He loved to walk with her, especially just after the rain. The smells that newly fallen rain produced was intoxicating to his sensitive nose. Like a drug addict craving that next dollop of nirvana, he couldn’t get enough of the heavenly smells wafting from the sodden ground.
They took the same path every evening, through the fields, past the long flowing grass that just begged to be explored. Not that she ever allowed him to explore. Said she couldn’t trust him. She was right. Onwards down the long path towards the tree. Carved in to the trunk by an unseen hand or perhaps Mother Nature, the perfect seat, the ideal spot to rest. They never stopped on the way past, always striding on to the end of the track first before turning back and only then would she let them rest.
Tonight however she was obviously tired because she stopped as soon as they reached the tree. He pulled at her arm, keen to explore and go further and for the first time she didn’t argue. Slipping the lead from around his neck she made a shooing motion with her arm and uttered one one..’Go’. He hesitated only for a second then ran off back to the fields of billowing grass.
Ears flying in the wind, legs galloping faster than his heart, he sped through the grass, barking excitedly, chasing what he could smell but not see. Freedom was his and he would not go back on the blue tether ever again. Choking him, holding him back, that was no life for an animal meant to run free.
He found a particularly foul smelling patch of ground towards the bottom of the field and he dove in to it and began to roll himself frantically through it, all his senses bursting with pleasure. The warm, wet feeling on his newly shorn fur. The smell of the manure assaulting his nostrils and burning the back of his throat. He loved it all.
Once he was satisfied he was as coated in muck as he could be he tore after imaginary rabbits for another twenty minutes or so before he realised he was thirsty and remembering the blissfully cool puddle that always appeared at the base of the tree made his way back through the long grass towards her.
It was then he saw her. Hanging from the arm of the tree that she once said looked like it was waving at her. She’d gotten tangled in his blue tether somehow.
He peered curiously at her, watching the way her feet dangled, swaying gently in the wind. She was wearing his favourite trainers, the ones he chewed for comfort that smelled so strongly of her. He didn’t understand why she always shouted at him when he did that. Didn’t she know it made him feel close to her?
He walked towards her and wondered why she wasn’t pulling on the tether like he did. Didn’t it hurt her like it hurt him? Was she sleeping? She must be, it’s the only other time he saw her this still and quiet. He didn’t want her to be quiet. Quiet meant she wasn’t paying attention to him and he loved that more than anything. Strange how she thought this walk was what he looked forward to the most. She had such gentle hands. His favourite times of the day were when she caressed his ears, tickled under his chin, relaxed him in to a near catatonic state.
He knew what would make her move, make her pay attention to him. He started shouting at her, she hated that, always shouted back at him, shaking her head until her hair stood on end, making her look so funny, he laughed, then she’d shout even more.
Not today though, she must be in a really deep sleep. Only one thing for it, the guaranteed sure fire way to wake her. He started jumping at her feet, teeth exposed ready to take the gentlest of nips. It was harder than normal because she was sleeping in such a weird way and she was much higher than usual. He kept jumping, shouting, encouraging her to wake up. His teeth grazed the sole of the smelly, delicious shoe and boosted by the aroma teasing his damp nose he gave one final, mighty leap and pulled it clean off her foot.
He lay panting, tired but ecstatic underneath her and waited for the shout of anger, the exasperated twitch of her foot but neither came. He settled down at the base of the tree and comforted himself with the familiar smell and taste of his favourite trainer. She would wake up eventually and they would walk home together, safe in the knowledge that they would always be there for each other. No one else could love him like she did after all.