Saturday, May 2, 2015


It’s my favorite time of the year—the lilacs are about to bloom, it's still cool in evenings so no mosquitoes, the extending days means it's light out when I get home, and there's new foliage on the deciduous trees. The red maple out front—its small, growing leaves wave like the hands of toddlers. The dogs can spend all day in the yard when I’m home, and I wake to sounds of chipping sparrows, a catbird, robins, cardinals.

Tiny Dog came back to work this week after three weeks away (Chicago dog influenza outbreak). She was initially crabby with dogs and then slept tucked away. On Wednesday, she would not eat, not treats, not canned food. Finally, she had a scrambled egg at 3 pm. I tend to get worked up about her poor appetite since she had pancreatitis a few years ago, and that disease can span from mild, managed with medications, to severe, in the ER on IVs, barely hanging on.

The meds did the trick, and by Thursday, food was something she danced for again. I blame the dog toothpaste I decide to use to finally start brushing her teeth. The critter is delicate.

Spring. Folks have optimism again. The garden store was packed, and I carried Tiny Dog with me today, as riding in the plant-carrying red wagon sent fear into her heart. Strangers stopped to pet her, and she loved it, others rubbing her velvet chest and head, as she relaxed in my arm. I forgot her leash, so her preferred mode of transport was enacted.

We left with herbs to plant, and I swoon smelling the leaves of rosemary, lavender and thyme. We’re not in the clear yet from frost warnings, so I haven’t planted any seeds yet. But I can feel it—renewal smacks you in the face. The trees are no longer bare and people smile at you on the bike path, especially when Tiny Dog’s along, walking again on her leash, instead of hidden in the warmth of my coat. 

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