Scene 6 Lucky’s Walk
Stepping inside from the porch they notice the cottage is cooling off. Lucky’s tail starts beating on the floor. ” Hey Wiggle butt,” Su says
” What’s up buddy?” John asks.
” Phew it’s hot out here,” Su says as she waves the cool air at herself with her hands.
” Uh huh,” John responds.
Su walks over to Lucky, kneels down beside him as her knees crack and pop. ” Watch yer back,” John reminds her. ” How’s my puppy puppy, you watching the house?” she asks him as she gives him his kisses. Lucky’s tail beats harder and faster. He licks her chin and hands, then let’s out a little yawn. Su pets Lucky’s face in a scratching manner.
John walks over to them, reaches down and scratches Lucky just above the base of his tail, then gives him a rub on the ears and Lucky leans into it and then licks his hand. ” That’s so gross. Ear wax licker,” Su says. Su tries to get up and has a hard time. John reaches out with his clean hand helping her to her feet. ” Thanks,” she says.
” You gonna eat?” John asks. ” Just gonna make a quick snack before the sun goes down. I still wanna try to catch the sunset. I love the sunsets here. There’s nothing like them.”
” We have nacho chips?”
” Cheesy crackers.”
” Cheesy crackers will do. What we doing for dinner?”
” Whatever you want night,” Su replies.
To them ” whatever you want night” is where you fix whatever you want whenever you want. No one is expected to cook for one another. Fend for yourself. But if either of them wants to cook for the other that’s ok too.
” All right,” John says as he nods while making his way into the bedroom to get the camera. While sorting through the camera bag he finds his Stooper, the ring of shells he uses when he is writing. He picks them up and out of habit, rolls and rubs them together, then drops them into the bag. ” What am I doing, I’m here.” He shakes his head and continues searching for the rest of the accessories for the camera.
Su is in the kitchen making a sandwich staring out the kitchen window at the beach when she sees a tanned, thin, dark haired woman walking down the beach that reminds her of her mother. Chewing on her famous sliced pork sandwich, she gazes and remembers her mother. Her mother had similar features. ” I miss you mom,” she says aloud and gets a little choked up.
Su looks down to take another bite of her sandwich and when she looks up the woman is gone. She doesn’t think much about it, just that it was a little odd, as there really wasn’t anywhere for her to disappear to.
John comes out of the bedroom and grabs some nacho chips for a quick snack. Su finishes up her sandwich and waits for John to finish eating.
” Ready?” Su asks when she sees John eat the last chip on his paper towel. ” Yeah”, he says, sipping on a bottle of water.
Su looks at Lucky. ” Think it’s time?” Lucky looks up abruptly. This is his command for going for his walk and Lucky loves his walks and sniffing around.
The last time they were here Lucky was here with them too and he would chase and bite the waves. He also got a bunch of stickers stuck between his toes and had a hard time on the shells. Su and John are more aware of this now and have been going through extra precautions to make him more comfortable this time. They are also more concerned about his health. Lucky is old and has been aging very quickly lately, they know he may pass at any time and are trying to give him the best quality of life possible.
” Think it’s time booger butt?” Su asks with a smile. Lucky’s tail starts going a hundred miles a minute, beating against the floor. He is happy he is going on his walk. He gets up and looks at mom in anticipation. Su grabs his leash from the large kitchen counter and meets him on his blanket.
” Hang on, let me do something, ” John says as he goes into the closet and grabs another blanket. He comes back and lays it on the floor between the tables and the couch leading to the door. ” Good idea,” Su remarks. John holds the door open for them and they make their way out without any problems.
” You did good. Not much gimping. Sanibel makes you feel good huh? she says.
Lucky makes his way down the stairs and they all traverse the same path they came up from the beach earlier. ” I didn’t see any stickers here,” John says. ” Me neither,” Su replies.
Standing off the sand path between the dunes, Lucky sniffs around a bit and does his business. John cleans it up and throws the bag in a trash can located near the path. Su and Lucky make their way to the beach while John goes to wash his hands.
From where John is standing he can see Su and Lucky making their way across the shells to the shoreline.
