Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Spider

Bo was watching the floor intently. She had just lied down after walking around for a good ten minutes or so. Something seemed to be up.

I sighed, turned off the TV and went over to her. There, in front of Bo, was a spider. But Bo did not seem interested in eating it as usual. She simply watched as it crawled back and forth between her paws.

Almost immediately I got out a tissue. My hand moved slowly toward squashing the arachnid. I could see six eyes peering up at me, eight legs frozen in place. It was a moment in slow motion, I recall. Or one so fast, it could only seem to be. All I knew, microseconds from killing the spider, was my dog, leaping up at me and forcing its body between us.

I fell on my back and tried crawling toward the spider with my arm stretched out. Bo barked and grabbed the tissue in her teeth. I couldn’t wrest it from her as hard as I tried.

With me immobilized by curiosity, Bo got up and the spider walked back inside her mouth. I couldn’t understand. It seemed an impossible friendship.

From then on I didn’t come between them. Bo carried the spider with her everywhere. They ate together, they slept together, they did everything together.

Seasons passed, with snow and heat. Often in the colder months the spider could be seen huddled up inside Bo’s fur.  In the hotter temperatures it relished taking in the breeze felt underneath Bo's wagging tail.

But in the Spring, a year since they had met, things changed. Bo didn’t roam around; she simply lied outside. Underneath her was the slightest mound, and if you believe that dogs can cry, dirt wet with tears.

I grabbed a Milk Bone to console her. She ate it as I petted, said a prayer. But before I even finished, Bo was off. A caterpillar had caught her gaze somewhere in the distance. She brought it back to where I was and set it on the ground. A dog, both cursed and blessed to love and lose, I thought along our walk back to the house.

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