Snow in the moonlight

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It’s too quiet… and too noisy…

And yes, it’s both at the same time.

I miss the ticking of nails on the floors. I miss the middle-of-the-night sleeping adjustments taking place just beyond the foot of the bed. I miss the water bowl… the snoring… every simple thing that is part of the background noise in a home though normally quite unnoticed.

I hear the furnace kicking on. I hear the walls creak from the wind and temperature changes and other assorted oddities outside. I hear the rain on the skylight. I hear sounds, familiar and identified as well as unfamiliar and strange. I hear the furnace turning off.

The house is too quiet. The rhythm and pace and normal happenings are all wrong. I’m used to being asked for treats and water and walks. I’m used to noses lifting my arm and pushing against my feet. I’m used to being greeted at the door.

The house is too noisy. None of the little sounds are in tune with my expectations. The swirling and blowing outside is different. I’m not opening the normal cabinets. And I’m not even wearing the right shoes.

Slippers. Yes, slippers. They aren’t made for quick trips outside in the snow. They don’t sound the same as sneakers or loafers or boots shuffling along the hall and kitchen floor on the way to the leashes. They’re warm and they’re comfortable and… and… and they seem all wrong.


The memories are everywhere...

I suppose not the ones you would expect. Not the pictures. Not passing a favorite spot in a room or a leash still not put away.

It’s the dog food in the cabinet. It’s the throw rug in the corner that had been for water bowls, and the carpets around the garage arranged for muddy paws to be wiped on. It’s the drool rag on the couch (and the drool on the wall, just behind a piece of furniture or in a room unfrequented, unnoticed for a bit of time)… it’s the row of a store, so often walked, with a box of treats so often purchased, and now the slightest of pauses before walking past without turning.

It’s not the memories.

It’s the barely a split-second trigger of thought, bridging unconscious motivation and conscious action until awareness arrives.



I still go outside every night…

…to tuck them in.

In November of 1993, I spent the first night in my new place… a duplex in Rhode Island… in a sleeping bag on the floor. When I woke up, I got in my car, and my sister and I went to pick up Lady. From that day on… the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of 1993 until Saturday, January 17, 2015… I don’t believe I ever spent a day in my home without walking my dogs.

Of course… there have been trips, when I wasn’t home and someone else was watching some combination of Lady, Travis, Molly, and Gus.

And yes… I may have been under the weather, or gone to bed early, and Terry stepped outside with them.

But honestly… I couldn’t give you any specific dates when, if I was home, I didn’t begin and end my day with them. That’s easily over 7,500 mornings… more than 7,500 evenings… where we spent time together. There were countless times when we shared midday strolls and midnight snacks.

And now, it doesn’t feel right to head off to bed without stepping outside.

I don’t know how long it will continue. Maybe another few nights or weeks. Maybe I’ll step outside in the evening for the rest of my days. For now, I need those few moments with them.

Last night was very cold, with a gloriously clear sky full of stars. My breath misted and clouded the air in front of me. The snow sparkled as a three-quarter moon spread its light upon the blanket across the yard… a peaceful white with glitters throughout and a beautiful moment to be standing in the fresh air.

Good night.

Good night, Lady.

Good night, Travis.

Good night, Molly.

Good night, Gus.

We love you. We miss you. Sleep well… and I’ll see you tomorrow.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at