Working in the hospitality business goes hand-in-hand with working long hours. I can adapt to the hours but my dog is the one who takes the brunt of my lifestyle in the summer months. I will never leave her outside on a chain to battle the elements. She is firmly ensconced in our home, lazily spending her hours watching the wildlife from the comfort of my bed while the air conditioner keeps her cool. I have several people who are more than willing to come over and let her out during the day because she is such a happy dog but having her be the excuse for me to leave work for thirty minutes is wonderful.
(a much younger Callaway)
During these long days, I often wonder how she invests her time. Is she reorganizing my kitchen cabinets? Has she mastered the satellite remote? Does she inventory my refrigerator? But each day when I get home from my struggle to survive my sometimes 10-12 hour days, she is there to greet me and nothing in the house seems out-of-place. Until recently…..
I returned home from my usual work day and I was greeted by the reassuring excitability that I have come to expect. The house, as usual, was completely intact. The garbage was untouched and the serene ambiance wrapped its arm around my shoulder and pulled me into its embrace to welcome me home.
My attention was immediately diverted to the duvet cover on my bed and what seemed to be a single article of clothing bunched up in the middle of the bed. It wasn’t shredded, however the entire shirt was extremely damp. She had been licking my shirt and focusing her attention on the armpits of the shirt.
Now, you have to understand that my closet is hidden by a decorative cloth shower curtain that poses as a makeshift door. Somehow, she was able to get behind the shroud of the curtain, move the articles of clothing she had no interest in and gingerly lift that particular shirt from the middle of the pile of laundry in the basket. She also strategically replaced the curtain so nobody could catch on to her devious plot.
As much as I miss her during my day, it broke my heart to realize how much she truly misses me during her day. The writing was on the wall, or in this case on the bed. My scent comforted her during her lonely day while she waited for me to return home.
We are more than halfway through our busy season and soon my work days will become shorter and more structured. My time with her will increase and perhaps her need to be close to my deodorant-saturated shirts will abate somewhat because I will be here with her and not spending long days at work. I am grateful every day for her patience and her love and look forward to the moments we can spend together in the fall.