It came to me out of the blue, or perhaps I should say the gray. Whenever it rained, I had to sit by the door and wait while James put on his yellow slicker. Instead of wearing one of his hats, he’d don a baseball cap so his head would fit under the raincoat’s hood. As I drummed the nails in my paw on the slate floor, anxious to get outside, he’d place a water absorbent mat on the floor he’d been given by his niece, Liz Hartzman. (Thank you, Liz.) While I was still tapping away, James would get a huge, black umbrella out of the chinoiserie umbrella stand by the front door.
You’d think he was made of sugar. Oh, I mean, he is made of sugar. He has to be, he’s so sweet. (Where’s my treat? Good grief, I was only kidding. Can’t you take a joke? Score, a treat!)
Like I was saying, James was covered from above his head to his toes so as not to get wet when it was raining. Even the slightest drizzle would be cause for him to bundle up tight. Well, he does have a mind of his own, something I know about since I, too, have a mind of my own.
It was my mind, and being covered with hair that was mostly repellant to rain, that led me to enjoy wondering around in the rain. After all, a little water never hurt anyone. While I might have been anxious to go outside, it had nothing to do with why James thought we were going out there. No, indeed. I was in no hurry to do my business, as James calls it. There were too many other distractions for me to even consider relaxing and letting it flow.
Of course, I did learn early on that if I waited, it meant more treats for me. James took a behavioral course where he learned to use a clicker. When I do my business, he clicks it. When he clicks it, I get a treat. The size and amount of the treat, I’ve learned, depends upon how happy James is that I’ve completed our time outside. I love what that course did for James’ behavior.
You see, I learned that if I went right away, we’d turn around and go immediately back inside. However, if I waited, we’d not only stay out longer, but I would get a big reward for finally having gone. I also learned there was a limit to how long I could wait, depending upon how forceful the water was falling from the sky. It’s all in the timing.
Speaking of timing, have you ever seen a rainbow? The first time I saw one, there were actually two of them. That’s right, a double take by both nature and me. I lay there in awe. As for timing, the sun has to be at the right angle to reflect those vivid colors off the moisture particles in the sky. How do I know this? James told me. He’s so smart. (Score! Another treat for me!)
Well, getting back to the rain, James wrote a poem about how he hates it. I can’t say that I agree since it not only waters everything that grows, it also has the potential to end in a brilliant rainbow. Still, I love the end of this poem.
Here it is. I hope you like it.
god how I hate a downpour
having to use an umbrella
with a leash
while attempting to give you a treat
with that training clicker tool
to indicate a reward
god how I hate a shower
straining to keep us dry
with only two hands
bidding you stay beside me
when at nineteen weeks
you have a mind of your own
god how I hate a cloudburst
having to cover myself with nylon
with a zipper and hood
remaining for the duration
knowing at my age not to play in the rain
but at yours you have no idea
god how I hate a soaker
toweling dry your long hair
with a loud blow-dryer
stopping you from biting it or
pulling away from the noise
providing treats to occupy your nibbling mouth
god how I hate the condensation
brushing your soft locks
with they’re moist hair
keeping you from gnawing
unable to do it alone
feeding you more treats and praying
god how I hate a sprinkle
hurrying to return indoors
with you’re bladder full
keeping one eye on the clock
the other on you to
catch an accident before it happens
god how I hate the rain
leaving the world soaked
with it’s constant falling
striving to keep my shoes dry
with your paws getting saturated
having to repeat the toweling blowing combing and
god how I love you lying asleep
after being out in the rain
damp to the core
knowing we’re at peace
while the hands of my heart
reach out and envelop you
It is a fact that James’ heart has hands. I know because I’ve felt them – warm and moist, and a little salty when I lick them. Come to think of it, everyone’s heart has hands. Some choose to use those extremities. We dogs know who those people are.
As for the rain, James never has gotten used to being out in it. For me, it’s a time to splish and splash like I’m taking a bath even if it isn’t Saturday night. Oh, the simple joys of life have such pleasant reminiscences. To think, I’m still making memories when it rains.
In two weeks I’ll tell you about my early experience with pebbles and dirt. I’m not sure James wants to go there, but he did write another poem about that. Come back and see what he wrote. He said I could share it with you.
We hope you’re enjoying reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)