Patti Soldavini

Morning Has Broken

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2010 at 4:02 am

Every morning, I awaken at about 6:45am, get out of bed and frantically try to get dressed, brush my teeth and remove my Breathe Right strip before the “rocket fuel” awakens. I then approach her crate door slowly and quietly as if I’m approaching a potential explosive device. In the back of the crate, Olive remains lying regally like a very important lioness in her brown two-tone microfiber bed. She looks at me, yawns as if to say, “Oh, it’s you? ALREADY?” Then she begins to slowly roll over until she’s on her back, all four feet pawing at the air. This is her “awakening dance.” I crawl into her crate halfway to scratch her tummy, pet her and give her a few kisses. She responds to me with some swift nips to the hand, arm, sometimes the ear. There is no part of the human form that is not appealing to her to nip. Tiring of hearing “NO, NO, NO,” directed at her, she confidently and casually turns away from me as if to say, “I’m done with you, now let me go back to sleep.” So, I leave her alone for a few minutes, attend to a few other morning rituals and come back with a biscuit to lure her out of the crate so she can do her morning business. (And why the hell do they call it ‘business?’ Does she make money from this that I don’t know about?)

As Olive tries alternately to bite her flexi-leash and the new brass tag that identifies her as my master, we make our way through the kitchen, past her litany of toys and half chewed, stinking bully sticks, onto the deck outside. Every morning, she pokes her head under the tarp covering the gas grill, hoping to snack on the greasy, charred bits that fall from the grill into the catch cup underneath. I yank her away just in time. One hop off the deck and then it’s like watching Morse Code come alive right in front of your eyes. One long pee, followed by a second short pee. Then one large poop, followed by a few smaller, staccato droppings. At least, the first one of the morning is fast. Sometimes I have to parade her around the entire acre of property until she finds the exact spot where no animal has ever left its droppings in the past century.

Back in the kitchen, I now arm myself as if I am a survivalist heading for a remote hamlet in Chile for an extended undercover mission. Can’t forget the pocketful of treats, salmon flavored little niblets that stink worse than waterway kill. And my iphone in case Olive licks an under-insured stranger into a coma. Now I have to extricate my license, registration, insurance card and debit card from the confines of my wallet, put them in a fanny pack and wear to avoid having to leave my purse in the car while we venture about town. After all this, we make our way into the garage where I yell out loud, “Shit, the keys!” To my car. Olive, “the grey mouse” leaps into the back of my grey (now collectible) Saturn Vue and immediately stands on the wheel well so she can get a good look at all the maniacal squirrels we pass on the way to the center of town. I go get my keys.

That is how all our mornings begin.

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