Past 1 AM. I take the dog for her last walk of the night. She putzes about in the grass, her thick fur coat seeming to render her oblivious to the cold wind. I shiver and tell myself to keep us outside until she’s peed at least twice. I want her bladder empty so she can sleep easy.
She takes her time, sniffing at what feels like a thousand spots of dirt with far more earnest curiosity and enthusiasm than I believe warranted. My temper flares at her priorities, but how do you argue with a dog? Finally, she completes the task at hand and I feel a rush of genuine relief as I check the final box of the day.
I guide her and my glow of success back indoors. Upon entering the apartment, she makes a beeline for her water bowl and drinks it almost dry.