It’s early and I’m thinking about Eddie. He’s our Lab look-alike, all black other than a short, thin stretch of white on his neck. I rescued him last May while on a bike ride; then, he was around six or seven months old.
Shortly after his arrival, Jonathan named him Special Edward, Eddie for short, although I often call him the Black Tornado. You see, Eddie is powerfully destructive. Just yesterday, he half-destroyed a deck rug. By the way, the name Special Edward is a take off from Special Education which simply means he often needs extra help, especially with how he learns to cope with learning and living.
Late yesterday afternoon was a good time to take Eddie on a car ride (we’ve done this for a few months now, not every day but at least a couple of times per week). He loves riding in our old Sentra. Maybe because there’s a couple of bed sheets I’ve left in the back seat for him to rip to shreds. I have to say, he’s done quite a good job.
Our destination was Walgreen’s to pick up a prescription for Donna. Per Eddie’s suggestion, we took the back roads. He’s learned that’s where he’ll see the most animals: cows, horses, dogs, and cats. His favorite thing to do is hang out the passenger side window. I lower the hand crank enough for him to slip his head and shoulders outside, into the wind, with his front paws balancing him on the arm rest and the top of the door frame. Eddie is very agile.
When he sees another animal, especially a dog along the side of the road or traversing a lawn, Eddie will stare and maintain eye contact by turning his head as we pass. Unfortunately, if the animal is on my side of the car, Eddie will do his best to maneuver himself into my seat, which is a no-no since his big body blocks my view of the road ahead. Sometimes, he’ll move from the front seat to the rear to extend his time staring at the other creature.
At Walgreen’s I thought about seeing what would happen if I put Eddie on a leash (I keep one in the Sentra) and go inside to the pharmacy. Of course, I wasn’t serious. That scene wouldn’t have been pretty, for anyone. I have mentioned Eddie is also known as the Black Tornado haven’t I?
I chose the drive-through lane instead. There were four cars ahead of us. And, wholly unsurprising, the first car in line either had a complicated prescription, or had a long and thrilling story to share with the pharmacist, since it stayed planted for at least fifteen minutes. Before car one moved, the Tacoma in front of us abandoned his spot. Now we’re down to three.
Eddie was busy in the back seat with the bed sheets so I started listening to a podcast on my iPhone. I guess there was something magnetic about Sam Harris’ voice given Eddie’s reaction. He was in my lap in an instant, licking both my phone and my face. The only car I could see now was the one approaching from the rear.
Finally, something, maybe the voice of one of Sam’s guests, changed Eddie’s mind and he lay in the passenger seat with his head on my right thigh. For a good two minutes, he lay still and looked up at me with those beautiful sparkling deep-golden eyes. It was as though he was thanking me for rescuing him in the first place, providing him a newly constructed two-room dog house (note: the inner room is insulated, and the house is for nights only), and for these special times together, just the two of us where we, most times silently, share our hopes and dreams for the future.
As it was finally ‘our turn’ at the window, the youngish female assistant said, “may I help you?” Well, you may have guessed. Eddie thought she was talking to him. In a flash he was hanging his head out my lowered driver’s side window. The girl laughed and I managed to speak. Now, I wish I’d said, “Eddie needs his Ritalin,” or something to that affect. Instead, I provided the needed information, and encouraged my wonderful companion to slip between the seats and continue his bed sheet ripping.
Again, we took the back roads home. Eddie occupied himself, switching between his back seat activities and looking for four-legged friends while hanging out the passenger side window. I drove and imagined what life would have been like if this rambunctious but sweet puppy hadn’t appeared out of no where and stood beside my parked bike that sunny day last May.