The Dog Who Walks in Circles


Last week I said I was going to tell you about THE FALL. The fall doesn’t seem so important now that the bruises are fading, but a promise is a promise.

Feeling trapped in the office on a beautiful day (unlike today’s permanent cloud cover), I had taken some work with me to Lost Creek State Park. Sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean, I watched couples and teens and kids in bathing suits and tons of dogs enjoying the beach and thought phooey, I’m going home, put on my shorts, get me a dog and go play in the water. Uh, yeah.

It was Chico’s turn. He’s the black dog, the bigger one who sits on the passenger seat and keeps setting off the seat belt alarm because he’s so heavy. With a little hand-to-paw fighting and one dashed toe on a paving stone, I got his sister Annie outside and Chico in the car. I decided to try South Beach, which is bigger and might be less crowded.

Well, Chico is the sweetest dog in the world, but in unfamiliar places, he walks in curlicues instead of a straight line and the word “heel” loses all meaning. When we reached the surfline, the water was MOVING, and he panicked. As he tried to bolt inland, I tripped over his long legs and went flying, landing hard on the packed sand. Ow! Right away, of course, I thought, broken hip. But no, despite my aging bones, my hip was okay. It took a little longer to decide whether my calf was intact. Red and sore, it throbbed, and I decided not to move for a while. It amazes me that people can see someone my age go flying and not come over to see if I’m all right, but no one did. I just sat there with my butt in the wet sand, holding Chico with my right hand, probing my left leg with my left hand. I decided I was probably just bruised.

Eventually I pulled myself up and walked a little ways, letting the water splash on my bare leg as Chico continued to walk in curlicues, stepping into the water when it stood still, pulling away with every little wavelet. Pretty soon I let him drag me onto the dry sand, where I sat with my arms around him for a while, and then we went home. I had a whopper of a bruise, which is just now fading away, and I have decided not to take Chico to the beach for a while.

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Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, and Childless by Marriage. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I teach writing workshops and offer individual editing and mentoring. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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