In memory of my dog

Okay, sweet and sappy time (don't worry won't always be like this):


As I snuck around the trunk of my oak, the rough bark scraping my back and the twigs wetly giving way to my steps, I could see him.

The drops on the grass winked at me as I passed. My rusty swing-set creaked in the wind, the cracked swings swaying to and fro. The crooked and wet slide daring me to try it, telling me one is never too old for a slide.

I watched as the vines on the fence fought to conquer the top and climb down the other side. A blue bird swung down to rest on the top and sing its song of encouragement for the vine's labors.

My Samoyed, Merlin, barked out as I grew near, pawing at the bottom of his dog run door, hoping I would open it. As the latch lifted he happily ran in a circle and then lunged for me before there was even room to fit his large body through.

The dog run, full of overturned earth and many a buried bone, contained his bowls of water and food which needed filling.

His high-pitched barks and wet tongue greeted me. When I bent over to lift his bowl, he playfully nuzzled the back of my legs and I grabbed the fence to keep from visiting his fresh dug dirt.

I turned, he barked and took a slow step back, I lunged for him and he yelped and ran.

Mud flew as he ran, panting, his large tongue sticking out. My clothes were cold and slippery and his white fur had become brown. We tussled and tumbled in the wet grass, gentle nips here and there.

The wind began to howl loudly again and Merlin stopped his play. He stood still while my wet hands grabbed him to help myself up. His eyes studied the yard and even the blue bird flew away under his gaze. We sloshed our way back to his dog run and I grabbed his bowls.

As I filled them, the rain sprinkled down again. Merlin howled softly and crept into his dog house; I placed the bowls inside and he licked my hand.

He stretched his neck as I scratched it. "We will play again, when the rain stops," I promised. He nodded as if he understood and placed his muzzle between his paws.

His dark eyes followed as the gate squeaked shut and the latch clicked into place. The rain began to clean off the mud from my clothes as I walked to the house. Merlin howled as I closed the backdoor and the sounds of the storm quieted.

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