Sunday Morning

The day is starting out cold and grey and hazy. The dogs were all awake when I got up, though they were still tucked in. I put on some clothes, went to the bathroom, and Teddy greeted me when I was done. He did what he always does, burying his head in my legs. I bend down, hug him, pat his belly and rub it, then scratch his butt for him right near the tail. He leans into the scratching, whichever side of his tail I do. All the dogs love this one spot and most people don’t know that dogs like to be scratched there. But I know about dogs. I rinse the coffee maker, then slip on my shoes and Teddy knows I’m going outside. He’s smart like that, always knows what’s going on before the other dogs. With the coffee perking, we slip outside for the paper. As I open the door I always say the same thing, this time in the hushed tones of the morning, “stay close.” I walk down the steps and the front walk to the driveway. The paper is almost always in the same place, the semipermanent sand pile in front of my pickup truck. I dust off the paper. As I start back up the sidewalk, Teddy’s standing tall and proud, such a handsome boy, on the top step of the porch. He looks at me and then the neighborhood… He loves to look around from our perch here on the top of the hill. He can see the whole street all the way down to the old shopping center. I walk up the sidewalk and then the steps and he turns for the door. I’ve left it open a little, but not enough for him to walk through and, being Teddy, he won’t push through. So I open the door for the both of us. Sophie’s waiting just inside, always afraid to come through the front door on her own and without a leash or escort. She gives him the once-over, as all the dogs do when one gets to go and the others stay behind. I always imagine its a scented search to see where the other went, what they did. I suppose they can tell by the smells that cling to their fur. In through the door and back to the kitchen. I unwrap the paper while the coffee maker hisses and gluggs the last of the coffee. I always separate out the ads and sports sections, whittling down the paper to the couple parts I like. The coffee maker beeps quietly, its done. I pour my coffee, doctor it up with some creamer, then walk to the living room and the couch. I sit at my usual end, next to the side table with the lamp. Teddy takes the other, curling up into the corner for a morning nap… This is Sunday morning.

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