Dearest Rachel –
After getting Chompers settled last night, and staying up till just shy of midnight to ensure that he’s at least gotten himself comfortable – if not fallen asleep – I drop myself into bed and lose myself in a fitful sort of sleep; one colored with images inspired by AI’s artist guest, Aprilapin (who either was the girl asking to hug Daddy Cat at brunch on Sunday, or was being assisted by said girl, because she turned up in the Marketplace staffing Aprilapin’s booth as Nightelf and I ambled through afterwards).
But at some point barely an hour and a half later, I am roused by the sound of jingling bells – or rather, jingling vaccination tags. The old boy is not comfortable, and while he’s making an effort to be fairly quiet, he’s moving around trying to remedy the situation, which is all that is needed to wake me. I figure he needs to do some business; and judging from the results, I’ve figured correctly. Only water, to be sure, but better outside than in.
Welcome home, me. You can’t get used to a solid night sleep: it’s not part of the home experience anymore.
Even as I attend to chompers outside, I see a figure walking down the street. It’s Daniel, returning from one of his nightly walks that are apparently a regular occurrence for him these days. he’s carrying what he refers to as his ‘staff’ – actually, a hockey stick given to him by your father from one of his own walkabouts back in the day. You know about how your dad would trashpick time and again from the odd leavings of the Western students; This was something he apparently thought Daniel might be interested in. It would seem that he was right; only, he could’ve never foreseen to what purpose Daniel would eventually use it. He has told me in the past that it is part of his weaponry he uses to combat “the enemy,” which is to say, the Satan and the forces of evil that think they have dominion on the earth at present. I’m not sure how that works, and I’m not about to dive into further details. I think it has something to do with declaring his ‘authority’ over them.
Just one more thing I can’t get used to.
Regardless, I get Chompers situated back in the bedroom, wait a few minutes for him to settle down, and crawl into bed a little after two. my mind is spinning with additions to have finished letters, and I occasionally think I should have my iPhone in my palm to work on them, but whatever I do on one will probably caused me to forget the others entirely, so I decide to let them all go, rest my eyes (which are by now virtually pasted shut anyway), and fall asleep that much sooner.
It’s probably the wisest course of action, as any delay in sleeping would result in that much less sleep; by six o’clock, he actually decides to utter a mournful bark. He needs out yet again. And since he dripped a bit when I put him in his harness at 1:30 (Pavlov may be long gone, but dogs are dogs, and conditioned responses are a thing, after all), I simply grab the wheelchair in my other hand, and tote him out the door before installing him in the wheelchair.
Strangely enough, dripping is still all he’s doing. And I stand out there with him for a good twenty minutes. The typical assortment of joggers goes by (although it never seems to be the same joggers – not sure if there’s a reason for that). What’s not typical is one with a hairstyle and mustache not unlike that of Ned Flanders, who stops. And watches me as I pick Chompers up to situate his elsewhere aside from the puddle he’s made. Finally, he speaks.
“We just lost our little guy; and English Springer. Good luck with him,” at which point, he proceeds on his way.
Okay, I get where he’s coming from. Didn’t have the time – or the presence of mind – to make any sympathetic noises toward his situation, but he recognizes an old dog when he sees one.
And that, my dear, is how my first full day at home begins. I need to get myself used to this, but I don’t think I’m able to just yet. Didn’t nap enough last night, so I’m a bit foggy right now. Hope this letter is sufficiently coherent, because I’m not exactly feeling it right now. All I know is that I feel I need to keep you up-to-date regardless. So, here it is in all its unedited glory.
And I should go; he’s whining yet again. I‘lol feed him in about twelve minutes or so, but I’ve got to let him know I’m aware of him, and calm him down in the meantime.
As always, honey, wish me luck.