“I have my rooh-tine,” Malcolm tells me as I ask him about his day. He’s a southern boy and some words he drag-asses out. Just as he likes to drag out the morning. Me? I’m usually up and out first thing so I mostly miss the his ‘morning rooh-tine’.
“Fur-rst,” Malcolm informs me, “I mosey on out to the kitchen while the dawgs are clamoring for attention. Their tails are furiously whaagging, but they keep their distance until I’m able to pour some coffee and nud-ke it in the mic, warming it up. Once they hear the beep of the microwave starting its radiation, they know I have 1 1/2 minutes to give them their morning L.O.O.O.V.E. and they zero in for the kell.”
“Ahhhh,” I coo. The girls are so cute trying to edge out the other when it comes to getting attention. The competition between them can be fierce. Two hands, two dogs. Each hand goes out to pet the girls. But Amore is only interested in keeping the other hand off of Dolce. And Dolce is only concerned with pushing Amore further away than an arms stretch. The most you can hope for is for Dolce to stay on the right and Amore keeps to the left.
“Yeah, it’s phunny how Dolce and Amore know when it’s their time,” He continues. Okay, now, I’m making fun of Malc’s southern drawl, which I love by the way.
“And then what?” I question.
“Well, then it’s S & M time,” he grins proudly. S & M time? Is there something I need to know? Something he hasn’t told me yet. Thirteen years of marriage and the things you learn about your spouse. I wait him out.
“Yeeep!” Malcolm chuckles. Sofa and Malcolm time. That’s when they know I’ll let them up on the couch, while I’m reading the paper. Dolce waits along side of me while I position the pillows and get sit-u-ated.” Again, Malcolm draws out his words and his story. Once I’m prone with a blanket and my coffee, Dolce leaps over my legs to the back of the couch and settles in for a nap. Amore takes the spare space by my feet.”
Malcolm loves his dogs and loves having them next to him. The coffee tastes sweeter when the dogs are up close. The paper reads better when surrounded by Amore and Dolce. The sofa softer. And his day perfect, when all the elements of his ‘rooh-tine’ come together.
“Once the NY TImes is read, we all take a lit’ nap,” he finishes.
“A nap? You just got up!”
“Yeah, but its rooh-tine!”
Fast forward to a few days ago, when a special uncle of Amore and Dolce’s sent an email to Malcolm and I. Uncle Dan is from D.C. and is especially fond of the girls. He understands how our world revolves around the dogs and he most definitely understands Malcolm and his ‘rooh-tines’. The email included a short poem his brother-in-law had written. It is spot on.
I never knew how sweet a routine could be.
She paces while I fix my coffee, passing in
I change her water and fill a bowl with a scoop of food,
I take my coffee to the living room, plug my phone in to charge,
These are moments I can never take for granted.