A Bottomless Well of Hope 4

The Dog is a wagging, pooping, barking embodiment of hope. His hope is relentless and vast. Nothing can shatter The Dog’s daily measure of hope will not be quenched. He does not comprehend that I am not going to take him with me running. Not now. Not anymore.

But daily he rises, at the merest hint of running shoe rubber on flooring. At the slightest gesture I might take toward my running drawer. This is the drawer where I keep my headphones, my hats and gloves, my ear bands and arm bands and water belts. He knows. He knows that if something comes out of that drawer, if I put on my shoes, or a hat, if I’m walking around in that stupid running bra, looking for my favorite running shirt, knowing  all the while it’s still in the dryer, that I’m going to hit the road. I make several annoying laps through the house, growing more irritated as he shadows me, edging closer to my feet, desperate to go for a run with me.

I am a cold hearted woman. I can hold his deep brown gaze and turn from it without one single pang of guilt. I can even smile at him when he cocks his head as if to beg me. He presents his case with what my children could only hope to master: puppy dog eyes. I talk to him as I slide the arm band up, strapping my phone and music to my arm. I pat his head as I put on my socks and shoes. I give him generous scoops of food and bowls of water, I promise him that his owners, the children and their father, will ensure that he gets a nice, long walk today. Then I walk out the door, and I do not think of him again until I return.

Dude is the first one to greet me, every single time, and either he is playing a masterful game of “I will get you someday,” or he’s genuinely thrilled to see me. A feeling I do not reciprocate, but I pat him all the same. I’m not a total jerk.


I ask myself every day how he can be rejected, every single day, and still act surprised that I don’t take him. How can he be rejected every day and still ask again the next? How can he be rejected every day and still be happy to see me? Will this doofus ever learn? So, either he’s a bit slow on the uptake, or he’s a dog.  Or maybe his reserves of hope are as deep as the earth. Maybe the confidence he has in his own powers of persuasion is so strong he can not permit himself to quit hoping, and asking

I don’t know. But—and this hurts me a little bit to admit—I kind of find this part of his character rather endearing. He has a deep and abiding hope that one day, he will get to run with me again. And he will not stop asking.  Because, I bet he thinks, today just might be the day.

Not a bad way to look at the world. What are you hoping for with stores as deep as the earth?

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4 thoughts on “A Bottomless Well of Hope

  • Sara Breeggemann

    I completely understand the situation you find yourself in. I am also at the point where I cannot take the dog b/c the mileage is too great. They do not understand this. They just keep hoping. And I have to envy that. How often do we give up too easily? How might the world be a different (better?) place if we were more inclined to think “maybe today is the day?”

    Life is a struggle, always. But I can’t help but wonder if it might be easier if we would hold on to more hope. My hope, right now, is that my husband can find his way back to the God who loves him & therefore, find the man he was created to be.

    On a total side note, where can I find the Pinole Poppers? The link doesn’t list vendors.

  • Jeff szcinski

    I am reminded of the story of St. Monica and St. Augustine. Monica was always one of the nun’s favorites. 1. She was a ‘she’, but more importantly 2. her canonization is primarily because of her longsuffering (we’re talking YEARS of) prayer for the conversion of her son – Augustine. Eventually the years of steadfast and faithful prayer (yea, pleading) that her prodigal son would turn from his ways, yielded not only his conversion, but the title Bishop Augustine of Hippo, the writing of his famous ‘Confessiones’, and evntually Sainthood.

    I guess the only question might be, of Monica & Augustine, which is ole Cooper more analogous to, and which are you??? God bless ya’ Cooper!

    • Jennifer Post author

      Hm…You’re saying Cooper will be Augustine one day? We can hope, I suppose, and then I shall be canonized? Fun. He’s a good dog, and without him, where would I be?