It is another dark and stormy night in Calgary. And instead of snuggling under the covers and poking my cold toes into the flesh of my sweet heart’s calves, I am faring it out in silence with our nervous old dog Stella.
I sit on the kitchen chair and watch as hail pelts our newish car. These storms have been going on for most of the summer. But tonight I am doing it without the fun conspiratorial conversations that you have when you are with someone safe and snug in the living room together. When you are with someone, you might say things like “wow, did you see that one? Or, “Oh oh should we throw a blanket onto the car to save it from dents?” Instead I silently wonder these thoughts inside my head. Eventually I do throw a blanket over the windshield as small pelting ice balls bounce noisily off the house making a terrifying racket.
I worry mainly that the dog will run upstairs in her irrational fear and will be unable to get down the stairs. I don’t think I am able to carry her rotund and squiggling body down the stairs without breaking my neck. I recall years ago, our cat ran up a very tall tree, think jack in the beanstalk tall- I could hear her far off mews from the clouds and felt helpless. A day later she must have lost her grip on the bark and been forced to jump or claw her way down. She was unharmed.
I suppose our old dog would bump her way back down the stairs if necessary. But I still don’t want the stress of her up the long flight of hardwood stairs. So I lay in the dark under an old comforter someone gave me over 10 years ago and wonder why I still use it. It is practically in shreds. I realize perhaps I am Shroeder. A brilliant artist (of sorts) who still needs her blankie.
I feel more sympathetic to the dogs anxieties and try not to be annoyed that I have lost sleep while keeping her company on the downstairs couch. We all have our fears, our dark and stormy nights, mine is enduring it alone. Hers is the dark thundering sounds that she doesn’t understand.
Another one of Stella’s many fears.
I believe the photo for this blog was taken last Sept. But it was a good picture and I didn’t feel like going outside to take one tonight!