As it turns out, Ari’s initial dive into the yard has proven to be his last thus far–which means that J has had to lug him up and down the three steps from our deck to the grass. Ari is just not steady enough yet. He’s still too off balance, leaning to the left.
So this morning there is something new, a harness for support. Thanks to South Salem pet supply, where we have always bought Ari’s food and conventional treats, J has procured a plush, cloth harness which fastens around Ari’s middle with velcro, and has handles like a grocery bag for easy assisting.
Our first attempt: I lead the way to the back door with bites of delicious orange. Ari moves pretty easily, with J holding the handles of the harness. All the way to the door. But Ari becomes a bit nervous as we approach. Additional coaxing from J, and Ari is outside. But the blasted steps are too much, and once more, J must hoist him down and eventually back up.
Attempt 2: Ari is happy to don the new harness, even to walk with us into the kitchen. But he is a smart puppy, a smart puppy, too smart for us to get anything past him. He won’t budge, and since it is obviously not an emergency to get outside, we wait.
Attempt 3: Ari dons his new harness and settles into the kitchen while we prepare our own dinner. He has had his, so what’s the rush y’all?
But of course we can’t go on like this forever.
We eat a pleasant dinner, happily chatting about this and that, and I share a few carrots with Ari. Mmmm, I must be his favorite at the moment since J has had all the unpleasant jobs lately.
The new plan is to try getting Ari out the garage and into the front yard. The back way is simply too treacherous for everyone, and Ari has already associated the front door, or so we imagine, with the less than fun visit of our mobile groomer, drat.
J starts his coaxing. A peanut or two and Ari is ready to cross the danger zone of the kitchen tile. No rug here. Will he make it?
One step chasing a bit of orange, then another, and another. Ari bumps into the kitchen can and skitters for a moment. Oh, no…
But the orange brings him back to task.
I hear J’s muffled frustration as the laundry room and garage steps loom near.
“He has really dug in,” J says through his teeth.
A grunt, a bit of scrambling, and a groan later, and their voices recede into the distance.
I plant myself in sweet, strong thoughts. Love Divine is everywhere, I think. But I’m straining to hear what is obviously beyond my ears at the moment.
Bring the leash,” J calls.
I hurry to obey, then return to my seat in the kitchen, and to my attempt to focus.
Then I remember the little poem I wrote so very long ago, in 1988, when I learned we were expecting another baby. We already had 3 young children, and finances were very tight. How would we manage with another child?
After quite a few panicked tears, I started singing a made-up melody with made-up words:
God will provide
And this I know
The more we trust
The more we strive
The more it has to show
God will provide
And His children need not fear
That baby was born 30 years ago last May, proof that things did work out. We all survived, all grew in marvelous and unimagined ways, and we even still like each other as our holiday celebrations attest.
By the time I sing these words three times through, J is coming in the door, Ari tumbling in beside him.
“We did it,” J breathes wearily. “Made it to the grass, and all good.”
Ari settles down on the new rug, and we gush over him, “Good boy, good boy!”
One more day,one more tiny step forward, one more embrace.