Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Return of The Muffin Saga, Part XIII

There were excellent parking spots at the end of my apartment, between the buildings and the creek. When available, that’s always where I parked. As I walked the few yards from my car to the apartment, I saw Muffin through the sliding glass doors that were between my kitchen and patio. Muffin, of course, also saw me and stood smiling with her tail wagging fast. By the time I entered the hallway and opened the door to my apartment, Muffin had left the kitchen and was waiting for me in the entrance way. She stood on her hind legs and I bent down so I could pet the mop that was her hair and she could lick my face. 

That had become our routine most days of the week. It was an adjustment for both of us. In southern Indiana my study had been in the parsonage where we lived. Here in Louisville my study was at the church. In southern Indiana Muffin and I had spent quite a bit of time together. Now I was gone much of the day. My homecoming had become a special ritual for both of us.

I walked through the living room and hallway into the kitchen with Muffin beside me. I glanced at Muffin’s food and water dishes, noting that she’d eaten well. When I reached the sliding glass door, I took the leash off the hook beside it, and said “Outside.” Muffin’s response was to leap up and down, making it difficult to attach the leash to her collar. That was O.K.—we had been doing this so often that she knew when to hold still so that I could fasten the leash.

As soon as the door opened, Muff sprinted out and turned left. I allowed her as much play as possible on the retractable leash and we jogged toward the grassy area between the apartment buildings and the concrete wall that separated us from the Henry Watterson Expressway.

In the grassy area, Muffin sniffed, squatted to urinate, sniffed some more, squatted to defecate, jumped forward, wiped her paws on the grass, and looked up at me quizzically as if to ask, “Where do we explore now?”

Our walks in the apartment complex took different routes each day. Today we followed the wall separating us from the expressway to the opposite end of our building and I sat down in the pagoda that was behind the complex’s office. Muffin jumped up beside me on the bench and I petted her for a while until she was ready for a more vigorous adventure.

We continued walking along the wall until we reached the creek—Bent Creek—that was the southern and eastern boundary of the apartment complex. Before the fence was installed to keep undesirables out of the complex, Muffin and I could go down the hill to the edge of the creek and follow it back toward our apartment. In Spring and Summer there were mallards in the creek and we both enjoyed watching them in the water and on the bank. In late Spring there were always hatchlings swimming with there mamas in the creek. Of course, with Muffin and I on the bank, they stayed in the water and didn’t climb out—normally.

As we climbed back up the hill from the bank so we could go around the bridge that led into the complex, two large drakes ran up behind us and took flight when they were within five feet of Muffin and me. I ducked. Muffin leaped. After that experience, Muffin decided that we should watch the mallards only from a safe distance, like on top of the hill above the creek bank. I agreed.

The Muffin Saga Continues next Sunday.

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Did the critter see his shadow today?

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