It's Two Thirty Five

“Never stand between a dog and the hydrant.” ~John Peers

It's two thirty five. Eh em. The puppies are whining.

At first I hope that maybe one of them is just having a bad dream, knowing how slim a chance that is. Sure enough within moments, they make known to every awake or light-sleeper individual of their desire to make use of the facilities. As a good servant to the masters of the house, I dutifully put on a pair of wind-pants and my letterman and conduct myself to the living room.

I close the door so as not to disturb the rest of the still slumbering lucky devils of this house and flick the light on. All three of us squint at this unwelcome sight as I gather together the necessary items for our trek outdoors: harnesses and a flashlight. The puppies give a few more whimpers for good measure while I walk around. I open the first cage and out walks Master Rascal, a blue miniature dachshund. I place the harness around his head, and he takes weight off his right front foot for the strap that goes under it. He stumbles not completely unlike a drunk man having the same done to him. After he's clicked in he explores his environment looking for that hidden, unknown object that he knows is there. I hook the leash around my wrist and begin work on his brother. Master Rambo, the calmer of the two, steps out regrettably. I emphasize with the tan pup, and place his black, frayed harness around him and snap. With the pups now running as fast as their slippery little paws can on slick hardwood, our adventure begins.

Immediately upon stepping outside into the 18°F weather, I begin to understand the puppies' way of thinking.

"Ah what a fine night for a stroll, eh Master Rascal?"

"Indeed it is, Master Rambo. Nights such as these are few and far between. I say, old chap, what is that round thing not two fathoms past our noses?"

"Why, it appears to be a tire. Shall we pee on it?"

"I know of no reason not to. Come, dear boy, we'll make short sport of it."

Our time together continues much like that. Flower pot? Pee on it. Random blades of grass? Let 'er flow. Swing set? Wet it down. Other flower... well you get the idea.

While the puppies ponder the existence of a puddle of ice in the yard and the best possible means of dispatching it, I look up into the heavens to see if any stars are out and am rewarded with thousands of twinkling dots of light hovering in a black void. There is not a cloud in sight and nothing blocks the view. I look down, and the frozen ground seems to mirror the night sky as though Jack Frost has glittered everything. I am immediately overtaken with this sense of calm that seems to flow out of every little thing outside and for a few minutes, the world becomes less cold.

That feeling is short lived as the puppies decide they want to make sure that flower pot got a good dousing.

After a few more minutes of sniffing, tugging, and other business, we are back inside. The green LED clock shows it's now two forty six, AM or PM it knows not. Some water to quench their thirst, and Masters Rascal and Rambo are back in bed. I walk back into my room and begin writing.

At four oh eight, I post a short story about two pups, one human, and their time together one morning in the frozen South.