Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lindsay's Greatest Challenge

Lindsay awoke and knew instantly where she was.

Not home. Still at Uncle Steve's. Not that Uncle Steve's was a bad place to be, it was just that it mean another day without the normal routines of her life.

She yawned. Stood up. Gave herself a good shake. Trotted to the window and looked out. No, not her normal view of the world. This was Uncle Steve's view.

She wandered into his bedroom and listened to him softly breathing for a while. He was asleep, not pretending. He was not an early riser like her dad. He liked the night and slept in through the early morning.

Lindsay missed the way her mom greeted her in the morning. Made a big fuss over her. She missed the body wagging excitement of it. That was the way a day began.

Not that it had begun that way for several days now. Not since Barry and Linda loaded all those bags in the car, patted her goodbye, and headed off for parts unknown.

Lindsay yawned again. Lay down. And returned to sleep. And in her dreams she ran through the tall grasses of the meadow in the warm sunshine of a late August day.


By noon that day, Barry and Linda were half way home. They had stopped in the little town of Port Perry renowned for its crafts and boutique shopping. They were having lunch at the Front Porch Tea Shoppe and Barry was busy counting the number of other men in the restaurant. He didn't need all his fingers and toes to make the count. Didn't need any of his toes actualy. Didn't need any of his fingers either. Although every table was filled, he was the only male.

He tried counting again, but got the same result.

There were pretty women in summer dresses; trendy women in white shorts with sweaters hanging down their backs and sunglasses perched on the top of their heads; business women in black suits; farmers in blue jeans; giggly teenagers in t-shirts with saucy messages written on the front; picky women who complained about the food and the service and decor; but no men.

Barry excused himself and went to the washroom, which he found sparklingly clean, as if untouched by any male since 1974. For a moment he was tempted to scratch his name and a date on the wall: "Barry was here August 2009"!
But he didn't.


Steve was concerned.

Lindsay lay curled up on the floor, watching him sadly.

"What is it girl?" he asked. "Barry and Linda will be home soon."

Lindsay whimpered pitifully.

"Life's just not the same without them, is it?" he asked.

Lindsay whimpered again.

So Steve went out to buy her a treat. At the dog food store he looked at racks and racks of doggie treats. What would Lindsay like? What could he buy that would bring the sparkle back into her eyes?

And then he saw it. The most gigantic rawhide bone he had ever seen! It was twice the size of Lindsay's head. It was perfect.


At 6 o'clock that evening, Linda's car finally turned into the driveway. The two tired travelers crawled out and started carrying bags toward the door of the house. Inside they could hear the beat of Lindsay's excited tail against the wall.

Steve opened the door and Lindsay went into ecstasy overdrive, her body a whiplash of motion. But her head was pinned to the floor by the huge rawhide bone she held in her mouth. A bone so large she could barely lift it off the floor.

Barry and Linda laughed! "What the heck have you got there girl?"

She was so obviously delighted to see them, but also so obviously proud of the gigantic bone and not willing to sacrifice one for the other.

Steve laughed. "I brought it for her this afternoon. Thought it would cheer her up, but it's way too big for her to eat. She loves it. But she just drags it around the house from one room to the other."

"Well there's a challenge for you girl," Barry told her. "No other treats until you finish that one."

Lindsay looked at him balefully and tried to lift her head up off the floor. Linda bent down and took the huge bone out of her mouth. "Oh Lindsay," she said. "Are those mean boys laughing at you?"

Releaved of its great weight, Lindsay lifted her head in gratitude and licked Linda's hand.

And Barry thought to himself, it was good to be home.