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[H]e made close acquaintance with phenomena which he had before known but darkly–the seasons in their moods, morning and evening, night and noon, winds in their different tempers, trees, waters and mists, shades and silences, and the voices of inanimate things.

-Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Woman has been home from work this week.  We have spent some lovely bonding time together, though my old nemesis, Vacuum, has reappeared, which created a rough patch in an otherwise serene few days.

The vacuum careened through the apartment, creating havoc from my comfortable chaos.  I barked, and Woman seemed to feel my reaction meant that I needed to be “conditioned” to the Vacuum once more, and instead of putting it away in the closet, she’s left it out.  It watches me, but I watch it.  Edgar hasn’t mentioned it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Vacuum was involved in the conspiracy in some way.

Then, Woman became sick.  This was not fun at all.  Instead of playing all day long doing endless running, jumping, chasing, and fetch, she just lay there and occasionally said, “No, Humphrey” when I stuck my nose in her face to see why she was still lying there and if she felt ready to get up.

This afternoon, Woman was feeling better and the weather was very fine, so we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood.

I felt my usual exhilaration to be out in the world, encountering what fate brings me, whether I chance to meet new dogs, fight coyotes, or protect Woman.  In fact, today I did meet a charming black labrador retriever who lives around the corner from me.  He and I exchanged pleasantries before he had to go to help his family bring luggage into the house (they had been on holiday).

Woman and I continued perambulating together, perfect companions, enjoying a day with more than a hint of spring in it.  I participated in the traditions of countless canines before me, sniffing and peeing on a hydrant, and felt quite in my element.

Our route took us to the ocean and a cornucopia of smells.  Woman walked slowly or sat on a bench while I read what their was to read with my sensitive muzzle.  I read about lost love, happy puppyhood, gentle old age strolling familiar sidewalks, frustrated dogs longing to sprint away from it all…

When I had had my fill, I joined Woman and we watched the ducks and sea gulls in the water.

Yes, Reader, I know that I am involved in an intense investigation of an evil conspiracy, but I do enjoy the simple things in life.  These are essential.  The walk was lovely.  I felt so happy.

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