The stress was mounting. As the end of the day loomed I turned desperately to a run to even out the reeling tide of hormones that come with the stress.
I left my ponytail long and it swayed from side to side and I felt free like a kid. It felt like dancing. The setting sun highlighted leaves and I ignored all things that were not beautiful. I ran above the highway, racing cars stuck in traffic, beating them. I slow momentarily to look through the chain link fence at the sunflowers and golden California Poppies growing on the steep hillside by the highway even in drought conditions.
I do feel obligated to tell you, though, that I did scowl at a pinecone on the ground, because of the havoc the pine tree pollen is wreaking in my head.
The run works its magic, but the extra emotions pile up and come out as sobs out of nowhere as the dog jumps joyfully at my feet, when he sees I am ready for the happiest part of his day.
I often think about the length of his life now. I run with him as often as I can. I feel so sad for him that we do not live on an acreage filled with squirrels and mud.
So many people say big dogs should not live in an apartment, but we kept him when we moved to Koreatown; he was family. We walked him twice a day and he was snuggled by our children and guarded us. At least I felt secure on those long weekends or weeks when Wes would be out of town and I was alone with the babies.
I do feel sad for Gonzo that he is not spending every sun filled moment chasing lizards through almond trees. Dogs were not meant to live like this, but neither were humans. I feel this same sadness for my children, for myself.
Today, the sobs welled up and I thought, I hope he has endless fields to run in, in dog heaven. This is silliness, of course. Dogs don't want endless fields. They just want a family. And a few fields. At least one. I hope Gonzo has at least one field in heaven. And I hope he has a family.
I hope that this life of sleeping next to our kid's beds and running through smog-filled streets is better than no life at all for him. It is for me. The dog is chewing a leftover stew bone and sitting under my chair as I write this. Of all the limited fields our life has to offer, he always choses to sit as close as possible to me.