Abigail Thomas

Spring With Dogs

I know it’s almost spring because there is mud everywhere, tracked in by the dogs. Floors, chairs, couch, bed. I don’t mind. Good clean mud, I say to myself. At night, varmints abound, and my hound dog Cooper wakes at 5:00 every morning, howling. Daphne and Sadie start barking, and after five minutes of this, I get up, go into the kitchen, and open the door. More howling. I turn the lamps on, hoping it will look as though I am doing something important that can only be done at this hour. I make coffee.

As soon as it gets light, I sit on the porch. Wind knocks the wet off trees down the block, but doesn’t cross to our side of the street. Instead another breeze comes from the north into our yard. How does the wind go about its business? My dog Sadie licks rain off the onion grass in its black pot, and I drink more coffee, light another cigarette. After a bit, I get up from my damp chair, find shoes, walk in the yard.

With spring, the ice is starting to melt. Bits of the past have begun to appear. The top of a carrot, discarded by a dog months ago. Twists of tin foil, licked clean of whatever they once held. Somebody’s shoe. Snow is again in the forecast, but no sign of it so far.  Maybe I’ll find my daughter’s cell phone, my moonstone ring, and the flashlight. There is a book by the wild grass, uncovering itself next to the dripping privet. I bend down. It’s Lawrence of Arabia, beginning to appear under the drifts of snow.



Abigail Thomas lives in Woodstock, New York, with her dogs. Thomas has 4 children, 12 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and considers herself a lucky duck.


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