The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days
Thirteenth in a Series
December 28, 2015
Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
“Oh my goodness!” Paul exclaimed emptying the rain gauge for the third time this weekend. “We have had somewhere around eleven inches since this thing started yesterday, and it’s still coming down.” I barely looking up from my book on natural healing that I started reading yesterday. Since Cindy Lou had beaten me to my favorite and only presentable chair for her ongoing napping pleasure, I made myself comfortable on the bottom stair step to enjoying my favorite pastime.
The black boys, Thor and Phillip, raced down the steps in hot pursuit of each other in a game of tag. “Thump, Thump, Thump,” came the sound of multiple paws descending followed by a pounce at the bottom step as a well-placed slap of tail left the unmistakable taste of dog in my mouth. I had become the object of the game and had been tagged “it”. As I tried to maneuver out from under the wet canine kisses that might have been Thor’s, another dark form, probably Phillip, took the book which was shielding my face and scurried to the crate with the prize. A laughing Paul came to the rescue with hot dog treats to distract everyone in a new game called, “Sit!” The whole gang lined up to play except a sleeping Cindy Lou. Gracie Bird squawked, “Sit Cindy Lou, Sit!” Gracie Bird didn’t want to leave anyone out, just because she was that kind of bird. Cindy Lou continued her beauty rest undisturbed.
“Thanks for the save!” I said getting to my feet. I retrieved my book under the same blankets that hid the potato soup bowl, the shredded Milk Bone dog biscuit box, and the rope toy. Paul continued to chuckle.
I busied myself in the kitchen concocting one of the book’s recipe’s to strengthen the immune system, support the liver, and aid hair growth in dogs with Demodex mange. “I’ll have you all strong and healthy like your foster dad in no time!” I told Phillip petting his head. He smiled up at me with his dark chocolate eyes.
“What’s ya doin, bird?” Gracie Bird asked. “Nothing much, bird,” I replied. Being an African Grey parrot, Gracie Bird was always curious about what was going on in my life. She considered me just another bird…or maybe she considered herself a human. “Hmm!” I pondered the dilemma. Soon the house smelled of a non-vegetarian meaty stew made with a dandelion tea broth and sweet potatoes. As I stirred the pot, I infused the mixture with my intentions that Phillip’s body soon be filled in and furred out and he finally know the love his soul deserved.
The succulent smells stirred the sleeping Cindy Lou into wakefulness as she swaggered to the baby gate to let out her call for attention. “AWOOO!” she howled to the playful pair who stopped everything to aid their favorite damsel in distress. The kitchen baby gate separating her from Phillip and Thor was just as imposing as a mote surrounding the castle of a fairy tale heroin.
I watched in disbelief as Thor placed his nose between the gate’s slats lifting to spring the latch as Phillip simultaneously plowed into the gate like an underweight junior varsity team player flinging the door wide. “That didn’t just happen!” I reasoned through the events. Baby gates are child proof like the medicine bottles I cannot open. When visiting our home, even college graduates were unable to decipher the “pull up, push out” action that baffled their intellects when working this door. Yet, these dogs coordinated their efforts to accomplish the task easily as though the process had been practiced to perfection. The mystery of the Milk Bone dog biscuit massacre began to unravel. The riddle of the boys getting into the secured room repeatedly without leaving a clue or trail was now obvious. I was in the presence of a bona fid genius, and it came in the form of a forgotten Phillip and his good friend Thor! Cindy Lou pranced with princess paws into the kitchen with the rest of the pack close behind.
Armed with a sandwich and the remote control, Paul claimed ownership of the recently vacated chair to watch the recorded basketball game he missed earlier this week. The rest of the gang encircled the chair and good naturedly shared Paul’s sandwich. Everyone participated but Loki. Loki refused since his body’s a temple.
With the game in full swing, Phillip climbed onto Paul’s lap. Bone-it-a’s head was being absent mindedly stroked by the hand that hung from the chair. When the hand stopped petting her, she would paw at it to remind him what he should be doing. There had never been such an assemblage of Hog fans watching a game, I was certain. I stopped stirring and took in this “Norman Rockwell” scene.
Only a week ago, Phillip had lived in solitary confinement at the end of an outdoor chain and tossed from a car window when he became an inconvenience. Now he was a house dog, better yet, a lap dog. Phillip was no longer alone as he found company in other canine companions while he learned how to be a dog. He was part of the team able to mastermind complex tasks and communicate with his gestures. This dog had the brains to go along with that big heart. Phillip had overcome his fears and never held a grudge against humanity. I was convinced this dog was destined for something great, and I swallowed hard in gratitude that we were sharing this time as he readied himself for what he was meant to do all along. “We will find the people that are waiting for you, Phillip,” I promised blinking back tears thinking of the strides he had already made.
“Whoo, Pig Soey, RRRazorbacks!” Paul cheered at the screen. “Whoo Pig Soey, Grrrracie Bird!” Gracie Bird mimicked. Gracie Bird also thinks she is a Razorback bird! It was my turn to laugh, “How many people spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with such an eclectic assortment of Arkansas Hog fans? Just us!”