The phone call totally made my week. The guy calls and tells me he has a problem. He says it’s hard to explain.
He tells me he has a situation with the document he needed to sign and send to me and that he has a new puppy. Ok. He tells me that he signed the paper and had it on the coffee table and when he left the room the puppy ate his signature; ate the bottom of the paper right off where his signature was. Ok, so of course I asked what kind of puppy it is and he says it’s a black Lab.
Say no more.
Always dangerous, that quiet was, and as if bursting from starting blocks on a track Benjamin gallops around the round oak coffee table waving my new peach satin Victoria’s Secret bra from his mouth with great delight. Cups flapping on his ears like headphones that can’t get a grip, straps shinning across his nose, he’s clearly thrilled with his dresser surfing prize and is trying with all his might to entice me to join in the chase. I yelled, I commanded, and he raced faster and faster around the table reminding me of one of my childhood bedtime story books where the tiger races around in a circle until it turns into butter. Totally frustrated, I flopped down in the chair in the living room and decided to wait him out. Let him eat my bra, I was tired of the whole game. Benjamin walked over and with the classic Labrador soft mouth, laid my bra gently on my lap as he looked up at me with “you are my world” eyes. It’s hard to explain.
We take our fancy new RV trailer up in northern BC to remoteness. Rivers, bears and dead salmon. The spawners that drift up on the bank and feed bears and eagles. I make a special dinner and set the table in the trailer with placemats, wine glasses and flowers and Mark takes Benjamin out for a pee. The short leash while walking along the river bank trying to avoid the dead salmon mine field didn’t quite work as Benjamin found one that Mark missed, flips over on his back and gloriously rolls in stinking, slimy rotting fish, legs pumping the air as he shimmies and slides in the goo before Mark can yank him up. I open the trailer door to a fuming Mark and a putrid Benjamin. Did I mention that it was raining steady our whole trip? Like raincoat essential rain? Using all our shampoo to wash our stinking dog and all our towels to dry him, we spend the rest of the week convincing ourselves that we’re having a great time as campers do when they’re really miserable in the rain. We camped all summer in beautiful places and weather, but it was awhile before we lost the aroma of wet dog and rotten salmon with notes of Febreeze. You just don’t pick that up in the fine air freshener aisle. It’s hard to explain.
As I listened to the guy explain how his new puppy had eaten his signature, the Benjamin stories started popping up in my mind. I felt a sharp stab of nostalgia. It’s hard to explain.
Photo: Benjamin – my best friend for many years.
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