” There you go Luck, go get those waves. Get’em!” she commands with excitement. But Lucky is more interested in sniffing around a hole he found on the beach.
There are many crabholes in the sand between the dunes and the beach. Around the hole Lucky is investigating there are shells, some blue rope and a little bit of trash wound together lining the hole. In the hole there is a crab that keeps trying to come out. As the crab comes to the top of the hole Lucky backs off a bit and as the crab goes down in the hole, he gets closer then talks to it with little whine like sounds. Su starts laughing as John slowly makes his way towards them.
” What is that Lucky? What you got? Ohh Lucky, that’s a crab,” she says.
Lucky keeps trying to play with the crab for a minute, then starts barking at it. Su pulls him away not wanting him to get bit by the crab. ” I thought you were gonna give him one of your ” Lucky Slaps” for a second. You got him, good boy!” Lucky pants and listens to Su, backing away from the hole.
A ” Lucky Slap” is when Lucky slaps things with his paw, like frogs. They coined the term one day when they saw Lucky playing with frogs. He was hopping along with the frog playing with it, then out of the blue he slapped it. Well, when he did, it popped and went belly up killing it. He’ll do it to lizards too, it happens so fast there’s no stopping it.
Su leads Lucky towards the beach and Lucky turns his attention to the waves. He looks at them for a minute and starts biting at them as they hit him in the legs. Su smiles. She knows this brings him pleasure. Lucky hops and Su is surprised, he hops again and bites at the waves. He seems to be doing ok.
He hops again biting at the waves and loses his balance. Lucky lays down on the sand and begins panting from the exercise. Su walks over to him, kneels down and begins petting him. ” You ok?” she asks. Lucky continues to pant as John walks up. ” Having fun?” ” Yeah, he’s taking a breather. He was chasing waves again.” ” Really!? Yeah, that’s good. I thought he might just walk around, didn’t think he would do all that.” ” He’s a good boy!” he says to Lucky.
Su points out “He was after a crab up there, started barking at it.” ” Where?” John asks looking around.
” Over there on that dune just before you come down to the beach. See that piece of wood, right over there somewhere.” John goes over to the hole as Su watches. She sees him look into the hole and start doing something similar to what Lucky did. He got close and looked into the hole. When the crab came near the top of the hole John would back off, when it went down in the hole he would get closer. This went on for a minute or so.
Su laughs and looks at Lucky ” Only thing he didn’t do was bark.” “Like father like son.” she says aloud.
John looks up and sees Su laughing. ” What?” Su shakes her head back and forth. ” You and that crab, it was just funny watching you go back and forth.”
John starts laughing knowing it probably did look pretty funny but doesn’t realize the whole scenario of circumstances she was looking at that made her laugh.
” How’s Lucky doin’?” he asks. ” I think he’s ok. I think he’s taking a break. He took a spill just a minute ago.”
John kneels in the sand beside Lucky and runs his hand lightly over his hips and Lucky looks back but keeps on panting like he was. John runs his hands over his hips a little harder and gets no negative response from Lucky again. John rubs his neck and scratches down the center of his back where there is a long wide ridge of hair. Lucky stands to his feet and stares out at the Gulf.
John pulls a bottle of water out of his pocket and pours some into the cup of his hand. Lucky laps it up. He keeps giving him water this way until Lucky stops drinking. ” I think he’s good… you good buddy?” John offers another handful of water and Lucky sniffs it but doesn’t drink. ” He’s good” John says.
” He seems to be having fun. ” Su says happily. ” You?” John asks. ” Oh yes, I’m wonderful.”
John nods as they stand on the beach staring out at the dark Gulf waters with white capped waves rolling onto shore beneath a gray sky. They can see the sun behind the clouds, but it is entirely cloaked by the clouds.
” No sunset tonight, ” Su says. ” Doesn’t look like it, but, hey! It’s Florida, you never know,” he says with a shrug. ” I think it’s too late,” Su says.
” Left my watch at home. Island time baby, island time.”
Su smiles and they take in the beach, the sounds, the smells and enjoy each others company while Lucky lounges on the shells in the sand until the beach starts getting real dark.
” Did we draw the shades on the windows?” Su asks. ” I don’t remember, why?”
