The Dog Next Door

The plan was simple: it was Sunday; the Girl and the Boy had been inside most of the day; there was still a bit of light left and some power in our small camera’s battery — a walk seemed in order. We reached to top of the driveway and it became immediately obvious that the walk wouldn’t occur.

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It had nothing to do with the impromptu photo session; the weather wasn’t a factor; the Girl wasn’t complaining that she was too tired. No, nothing as complicated as any of that. It was simply that Max, the neighbor’s dog, was out, taking his owner for a walk. Max would make the perfect companion for L: they’re both hyper, hyper, hyper, to the point of carelessness and frustration.

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And so they leaped and ran, rolled and barked (yes, both of them), and the walk never got any further. I stood chatting with our neighbor, a retired gentleman who seems more like a third grandfather to L at times than anything else, and we both remarked at how quickly both the kids are growing.

“We’ll be heading out to Missouri,” he said as the conversation drew to a close, “to spend Christmas with our son and his family.” And I realized again — how many times will I realize this? probably countless — that within two blinks, we’ll be saying the same thing about L and/or E.

“We’ll be heading out to X to spend Christmas with our daughter and her family. Our son and his family are supposed to meet us there as well,” I’ll tell our neighbor, asking him to keep an eye on our place.

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And marveling as he turns to walk away at how recently I did the same.

All photos by the Girl.

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