Lindsay, the English Springer Spaniel, always on the alert for signs and patterns, doesn't like what she sees. Her humans are engaged in a ritual activity that she remembers from previous unpleasant experiences, and from which no good ever ensues.
The first thing she notices is a heightened level of activity. Normally this is a good thing. Lindsay loves to see her humans in motion, instead of their usual sloth, drugging themselves into a state of alertness with vile cups of coffee.
Today they are running around moving things. Picking this up and putting it there, the garbage bin slowly filling to over flowing. The last of the Christmas decorations coming down, the old stuff reappearing. Barry setting the candles on the mantle, Linda putting them where they belong on the mantle. Barry putting the table back where the Christmas Tree once stood and arranging the lamp and photographs. Linda rearranging the lamp and photographs.
Linda on her knees washing the bathroom floor. Barry doing something similar in the kitchen. Barry hauling out the dreaded vacuum cleaner that sends Lindsay racing for the safety of the back office. Linda still cleaning the bathroom floor. Barry beginning to dust the tables. Linda redoing the kitchen floor Barry so recently cleaned.
Then the oven coming on and wonderful aromas beginning to fill the home. Lindsay should enjoy that but she is still in the furthest corner of the back office because, by now, the pattern is obvious Her humans are going to host a party. If she stays quiet and out of sight, they just might forget her. It's not likely, but it is the only chance she has.
Now kitchen table cloths are being ironed and hors d'oeuves suddenly appearing. Wine is being brought up from the basement and Barry is unpacking a box of liquor and exotic beer that he purchased the day before.
Lindsay continues to hide. Quietly.
The clock is ticking and the pace of the humans is picking up. They rush to and fro and then fro and to, somehow managing not to collide with each other.
And then it is off to the showers, hairdryers blasting, clothes thrown on and then a rush to the living room where they collapse into their favourite chairs, trying to look as if they have been relaxing there all day with nothing better to do than await their guests.
And for the first time in the day there is silence.
Until Linda utters the dread words. "The dog."
Somewhere in a dark corner far, far away, a little black dog hears the words and begins to quiver.
"Lindsay! I forgot about her." Barry leaps to his feet. "I better get her over to Nigels right away."
You see, there is a problem with Lindsay. She is too friendly, far too friendly, and is overwhelmed by young children, wound-up to the point of ecstasy by their presence. One on one she is tolerable. But multiple children is excitement beyond restraint.
Which of course terrorizes the children. And today the new baby is coming for her first New Years with the entire family, so Lindsay has to go to visit Nigel.
Lindsay loves Nigel. She just hates going to Nigels, because she knows she is missing out on the joy of playing with children. It is very sad.
Barry finds her hiding in her favourite place to hide, in the furthest corner of the back office, clips on her leash and leads her out to the car.
He talks to her encouragingly on the brief drive and then they are there. Lindsay remembers Nigel's house and her mood begins to lift. Her tail begins to wag.
Nigel and his wife greet her at the door and she runs to them with joy. Not the joy she would take in getting to play with young children, but joy none the less.
Perhaps this day won't be so bad after all.
And later, there will be left overs.
The graph of the woman cleaning is from Photobucket
a brittle quiet
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