits beside their bed, and a blanket sprawls on the floor in the office. I make do with them when I must.
There are couches downstairs and beds upstairs. When no one else is around–all is mine.
But someone new has moved in upstairs to a bed that had been there just for me. They say he came from far away. He is an exchange student. But he doesn’t seem to exchange anything. They say he is here to study. Aren’t we all? He says he has two homes. That I understand.
My favorite part of any day happens outside. They take me on walks. Sometimes just him or just her. Sometimes both. And now that new kid comes along in the evenings.
When we walk, she carries this big stick. I was afraid of it at first. She’s pretty klutzy. Every so often she drops it when I’m not looking. It’s alarming. So far, no one’s gotten hurt.
She uses the stick to help push herself up the hills. But once when we were strolling down an otherwise quiet street, this big beast of my own species yelled and screamed–you call it barking–and ran at me. I tried to scurry away–but that darn leash!
Get this! She wasn’t running. She just stood there. I tried to say–“Uh, let’s go.” But she stood there and held the stick out–kind of like Charlton Heston pretending to be Moses. Then she yelled back at the beast–“NO!”
And the beast stopped! His master came out and got him. They both looked ashamed. I was dumbfounded. I felt as though the Red Sea had indeed parted.
The rest of our walk was unremarkable.
I’m not afraid of the stick anymore. Well ok, unless she surprises me, dropping it when I’m not looking (as I said–she’s a klutz). But now, I see its purpose. I had been afraid it was there to hurt me. But it’s really there to protect me–and push her up the hill, of course.
So my very own human is expected home soon. Maybe he’s at a second home. Maybe he is pondering time and soon and all that is life.
Maybe he knows that sometimes people drop sticks when you don’t expect them to. You’re afraid, but nothing happens. And when you actually see something to be afraid of, your Protector stands His ground. Stands between you and the big ugly thing trying to scare you.
And you can’t run away because then you wouldn’t understand how the Protector works.
Soon you’ll be home where it’s supposed to be safe. Even if you’re with people who drop a big stick and make loud noises but really take care of you.
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