Monday, November 16, 2009

Toss Travels Solo

Well, not really. Someone else was driving, of course.

But when the opportunity arose for her to sojourn at a friend's home for a few days, basking by a wood stove with a frequently-played grand piano nearby, and someone who loves her spending a lot of time at home, I was quick to gussy her up with a--gasp!--bath, and pack her overnight things.

I didn't really feel a difference this afternoon. I was working on the high tunnel and barn, in a cold drizzle, and Toss would likely have been lounging alone in the house anyhow, by choice. In her advancing years, she enjoys the comfort of her own personal PWF machine-washable sheepskin, and doesn't feel compelled to be front and center in every project out on the farm.

But tonight, coming home after an evening with friends, I notice that the house is perceptibly quieter. It's after midnight, and she hasn't come padding into my room to lay down with a slight huff, as if to say, "Aren't you going to bed yet?" In her working days, I called her the "beddy-bye dog" because she got so drowsy around 10:00 each evening, like clockwork. She would still follow me around the house as I moved from room to room, but she would flop as soon as she caught up with me, give me that little huff of disapproval at my wakeful ways, and close her eyes until my next foray into another room.

I suppose the cessation of the following behavior was an unnoticed casualty of her increasing deafness, as well as a touch of stiffness. She didn't so easily notice, with her eyes closed, when I left the room.

But missing her is ok. Practice for the inevitable. When Ambrosius passed away, I found I was grateful for his habit of "going walkabout" for weeks at a time, because I was used to him being absent. It makes his permanent absense more familiar-feeling.

And I think Toss well deserves some of the finer things in life that I can't give her, like lots of free concerts on her own private grand piano, and someone with more time to take her for walks and pamper her.

The house isn't quite empty, though. Mike the cat is curled on the bed. His buddy Stanley went back to his old home after spending a couple months here, the same place Toss is sojourning. They will all come here when my friend travels, giving everyone a little change of pace.

Although Mike had been quite nasty to Toss, and never really accepted her presence in his new world, he wandered around the house as if looking for her.

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