The return of Meiko the dog
Christmas is the best time of my horrible year. Whereas I am abandoned, left to brood in semi-conscious depression for eleven months of the long human year, during these days of celebration, I am surrounded by humans. So many humans.
Blissfully, I spend my days curled against a person’s side on the mountain of blankets, pillows, and discarded crinkly wrappings that decorate the couch. Smells of meats, chocolate, and fresh cooking saturate the frigid air, making me feel warmer than I have in weeks.
Naps on my favourite human’s lap are no longer a rarity, and there are some days that I stay snuggled in blankets on my owner’s bed until late afternoon while she wastes her own napping days reading. I cannot understand the stamina of these napless humans.
No clanging keys, no harried voices, no stomping feet: mornings are soft and warm. Bliss.
But, the heavenly days of warm naps on laps are numbered. January reeks of havoc and stress. As the soft days of Christmas fade into the loud night before the new year, my heart shrinks from fear of the inevitable days of sadness that approach.
People fill the house on New Year’s Eve, but they bring a tension that makes me anxious. I am no longer a comfort to hold on a person’s lap. I am ignored. At best, I am laughed at by humans I have never smelt before. I must take shelter under the alcohol-laden table in order to save myself from being trampled. The intruders play loud music and make the floor sticky as they spill colourful drinks. It is like a minefield out there. I huddle under the table, hungry and afraid to search for crumbs for fear of getting my paws sticky.
My stomach growls, shaking my body as it crescendos up my throat and emerges as a bark. Will you at least feed me? I curl into a ball of resignation and try to escape the chaos through sleep.
Time passes. How much I cannot say. Eventually I am fed a dry dinner. I get a sympathy pet or two. My stomach is at ease, but my heart remains heavy. Will this year be better? Will any of these humans save me from repeated days of loneliness and cold?
I know not the answer, but I take comfort in finding the house emptied of foul-smelling humans by the end of the night. I am once more brought to a comforting bed of blankets at my owner’s side. My snores fill the room. I am, at last, again at peace.