A Hope Chest of Light Keeping


John and I got a dog. We got a dog. The dog is a girl. She is a husky mix with big paws and a broad nose that sniffs around every corner of the baseboards. She is soft and playful. Her name is Bella.

I am terrified and excited. The last dog I had was Sophie and no one will ever take her place in my mind. Of course that is a different thing. Sophie was part of my childhood-where Bella is now part of my adulthood. Or I guess I should say, our adulthood. Because she belongs to both of us. Which means I now own a dog with another person-one step closer to being a unit. One step closer to a place I have never been before. I don’t want to dwell on how that feels a little scary.

Bella sleeps in a little ball, with her blue eyes peaking over her tail. She is a messy drinker, dribbling drops all over the floor and she sheds like nothing I have ever seen. I haven’t heard her howl but I fear her bark will wake the neighbors. She doesn’t seem to be a fan of cats, although she is really interested in squirrels and is afraid of the mailbox door. She never sits to scratch an itch and loves to play catch in the house. I need to get her nails clipped.

She’s constantly hungry. But she knows how to sit and give her paw on command. Everything is new to her here, she is distracted but flirtatious. She is curious and a quick study. She sleeps through the night and doesn’t mind wearing a collar. I want to give her a good home, make sure she feels loved and cared for. I know we have it in us to help a creature in this way.

John is head over heels, I am (hate to say) keeping my feet on the ground so far. Is that normal? To be giving the new lady in the house the side eye? And why, all of the sudden, do I feel like the governess in a bronte novel? Or maybe I should say: the old wife locked in the attic?

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