February Dog Dream


  February. Yet another wet, windy and frigid evening. Roland and I were in the den and heard the noise in the carport. There is an old upright piano in a corner and something was banging on the keys. We opened the door to a wet and shivering Stanley, too weak to climb the steps. Roland scooped the dog up and said “Come boy, come inside” and carried him downstairs to the basement. There is a stack of grey felt blankets leftover from the last move. I made a nest for him to lay in and covered him with several more blankets. Roland went upstairs for a bowl of the soup we were making for dinner while I towelled Stanley off. I held his head while Roland gently fed him one spoonful after another. Then he let out an exhausted but satisfied sigh and fell asleep. Stanley’s cell phone and ear buds were wet and slid out of his back pocket so Roland took them upstairs to dry and recharge the phone.

     When a dog is sleeping they often make erratic movements, woof or whimper and the feet may jerk as if running. Stanley was dreaming now but this seemed different, almost happy. I was curious so I stepped into his dream and this is what I saw. Somewhere on the highway a portion of the road had washed out and traffic was down to one lane and backed up. The rain was pelting down and crews were working hard repair it. With so many workers and lights on the site no one paid any attention to the unusual flagman at the far end of the line. But I recognized him right away. Stanley was wearing a full Hi-Vis suit including the rain hat and big boots but his brown furry paws holding the stop sign were the give-away.

     Despite the dismal situation, people driving slowly by would often smile and wave and Stanley would tip his head and nod back. Up, down, wave, smile, up, down, wave, smile. Stanley was struck with the rhythm and this is what happened next. From his back pocket he pulled out his cellphone, plugged in the earbuds and searched for some good dance music.  A little unsure at first he tried something easy – the dog trot, but quickly left that behind as he found a station playing music with a beat. A big truck slowly moved through and Stanley matched the slow pace with the Michael Jackson moon dance. The truck driver rolled the window down and howled. So did Stanley. A car full of laughing teenagers were entertained with Hip hop. Break it down! His hips got going, his tail escaped his jacket and before long he was adding his own moves. Can’t touch this!’ When he couldn’t see who was in the next car they got the Stanley Robot. And there was more laughter! They’d take pics of the dancing flagman and some passed bills through the window. Too many pictures could spell trouble for Stanley so he slipped out of his gear, stuffed the bills in his backpack and escaped.

     Once home he shook off the rain and fluffed up his fur with a blow dryer. He heated up a bowl of soup and settled in front of his cellphone to watch the posts on Fanny Bay Community Facebook.  Several people had filmed the mystery flagman going through his dance routines and there were lots of excited comments. Who is this guy?

     I was amused with Stanley’s imaginative dream but now stepped out of it and went back upstairs to finish the laundry.  I decided his backpack could use a spin in the dryer. When the timer bell went off I fished it out of the dryer, fold the stack of bills and put them back in his bag.

 Dear reader, you know this story is true.  It’s as true as the three dollar bills I put back into his pack.  Break that down!