Little things: the lawn

Another rainy day.

The patches of grass in the back yard seem to withdraw from the lawn’s bald spots like they don’t enjoy getting muddy any more than I do. But Lala, our dog, doesn’t share our feelings. She finishes her duties in the drizzle and bounds for the back door, first making certain to gallop through the slimiest section of the yard.  

“Wait,” I tell her when she steps inside.

She knows what I want. She raises one paw at a time as I wipe off her feet with an old towel.

“Okay, go,” I finally say, and she lopes toward my new white couch.

But I didn’t get her feet well enough, and the kitchen is now stamped with her signature. I sigh and wipe down the tile. By now, she and I have memorized our routine.

“Big dog, small yard,” the lawn treatment guy says with a knowledgeable sniff the next time I see him. “Yeah, you can’t have nice grass with all that going on.”

I already knew a lush lawn and a sixty-five pound dog were mutually exclusive. If we didn’t have Lala, we wouldn’t have all the mud in the house on a sodden day either. But we’ve made our (dog) bed, and now we lie in it.

Later, this animal of ours snuggles with the girls while they watch a movie. She repositions a pillow under her head for maximum comfort, opposable thumbs apparently optional. The tip of her tail flicks the air while she snoozes. When she switches her eyes open again, she licks the girls’ toes like they spent the day working barefoot at a meat-packing plant.

And when it’s my turn for bed, Lala plops down next to me, presses her flank against mine, and gazes at me with eyes like the oceans. I know that look.  

“I love you too,” I say.

Fine. We’ll take the scrappy lawn.

lawn dog.jpg

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*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.