When the time arrived, we gathered our things — the backpack, the watermelon salad in a grocery bag, Jimmy’s clothes and things — and left the apartment. It was 11:00am, and we knew we wouldn’t be back for awhile longer. It’s on days like these when I worry about Angus, our dog, who hasn’t been alone for very long over the summer. He hasn’t run into any problems in 52 days, hasn’t tore up the incense holder but has certainly torn a bunch of his toys. He’s been a busy boy, spending time mostly home with me, taking walks or casual strolls around the apartment and back and forth a few times until he decides to pee. He’s a long walker, and he’s got ambitions of his own when we take him outside; sometimes those ambitions include walking around and dragging me through the park until he finally decides it’s time for him to plop down and poop.
But there are other times when Angus is alone, and I feel bad for him. He’s a good dog and I don’t like the image of him sitting on the couch, waiting for us to eventually come back and greet him again. I feel like it must be lonely for him to sit there by himself, eagerly anticipating our return only for it to not come for another hour or more. I know it’s normal, and eventually he’ll get used to it again after I have to return to work, but when that time comes, I’ll still be feeling bad about our dog. The alone time is never fun, and I know that already based on what it was like while I was unemployed not too long ago. This is what the alone time is; Angus mostly being by himself when there’s nothing better for us to be doing with him.
A constant struggle for space and room. A nightly ritual fueled by strife and dominance. A chaotic fight between man and beast, and who will come out on top? What will the result be of this climactic battle, waged in what is supposed to be a shared, relaxing, communal space for all to rest in. This is the bedroom, and this is what it is like to own a big dog that doesn’t like moving when it’s told to.
Angus is a funny dog. Sometimes, when I’m asleep in the morning, he cuddles close to me and waits for me to wake up, patiently and carefully, so as not to disturb my slumber. I appreciate when he does this, because it shows remarkable calm and care from a dog that usually doesn’t exhibit those characteristics (Angus is notoriously not calm and not careful when he does things.)
I’ll give an example. Last night I got up to go to the bathroom, and by the time I returned to bed, Angus was covering my spot in the bed. He likes to lounge and has no sense of personal space or obstruction, despite how frequently he obstructs the way between things. I talked with Jimmy, and he says that his dogs do the same thing; they get in the way whenever they can. When I decided to gently move or push Angus away from my spot by actually getting into bed, he decided to bark in my face very loudly, waking up Alex and causing a big disturbance at 11:30pm. Totally unnecessary, but the battle between man and beast continues for a little bit longer. I hope that it doesn’t.
Though this probably reads as me being frustrated with my funny, unaware dog, I love little boy Angus and his weird proclivities and idiosyncrasies. He’s unique in how obnoxious he can be sometimes, but I love it. I hope that in the future we figure out a way to get him to move without causing him to scream out in panic.