the burnt ends

It's not a shorts day. In the battle between clean laundry and weather-friendly clothes, the latter lost. I'm cold, but I'm not smelly. That must count for something.

It's not a flip-flop day either, but in for a penny...


My father jokes that his dowry was a poodle.

She was black, quite small and deeply devoted to my mother. This put us at odds for the first 5 1/2 years of my life. Tilly and I competed for mom's affection and attention. More often than not, she won. To be fair, she deserved to - I was petulant and spoiled, while she was loyal, loving and probably smelled better than I did. Tilly was a smart dog, and knew if I hugged my mother in her presence it was in part to get a jealous growl from her. She snapped at me but never bit me.

I hated her. She resented me.

Just before my sixth birthday, we arrived at some sort of truce. I stopped baiting her and she stopped snapping. She let me hug my mother. After a month or so she let me pet her. It was civil. I finally understood her place and she begrudgingly allowed me mine. She rested her head on my leg once or twice.

At the end of the summer the family went to the Cape to visit friends. For the first time, Tilly slept in my room. One night, late, I woke to her wheezing on the floor. She rasped, and felt hot to touch. I woke my folks.

The vet put her to sleep that night.

I've not thought of her in awhile.