” The turtles.”
” Oh no, shit. I don’t remember. Want me to go back up there?”
” Yeah, I’m coming with,” Su replies.
” I got it if you want to stay down here,” John says.
” No, the no-see-ums got me once or twice and it won’t be long before they get bad.”
” Oh ouch, yeah the flying vampire mouths. Yeah, I think they got me once or twice too.”
” You think?” Su asks jokingly.
” Well it could have been a skeeter, I dunno. After you.”
Su hands John the leash ” Here take Lucky, I don’t want him yanking my back.”
” For an old guy he’s still got some umph, huh?”
” It’s that fat ass. Beep, beep, beep. Wide load coming through,” Su says making fun of Lucky a little and feeling guilty at the same time that she spoils him with treats. They both laugh and Lucky pays them no mind, even though he can understand exactly what they are talking about most of the time. ” Just kidding buddy,” Su says to Lucky.
Lucky starts limping and limps for a few steps then stops dead in his tracks. Both Su and John take notice and John kneels down in front of him. ” Where’s it at buddy?” Lucky lifts his paw and John lets it rest in his hand. Feeling around the bottom of his paws and between his hairy pads he finds it. A sticker. John pulls it out and Lucky snarls a little from the pain. John lets Lucky have his paw back. ” Is that it? Got any more? Paw?” Lucky lifts the same paw and John finds another sticker in-between his pads, he pulls it, Lucky snarls again and tries pulling away. John keeps searching for more stickers that he may have missed then lets Lucky have his paw back.
John commands Lucky again ” Paw.” Lucky quickly lifts his paw off the ground and quickly drops it. ” Other paw”. Lucky gives him his other paw. John checks it and it seems to be clean. ” Ok, all done, good boy!” he says as he scratches Lucky’s back and neck friskily.
Lucky stands on all fours and walks normally, with his normal gimp. ” I think we got it,” John says.
” At least it wasn’t like last time when he got ’em in both his paws and a lot of them too,” Su says as she remembers back to the last time they were here. ” Yeah, I think he’s ok. That was bad last time. He got those big three pronged ones. This time it was those little ones that have a bunch of small spines … I tried checking the path when we went through here earlier for sticker patches, but didn’t see any,” John says as he tries to look for sticker patches in the dark. ” Me too, they must have been hiding.”
Making their way back to the cottage porch through the dunes and sea oats across the path, they rinse their feet and Lucky’s feet and his underside, then place the shells they collected, this time on the table to sort and look at later.
” Grab Lucky’s towel.” Su says.
” All right.” John goes in and comes back out with a large green towel that has the name Bosco embroidered on it and starts drying Lucky off. Lucky likes to be dried off, he just doesn’t like getting wet. Here on Sanibel he doesn’t seem to mind so much, but still hasn’t actually gone swimming.
While drying him off he likes to play games with the towel, a little tug of war here and there. A little hide and seek by covering his head then rubbing his head and face while he bites at the towel, and saddle blanket where they throw the towel over his back like a saddle blanket and scrub him with the towel. It makes him frisky and today is no different. They are glad to see him happy and frisky.
Su puts him back on the leash to lead him across the short spot of tile on the floor to his blankets and unhooks him. He goes nosing around his bowls and drinks all of his water.
John fills the water bowl again. Lucky takes a few more laps of water then lays down in front of the window panting for a little bit, licking his paws and cleaning his face with his paws, then rubs his face and ears on the blanket with a snort and sigh, then finally relaxes by pushing his paws against the small portion of wall beneath the window.
” Look, he’s checking out the beach, ” Su says. John looks over and smiles.
John fills Lucky’s dinner bowl with his diet food and turns to Su, ” he seems to be doing ok today.”
” Yes, he did really good today, I was surprised. That was a long trip,” Su says as she looks up from the laptop.
” He’s still got a lot of life in him I think.” John says. ” I hope so.” She replies.
” Whatcha doin?” John asks curiously. ” Who me? Looking for restaurants.” She replies. ” I thought we were doing whatever night”?
” We are, this is for when the kids come.” She says staring into the computer screen. ” Oh, all right,” John says.
Copyright © 2012 by John Edward Petersen