It was drizzling all over the dark landscape outside. Yet, one of us was excited to go out into the damp, cool night air.
“The air will be refreshing and clean!” I said to myself in an attempt to build up my own enthusiasm for our pending evening walk. Little did I know that excitement would be mine almost as soon as I opened the door.
My hand pushed the door handle toward the ground to initiate an opening and Merlin — perhaps the cutest Welsh Corgi to ever live — bounded out the door, across the porch and down a couple of stairs. He had caught a scent.
He darted forward, then left, then right and around a bush sniffing. His enthusiastic pursuit, with nose to the ground, caught me off guard because he usually doesn’t like rain. I looked forward and walked in his chosen direction while peeking under my umbrella.
“I should let him have a little fun in the gloom,” I thought.
He darted and strained. I followed.
It must be a cat drumming up this much excitement. But it’ll be long gone by now, I thought. I walked, grasping Merlin’s leash in one hand and the umbrella handle in the other, while talking to myself.
Merlin circled the front of an air conditioning compressor and thrust forward between the house and its soaked metal frame. Then I heard a loud hiss. I pulled back on the leash.
Merlin came willingly. He pushed his face across the wet grass, and I caught a whiff.
It wasn’t a cat Merlin was so interested in. He had been skunked! I felt sorry for us because I’d been through this skunk thing with other dogs. And for the first time that night I was thankful for the cleansing power of rain and time.
I was hopeful that the rain would wash a lot of the skunk spray and its effects from Merlin’s soft, pointed, fur-covered snout. Still, I knew that the power of time would ultimately provide a final deliverance from his pain.
He was clearly in pain. As soon as we got back inside our house his exuberance was gone. His black and white adversary had stolen it, leaving him to experience the result of his nearly unbridled passion. I unclipped his leash, put the umbrella away, removed my dripping shoes and sat across the room from a pensive pup.
“Don’t worry, my friend,” I said to Merlin. “It’s bad now, but you’ll live! We’ve all been stung by our own exuberance before. Yes, tonight is rainy and the whole landscape of your life looks dark. And, in your case, this really does stink! But the rain and darkness won’t last forever and you can always trust in the goodness of time. In a couple of days the rain will have passed and the sun will shine on you and your world again. Just use this experience to temper your exuberance for the unknown.”
In three days, time had passed and it was that time again. The sun had been shining all day and the evening was dry and cool. It was the perfect night for walking pals. Both of us were excited to go out into the cool, dry air.
Well, we just weren’t overly excited!
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.