It matters not that the sky outside seems stuck in some sort of permanent shade of pussy willow gray, nor does the chill in the air hold any real meaning. What does matter is that it's Sunday, and although Darby does not know the days of the week, he is most definitely aware that this is a "stay-home-mom" day, and as such the opportunity for a trip to the bluffs is high on his list of hopes.
He watches, sometimes from the corner of his eye, sometimes openly, as we move through the paces of morning; coffee drinking, paper reading, dishwasher running, more coffee, making the bed, then a shower. He is waiting for one of the immutable signs that his fondest Sunday wish is going to be granted.
My husband begins putting on his tennis shoes as I make one last trip to the restroom (having a bladder slightly larger than a lima bean). Darby's head is slightly lower, ears forward, tail wagging at the very tip.
Then he sees it.
I reach for my sunglasses, but not my purse. He begins to get the wiggles, multiplied exponentially as I open the drawer where his leash is kept. He all but vibrates on the small kitchen rug as I slip the Martingale over his head which, once in place, sets off a series of puppy-whines, sounds we only hear from him as we ready him for a car trip.
We take him out to the bluffs, where nearly no amount of walking can wear him out, as he is young and strong and we are middle-aged and tired. Arriving back at the house, he will need another bunch of minutes to race around the yard like a maniac, both to finish off his workout and to burn off the rest of the energy he generated in trying to make his wish come true.
Finally he slows down, sides heaving, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, lips stretched into a goofy grin worthy of Bark's smiling dogs pages.
It is Sunday, and all of his wishes have been granted.