Sunday, 21 August 2016


When I let the dogs out this morning, the sky was a sickly yellow and there was a feeling of expectancy in the air. Sure enough, shortly after that it started raining, a sudden downpour that sounded like gravel being thrown against the windows.

We have had a very hot, dry summer, and it is wonderfully refreshing to think of all that water soaking into the dust. My gardens will be yawning and stretching to take it all in. There is something wonderfully snug about curling up with a novel on the couch in the lamplight while the rain comes down and does my work for me.

The other night Brio the intrepid was uncharacteristically anxious. After I went to bed, he kept following my husband around and pushing himself underneath his legs whenever he sat down. Then he slunk around the lower hallway for a while, head down as if in guilt. He wouldn't settle, and when my husband came upstairs and told me about it, we decided to let Brio come up to bed with us, something we ordinarily discourage. But I've learned to listen to dogs.

Instead of curling against the backs of my knees as he likes to do, Brio pushed himself against my head. Hubby and I started speculating that perhaps I was going to die and Brio knew it. I expressed my desires for a graveside service only, my ashes in the biscotti jar I've kept for that purpose in the curio cabinet. He could make a bonfire of the memory sticks containing my writing. My niece Clare gets Grandma Jean's set of china. But even as we giggled, there was a tinge of worry...I've known dogs to be right before. See last line of previous paragraph.

But in the middle of the night, an unexpected thunderstorm broke, sending wave after wave of thunder rattling the house and zapping the dark with brilliant flashes of lightning. At every crash, Brio jumped and whimpered. So that was what he'd been sensing! My dog was a scaredy cat.

As soon as the storm abated, Brio settled and slept, and he was his normal bouncy self the next morning. And for this morning's rainfall, which doesn't include thunder, he's perfectly oblivious. He's snoring as usual under the desk as I write.

I will continue to listen to dogs. And be grateful for the rain.

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