A few days ago my funny, clever, multitalented daughter asked if Red Dog had come up with any questions lately. I had to think for a minute; he hadn’t. Somewhat later – just today, actually – I realized why that was. Red and I haven’t had much trail time lately, just the two of us. (He never asks me anything when Mrs. Smith is around.)
With that in mind, Red and I set out this morning for a walk down by the Colorado River, which is still tryna freeze. The temperature was around 20F degrees when we started. Most of the ice I’d seen on Corn Lake in late January was gone. We went east for a mile or so on the river trail, then across a pedestrian bridge and up a steep, switchbacked cutout to the top of a bluff.
Along the way, as if on cue, Red asked me why I spend so much time doing whatever it is I do on this computer or on the other one in my home office.
“Most of that is called earning a living so we can buy dog food and treats and .…” I stopped about there because I could tell by the cold stare that he got the point.
“I’m teasing you, Red,” I said. “Feeding you is a real bargain and we’re happy to do it. You’re family!”
He smiled at that, with those big brown eyes. We kept walking.
He’d asked a great question. I’ve seen many writers respond by saying things like “I can’t not write” and “because I must” and so on. My reasons are pretty simple to explain, at least when humans ask: My job is writing and editing.
I’m fortunate that people pay me to do that sort of thing. I didn’t try to explain that to Red, and I didn’t get into why I’m putting these particular words in this particular order right now, but that’s not complicated, either.
I do it because I enjoy doing it. I like making stuff up and I like writing true stuff. It doesn’t matter much if anyone reads this, but I do appreciate those who do.
Back to the walk, which was interrupted as almost every walk with Red Dog gets interrupted, sometimes more than once. Men on the trail never say much beyond hello, if that. But women…
This morning the woman walking toward us, with a guy I’d guess was her husband or partner or whatever, said with a big smile on her face, “Oh, you’re so cute! I’m gonna take you home with me!”
Red assumed she was talking to him, and I suspect he’s right. Nobody talks to me like that.