In Their Voices
By Mary Jane Seibert, July 2019, Updated June 2021

The couch I lucked into is a camel back, with three cushions. I spend a lot of time on it beneath a blanket. This is the fifth house I’ve called home. I am pretty high energy. I usually careen about the yard after our 40 to 45 minute walk. I love it when she follows me to our back yard to share my joy. I love to run with abandon, put on a little speed here, a lot of speed off the hill, and launch with a little skip catapulting off the raised stepping stone. She thinks I’m funny. I watch her laugh at me as I cut close to her legs, or look googlie as I skip past her.

In the evenings she’ll ask me if I’d share the couch with her. She plops down on one end and swings up her legs. Reluctantly, I make way for the landing big bottom that is about to crush me. The threat is real and trying to extract myself from under it is a daunting task.

As she settles I assume the position of my paws up around her neck or chest with my head between them. It is my favored place to be. Licking her face I attempt to show my gratitude for the shared space. She mentions when I was a puppy that this positioning must have been allowed by one of the previous owners, probably a barrel chested man with a beard. The crumbs left in the beard reinforced the face licking.

It took me a while to feel safe here, know that I wasn’t going to be dumped back into the shelter. Yeah, I was reluctant to settle in. I didn’t try to bite the hand that fed me but I wasn’t Mr. Congeniality either. For over a year, I have looked for my missing person. Thinking my person was driving away without me, I’ve run towards the street, to the end of my long line chasing after particular vehicles. Sometimes, I see my person on the street when we are walking only to be disappointed. Those feelings and reckonings are subsiding. I won’t get sentimental here but I think I am going to keep her, I might improve my recall.