The days are shorter now, it stays dark longer. I tell myself this is why my husband and dog and I have slept until six thirty this morning. We never sleep until six thirty. An entirely different set of neighbourhood dogs are out when Sparky and I go for our walk. At five thirty, our usual time, it’s just Chloe the German shepherd and a handful of runners: Byron the cardiologist, who lives a few blocks away and works at the same hospital as my husband, Henry from across the street, our neighbour Bob. But at six thirty Scout the English setter is out, Violet the Havanese, Moose and Shaka the chocolate Labs, and Molly. I don’t know what Molly is. All of the runners have run home. It’s a dog party.
We discuss Isabella’s new harness, which is a smart houndstooth. Isabella is the prettiest little Cavalier King Charles spaniel that has ever been put on this earth. She is the kind of dog I’d want to carry in my purse at Bergdorf’s were I the sort of person who went to Bergdorf’s with a spaniel in my purse.
When we come home, I fill the blender with spinach, a banana, an avocado, two dates, some lemon juice, water and ice, and my husband and I drink the results for breakfast. From time to time I believe I’ve found The Answer to Life, and right now I think it’s spinach. Sparky and I go to Parnassus. There are as many dogs in the bookstore as there are dogs on my street. Opie, a large hound, belongs to Andy the store manager. Belle comes to work with Cat. Bear, who is ancient and has to wear a belt with a Kotex in it because otherwise he pees on the books, belongs to Sissy. Mary Todd Lincoln, a fancy dappled dachshund, lives in a cross-body sling on Niki’s chest.
The dogs mostly stay in the back, where it’s easier to beg for treats. The dog treats are kept in the staff bathroom, and whenever Sissy goes into the bathroom the dogs stand outside the door in a pack and wait for her. Sissy slides dog biscuits under the door. We yell at her to stop because Opie is better at the game than the rest of them and winds up getting all the biscuits. Opie’s vet has made it clear he’s supposed to be cutting back…