Saturday, July 05, 2014

This photo is from last weekend when Felix and I took Alanna Nappi out for her birthday.  We were waiting for a table at Sunnypoint which was crowded with its usual lunch/brunch crowd.  Felix was far more patient than I was since everything was interesting from his perspective.
Every Saturday morning I get up and go into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.  Lately I have started with a quick trip outside with Felix since he spends 8 or more hours in his crate overnight, and while not desperate, needs to relieve his bladder first thing in the morning.

Once we finish that I usually walk into the kitchen, hang his leash, turn on the radio, which is always on NPR, and put food in his bowl, which he usually ignores for awhile.  Finally, at that point, I turn on the coffee machine and wait for it to warm up so I can have my first cup.

The thing that makes Saturday morning special for me is that Selected Shorts is always on NPR when I turn the radio on.  This is one of my favorite programs that NPR offers and for any of you who have never heard it, you really should check it out.  What it usually consists of is a host-Parker Posey and David Sedaris have lately been frequently fulfilling this role since the death of founder Isaiah Sheffer- and a variety of talented actors who read short stories in front of live audiences, usually in New York or Los Angeles.

Today when I turned the radio on I was immediately hooked by the gorgeous voice of the amazing John Lithgow, who is in my opinion, one of the best readers this program has.  Today he was reading a story about a dog walker in New York and before it was over I was reduced to tears while putting creamer in my coffee.

As most of you know, Abner died on September 27th 2012 at the age of 10 years and two months and while Felix has occupied a big place in my life in the 6 weeks we have now been together, I suspect nothing will ever reduce my missing Abner.  I think that was one of those once-in-a-lifetime relationships that most people have with other people, and I had with a dog.  During the reading of the story, close to the end, the narrator mentions that when a dog is put down he quietly closes his eyes and lowers his head to his paws.  In Abner’s case, since our vet gave him a drug that induced sleep, it happened in the back of my car and his head dropped, just as described, gently to my lap.  I think I am doomed to have this image seared into my memory for all time, and hearing this gentle description today reminded me of how desperately I still miss Abner.

 The above picture is of Felix on his first trip to the summit of Craggy Pinnacle on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The photo below is of Abner in one of his favorite conditions. . .lying in the cool cushiony embrace of ivy. . . with a big smile on his face.