Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Mornings We Walk

5:10 AM.

Rays of sun slather my face through our east-facing window at about the same time the alarm starts sputtering out a sweet little chime which I’ve grown to utterly hate by its inherent association of disturbing me. I have five more minutes to sleep, so I roll over, snuggling into Jay’s back for a few more moments, ignoring the sun’s reassurance that the time to rise is now.

Beep, beep, beep. Okay, I’m up. 5:15 AM.

Chandler is dead asleep but immediately shifts upright when he hears my socks hit the floor. I don’t even think I’m making a sound but his military posture proves otherwise. As I make my way to my quickest shoes and throw on some workout pants and a sweatshirt, I feel his eyes bore into my back. I ignore that and head for the coffee. I round the corner into the clean kitchen (If one thing must be clean before we go to bed, it’s the kitchen) where I hit the ‘WAKE UP’ button on my Keurig. We’re all in this together on these mornings coffee maker, you have some time until you have to brew - but you gotta start to warm-up now. It hums away in adherence and readies itself to get to work as soon as we're back. The hum signals something else: It’s officially time.
I saunter back into the bedroom, lazily throwing my messy hair into a bun along the way and find myself making eye contact with my little, cuddled-up stalker- his eyes still entranced into mine even though I wasn't in his presence for a few moments. This time, I look right at them.

Chandler?
Yessss??” His ears immediately respond.
Chandler…
WHAT IS IT! I MEAN, I KNOW BUT JUST SAY IT!” His back shouts as it’s now carved into a low bow adorned with a dangly tongue and a flickering tail.
Do you want to go for a walk?
Chandler leaps from the bed, darts to the front door and dances around as I struggle to put his harness on him. It’s the only thing standing between him and what he desires but it’s the last thing he wants to stop and wait for.
5:25 AM and we are out the door.

Few other people roam the streets this early in my neighborhood. The ones who do are either jogging or also have their dog(s) in tow, wearing their own version of workout pants, sweatshirt, messy bun & tired eyes. Everyone nods to one another, most with coffee in hand as our pups manically sniff every corner of brush and patch of land in search of the perfect place to mark their spot. The dog community is friendly to one another, as if we are beginning to mimic the attitude of the hairy little beasts we are up this early walking.
With no one around, freedom abounds a little bit more than on our nightly walks. Chandler always has a look on his face these mornings like it can’t be true that he gets to run leashless for a bit in a field he knows that he’s otherwise tightly tethered to me for. When I release his harness, he always pauses before catapulting away from me. I can tell he's asking- "Really, I can run? You usually don't let me do this ..." but his hesitancy always quickly dissipates when he looks around at the plush green grass and knows that he can sniff all of it without anyone tugging on him. Chandler runs around, drunk with a happy spirit and I sit on the park bench gazing after him. Free dogs embody all that is good in the world.
5:45 AM.

As the minutes creep, I note that it's time to start heading back home. With a beckon, Chandler comes darting over to my side- now joined by blades of grass and a tongue basically grazing the ground. I harness him back up, head over to the doggy water fountain to get him hydrated and then we make our way slowly back home. By this time, his mouth is gaping open and as we trot along he continually looks up at me with adoration and happiness. Sometimes it looks like he's checking to make sure I'm still on the other end of the leash, other times it looks like he's just saying thank you. These sweet glances make my heart incredibly full.

6:20 AM.

We click the door open and Chandler’s eyes start to glaze back over as he allows me to take off his leash with ease. He sleepily heads over to his water bowl for a couple more drinks before resigning himself to his crate. I hear him circling a few times and collapsing with a huff- settling back into sleep. By the time I get over to the crate, he is silently laying with his head down, drifting back off to dreamland, which he'll be able to visit for about an hour and a half more before Jay wakes him up.
I visit the kitchen and brew a one-cup for myself. The Keurig is now open and ready for business. I take my dark roast + almond milk back to the bathroom and turn on the shower, letting the water heat as I take a few sips.

Stepping into the shower is a sign that the 'work day' has officially started. I have 50 minutes before the train comes to shuttle me into the office.


It's 6:30 AM.

11 comments:

Lauren Farrow said...

Wow! You get a lot done early in the morning (I used to have to wake up for work at 4:30 am BUT I will NEVER do that again)!

You are a very good dog guardian. Chandler deserves the best and it looks like you know how to give it to him! Bravo!

Pat Hatt said...

Running free they sure love. And wow, that is early. They sure know though when it is time for that walk.

Robin said...

I love that you make time to walk him before work. :)

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I love this for many reasons - first, I like to know what people do with their minutes, what their routines are. Second, I love to know how dogs react to cues. Third, you perfectly stated what happens when the dogs are let off-leash in the fields. Unsure, and then unbridled joy.

Love it!

Leslie Lukens Martin said...

Wow! You're an earlier riser! I might be the worst morning person on the planet, so I have LOTS of respect and admiration for all that you accomplish before I even wake up! :)

BLovedBoston said...

I think it's great that you're such an early riser - you get more accomplished that way! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I'm in awe of how early you get up, it's a struggle for me to get up at 7:30. I so wish I was more of a morning person! And how adorable is the "Do you want to go for a walk" stance?! Too cute :)

Evelina said...

I love this post! Your doggie sounds like a sweetheart and makes me miss mine so much.

Laura Darling said...

That's an early walk! I would love to walk in the morning but I just can't make myself get out of bed!! I need to get better at that. It would probably help if I had a cute puppy to encourage me!

Jax said...

You do a lot more than me in the morning...girl, I don't even make coffee!! I wait until I get into the office to have my first cup. Lol

Your pooch is so stinking cute, how could you not take him for a walk?? A cute puppy might even be enough to get my lazy butt up and walking. Lol

mirmirzimzim said...

Aw this was like a romantic ode to Chandler. I guess you sorta like him after all huh. So cute. And how the H do you get up so early?