Friday, August 22, 2008

A. M. Post

Cranes Over Moon
by Keiichi Nishimura

I didn't seen any cranes over the moon last night though I had the opportunity. My old, deaf, blind poodle started to bark last night around 2:30 a.m. It is not a polite, but rather an urgent, bark. It means that she has awakened, and she's not sure where everyone is.

It reminded me of yonder days when my children, then babies, would wake up in the middle of the night and snuffle around and cry out a time or two. I'd lie there hoping that there wouldn't be an "and three". I never believed that you should let a child cry out in fear, hunger or other need more than three times. I always ignored the well-meaning, but I believe misguided, advice that you should just let an infant cry. If they are crying, they have a need. If there needs are not met, they get anxious. So every time that infant awakes with a need, it just by-passes the snuffling and crying part and then goes straight to shrieking.

My experience is that if you go to an infant during its initial stages, then s/he is assured that whenever it awakes it will not be lying there alone in the dark. And with that assurance, when the infant awakes, it does so more peacefully and stands a better chance of going back to sleep without your ministrations: a little investment in the beginning, pays off big sleep dividends! The anxiety of an elderly poodle who cannot see or hear is even worse than an infant's. I don't believe that she should be left to cry too long (though one night I unceremoniously dumped her on the other side of the house and closed all the doors when she would not shut up--my compassion has boundaries!).

Both my husband and I lay there hoping that Chloe would stop barking. She did not. I got up. My getting up incites my entourage to get up: Macy and Daisey as well as the two kittens. I found Chloe on the sofa, barking into her darkness--there is always a light on downstairs, but she cannot see it. As I picked her up, I could feel that she was wet--a little incontinence dribble from each bark. I put her outside--and of course the entourage promptly bolted out.

I managed to gather the kittens (who have found that the newly mulched front bed is a "dream box"). Macy and Daisey finally came in, but there was no poodle. I peered about. No white cloud moving over the ground against the moonlight. I went up to bed expecting to hear her at the door soon. Nothing. She has a circuit that she makes. I was remember the story that my neighbor told me the other evening about witnessing Chloe's encounter with a board (newly placed) that was in her way. Because she cannot see (and she is small) she was having some difficulty negotiating it. Tim called to her, but she did not respond--he didn't realize she was deaf.

As I lay in bed, I imagined Chloe negotiating untold obstacles in darkness and silence--but her nose is quite good. I felt guilty. I got out of bed a got in the car to look for her. My neighbors were not home (taking last child to Va Tech), so I drove up in their driveway to look. I rousted their two dogs, Ginger and Lacy. But they know me and my voice, so they calmed quickly. No Chloe there. Nor on the road. Nor in the woods. I positioned my car's headlights in as many positions as possible to see her. Nothing, though I did see two pairs of red eyes from one of my woodpiles.

I went back to bed. I had the window open listening for the familiar clicking of her nails on the sidewalk or driveway pavement. When I heard it I got up and went outside. It was something in a tree outside. I imagined that it was an owl tearing at her carcass. They've been very active.

Back to bed again. Twenty minutes later I could hear another click, click. Then I saw the cloud floating above the pavement in the moonlight. As soon as she hit the bricks, she started barking. I scooped her up and brought her inside. She had all sorts of twigs and leaves in her velcro-like fur. Not a peep from her for the balance of the evening.

I did not sleep very well afterward. Hopefully, I will not be too tired and cranky today.


HERO has gone up almost 9% since I bought it 2 days ago. Energy stocks appear to be in vogue again. Who knows what it will be today. I'm having lunch with a friend. I've been so good on my diet that I'm not going to be parsimonious in my eating, and I'm not going to worry too much about the market!

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