“Damn mutt. Why can’t you make up your mind?”
I got up out of the chair. Walked over to the door and opened it. A blast of cold air hits my face. A small furry blur runs between my legs and out into the darkness. I close the door and wander back to my chair. Plop down and lean back to watch a show on the TV. A few moments later the familiar scratching at the door. Ugh the though that runs through my mind. So I get up again and open the door. Again the blast of cold air chills me to the bone while the little furry blur darts between my legs again.
“Now you better be staying in.”
I sit back in my chair it is a commercial break. I close my eyes pondering sleep and remember the summer. Only a few more months till it arrives then I can go back to enjoying nature. Memories of playing catch with Shadow out in the fields. As if the dog could sense my thoughts it had gotten up again and wanted out.
“If I let you out then you’re staying out. I am in no mood to play revolving door tonight.”
Still the scratching at the door. So I get up and open the door again. Knowing it was coming did not lessen the blast of cold that caught me while I waited for him to run outside again. Closing the door and sensing it was late I head off to bed. While I lay there waiting for sleep I hear the scratching at the door again. He wanted back in. Well I think I will let him stay out for a bit longer. Perhaps he will learn to make up his mind. I close my eyes and hear a howl.
“He can wait a few minutes while I rest. No point in getting up to let him in to let him out again in a few minutes.” The thought came to me and I turn on my little radio.
Blissful sleep arrives too quickly. I slept the sleep of the dead. I struggle to awaken in the morning and get up to start the morning ritual. After I get out of the shower I stand there pondering if I had forgotten something. I look around wondering if I left something in the dryer. I search the house and still do not find what I am missing. I get dressed for work and grab my car keys. I open the front door and see what I forgotten. There on the porch lay my dog. A small pool of blood as it had tried clawing at the metal door hoping to get inside. Then he had went to sleep curled up on the porch as if waiting for his master to let him back in. I remember the cold blasts of air when I opened the door. Then I remember the howl in the middle of the night as it cried for me. I reach down to touch him. My poor boy. I should have known better. The ice-cold fur and the lack of movement is not something I will forget. The poor guy never understood why I did not come to him. I can just picture the world from his view. He wanted to get inside so badly he would claw until he bled. He only howled once and then kept silent. Suffering and hoping that I would return.
That day I buried my friend out in a field of snow. I dug a whole in the ground a good depth and set him in it. In that hole I buried much more than my friend. Still in those cold winter nights when the wind is blowing I hear him howl. I often go to the door and stare out looking, watching, and hoping he will return to me. These times though I stand at the door holding it open letting the cold bite feeling as if I deserve this somehow. Though I know I deserve much more.