Poodle is under my feet, all 33.5 pounds of him… literally on top of my feet. I move an inch and so does he. I go to the bathroom…he is right there. I’m at the kitchen sink, he’s under my feet. I have to step over him with every turn and twist that I make. He is my constant shadow.

One would think that my poodle simply adores me. Truthfully, I think he is only marginally enamored with me. You see its that time of year again. It’s Fourth of July week and that means for the entire week there will be the haphazard snap, crackle, pop of fireworks leading up to the evening of the fourth, which I’m quite positive will seem like pure hell to my four-legged love.

I am outside on the back porch, the sun still bright in the late afternoon sky. I’m watering the wilting flowers on the porch and poodle seems happy enough running to chase his ball in the afternoon heat. That is, until he hears just one pop of an errant firecracker from the street below. This pop sends him skittering to my side, his mouth open in that tell-tale anxiety-pant. He now sticks to me like white on rice….I even trip over him at one point while I wrestle with the garden hose. I massage him and whisper sweet things in his ear in an effort to calm him. Nothing that I say makes a difference. He is terrified. He just wants IN THE HOUSE and IN THE HOUSE NOW.

Not twenty minutes later I am in the kitchen preparing his evening meal. He has not relaxed one iota. I pull a good Italian cheese from the fridge in an effort to redirect his attention. The delicious Asiago cheese does not even do the trick. Normally, my guy is in rapt attention, sitting properly in his “Mommy-may-I-please- have-some-cheese” stance when I reach for cheese from the fridge. Not tonight. He is too riddled with fear to even think about his one true love….cheese. He doesn’t touch his food bowl, poor thing. Sigh….

I can tell this is going to be a poodle-in-the-bed king of night. That’s quite all-right by me. He was groomed yesterday and he still smells quite divine. And, as pathetic as it may sound, my hubby is away on travel and I’m quite happy to have a wam soul by my side even if it is a trembling-with-fear standard poodle. I may not be able to bring much comfort to my terrified pooch this evening but one thing is for sure, he will bring comfort to me. In fact, I’d give it a good eight degrees on the bliss-o-meter scale (10 being the score if hubby was spooning by my side instead of my poodle)

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