Veterinarian Almanac

SLICE #4

“I’m the keeper of the light around here.”

Pausing for a moment, I lifted my pen and head, “Huh?” The dog started whimpering and impatiently pulling his way to the exit.

“The light, it’s not going to get dark until 5:44 today and then 5:45 tomorrow. I like to sit at my desk and time the light as it goes away.” She turned toward her computer. “It’s eighteen dollars and fifty cents.” She ripped the credit card receipt from the register, held it to the counter and handed me the pen. “Winter’s almost over.”

“Oh.” I scribbled my name on the receipt and handed it back to Monica, the vet’s assistant. “I’ll be happy if the temperature is ten degrees warmer, but I do like the sunshine today.” The dog began dancing around my legs positioning himself to bolt out the door. I patted his head.

“Yeah, the longer the days get the warmer we will be.” she said. The dog’s mouth is wide and panting. “This weekend it will stay light until 6:55”

“Oh yeah, daylight savings time. I heard it will be in the forties next week.” The dog’s nose is pressed against the glass door spreading a smear of slime.

“Of course it will be warmer next week because it will be light out until 6:55. The sun will be out longer next week.” Monica said as she leaned over the counter to pat Wiley’s head. “Poor baby, he’s shaking.”

I stared blankly at her for a moment that felt way too long. “But we are only changing the clock–” Wiley couldn’t take it anymore. He jumped at the glass door and barked wildly. Monica and I turned to look at him.

“Poor baby,” she said.

“I guess it is time for us to go.” Pushing the door open, Wiley and I stepped out into the light and waved at Monica.

I glanced at my phone 4:44. One hour of light left. I smiled to myself.

3 thoughts on “Veterinarian Almanac

  1. I like how you intersperse the dialogue with the dog’s activities. I feel impatient with the conversation because I know how much a dog wants to leave the vet’s office, yet I want to listen as well. It’s very effective. I wonder if it would detract from the telling if you included some physical characteristics of the dog.

    It took me a couple of readings to catch Monica’s error. It was so subtle. Wishful thinking on her part?

    What can you get done at the vet’s office for $18.50?

    • Thank You, Meg! I wondered myself if it was too subtle but it was kind of the way it unfolded today and I was trying to capture that. Wiley is a 10 year old greyhound and he is our “problem child” . Everyone knows us in the vet’s office. The $18.50 was for a nail trim.

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