I was up early this morning, roused by Whiskey actually. Through some heavy breathing and the insistent push of her cold, wet nose she got me up an at 'em well-before seven a.m.
The sun was not out. Rather, the sky was covered with a thick shroud of clouds and the temperature was decidedly un-summer-like, in the high 50s. I sat on the front stoop of the cottage we're renting, my wife asleep upstairs, my daughters and their boy friends and girl friends splayed over the rest of the place.
Whiskey brought me the rubberized duck decoy I bought her. It looked indestructible in the photos online--it being made for dogs way tougher than Whiskey, hunting dogs from the country, not city sophisticates like Whiskey. But in short-order yesterday she removed its head and began tearing the foam floatation from the suffering ersatz fowl.
I would throw it--the headless duck--as far as I could and Whiskey responded as she's been bred to do, bringing it back to me with despatch. This act made her proud. She cantered back, head up high, saying with her eyes and her smile, 'look what I caught,' and she'd drop the dead foam animal at my size 12s.
We walked the path down to the water, some ancient inlet whose name is all p's and esses that would take me a good week to learn how to pronounce. Ponopposet? Possoppoppet? Whatever, we headed to the murk, but Whiskey hasn't yet mastered the feat of jumping from a dock, and stood there looking at me and saying 'I don't want to go in.' Like a good dad, I didn't force her.
The dock is a good hundred yards from the house, but I still heard some stirring. People were slowly beginning to wake up, coffee and get ready for the day. Whiskey and I played fetch some more, on dry land, with an old hefty stick. And then we headed indoors.
Far away--in Belgium and Santa Barbara--people mourned the dead, ten this time from deranged gunmen who wreaked havoc and vengeance for crimes committed only in the gunmen's heads. But like I said. That is sad and far away.
And it's time for breakfast on the Cape.