It was becoming difficult to keep my eyes open and the smells around me were muddled.
I let out the loudest sound I could muster, barely recognizing myself, and sunk into the soft dirt.
A large sound entered my groggy awareness and it got closer with every shallow breath I struggled for.
My heart began racing though I don’t know how it had the energy to do so.
I think it thought she was finally back.
Lost in my vivid waking dreams of warmth, safety, and joy, I barely noticed being gently lifted from my space.
I felt myself floating above the ground and slowly moving toward the light.
Oh please let it be her.
But blinding lights and crushing metallic sounds assaulted me instead.
They say you don’t remember the first couple months, but I can still sense them – full of warm wet kisses and cozy naps.
Everything changed when she stopped coming back.
No matter how much we pleaded, her spot remained empty.
The hollowness of my aching stomach spread to my heart as I understood she was never coming back.
All of our cries weakened gradually.
One by one my sisters and brothers stopped whining.
Long gone were the days of cozy naps and warm kisses.
My family was lost and our home was cold.
The wind fuels her rituals – neverending sitting, deciphering, reporting – the weight of it all suffocates her.
Why do I have to do this anyway? I harbor nothing ill for the bird, the dog ruminates.
Lava-hot anger rises within as she realizes she merely does what she is told, falling into line with her ancestors demands.
Romping through the lands with the bird like an abandoned hurricane full of fearsome glee is her true calling.
And in that moment, freedom.
Jumping into the winds, she opens her jaws wide, snapping in desperate hope, against all odds and designs… when it happens.
Her paws land on roads of invisible flutters and life begins anew.
The wind fuels her rituals – roaming, howling, frolicking – and she wonders if she will ever get to enjoy sitting still again.