Justin calls Maria our cat-dog. She’s not too excitable. She’ll get up if it suits her purposes. She has a dignified look of quiet disdain down pat. But there is one time of day when Maria becomes an actual dog. And not just a dog. A puppy dog. This is when Justin takes her out for her run.


As most dogs do, Maria knows it’s time for running based solely on Justin’s choice of clothing. When she sees/smells those running clothes she starts bouncing out of her skin. She doesn’t allow him outside a one foot radius (giving him no chance to leave her behind). She keeps sitting down (that’s the way to get your leash on) and then bouncing back up and then sitting back down. It’s sooooo haaarrrddd. So horribly hard to sit still and wait for the running to begin. Maria’s not a barker, but if she’s outside when the running clothes make their appearance she whines as loud as she possibly can. Don’t leave me, she says. Don’t leave me! On those days when it’s too hot or cold for her paws on the pavement, her disappointment is tangible. I can barely bear┬áthe guilt.



I’ve been told dogs live in the present. That they don’t debate what happened yesterday or worry what will happen tomorrow. Which means when Maria’s running… she’s running. It’s all there is. And that all that she’s experiencing is a complete joy. I envy this ability. Not that I don’t enjoy remembering good moments from the past, or anticipating happy moments in the future. But to really feel a moment, to drop down inside it and suck it for all it’s worth.


I suppose I wouldn’t be able to keep my rear on the floor either.

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