Minutes before we humans begin to stir, the dogs know. They’re pacing the floor instead of patiently lying around like every other morning, waiting for signs the day has officially begun.
When it’s my husband, and not I, who’s the first to respond and plant two feet on the floor, they’re certain. It’s Sunday! My old, arthritic yellow Labrador retrievers begin leaping with joy.
I scrutinize my bedroom for evidence that they know something is different. The clock reads seven, the time we awaken every morning. The same amount of light slips between the draperies covering our east-facing windows. There are no unusual sounds; no church bells ringing. And yet, they know.
They follow him to the bathroom, then back to the bedroom, so closely he’s barely able to pull up his pants or tie his shoes. Droplets of saliva on the floor are evidence of their anticipation. Finally, he’s ready and the dialogue begins.
“Davie, Bette, do you know what day this is? It’s Sunday. It’s bagel day. Come on, let’s go get a bagel!”
Amid unbridled excitement and a flurry of dog fur, the three march from the bedroom, down the stairs, and into the car to carry out their mission: bring home the Sunday bagels, and eat one along the way.
Over the years, knowledge of our Sunday ritual has spread among friends and family. Golf buddies know better than to invite my husband for an early tee time. Brunch is out of the question. We’re gently mocked, but I sense a degree of envy. We’ve succeeded in creating a bit of fun that’s guaranteed to provide a good laugh.
Our grandchildren, when they visit, become part of the Sunday practice. Up early, they catch Papa just as he and the dogs are about to leave, and place their orders. We bask in their participation and their innocent acceptance of Bagel Day as a completely normal phenomenon. I like to think we’re giving them a precious memory. One day when they’re grown and we’re no longer here, they will undoubtedly eat a bagel. They’ll think of their grandfather driving off in the car each week with Bette and Davis in the back, because these dogs know unquestionably that it’s Bagel Sunday.
In memory of our beloved Labs, who no doubt lived to ripe old ages due to sharing a bagel every Sunday.
Susan’s newest book, How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About, is available at Amazon.com and other online book sellers. Read her blog at www.SusansUnfilteredWit.com. Email Susan:SusanGoldfein@aol.com