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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: Her Majesty, Lucy


I stood damply beneath a wind-warped umbrella recently in my front yard, the temperature around 40 degrees, waiting for Lucy to find the perfect patch of grass.

“What was wrong with that spot over there?” I whined to her. She ignored me as if my comically human complaint didn’t deserve any canine response whatsoever. Lucy made a few promising sniffs of the grass, found it to be much below her standards and led me through a few more figure eights. I realized, to my humiliation, that I was one of those people who hold the umbrella over dogs while allowing themselves to get drenched.

“Okay. We’re going back in the house if you’re not going to do it,” I weakly commanded. Lucy knew by my tone that she would win. She poked around some more. Eventually she became convinced that I was rain-soaked enough to resume my subservient role. Only then did her Airedale Terrier majesty decide on an appropriate area of the lawn.

As always happens, she chose to adorn the grass just as a couple of cars were passing a few yards from us. I always wonder where I should be looking when that happens. Do I gaze adoringly at Lucy during the act? Usually I become theatrically entranced by the sight of a branch overhead and act as if I have no earthly idea exactly what my dog’s up to.

With mission accomplished, we went back into the house where Lucy curled up in her bed contentedly, my hand scratching behind her ear, my indignation evaporated.

I realized that without a dog I might be a tad drier on days like this. But my heart would be so much more shivery cold.