Gratitude Adjustment

Henry Face

When you live with a dog like Henry, you come to understand that every encounter with him, no matter how innocent, holds the potential for trouble.

But sometimes my little warning bells go dormant, probably so they can recover from overuse. Consequently, when I’m in my bathroom, digging out cleaning supplies from under the counter, and I hear the telltale scraping sound that I know is Henry’s paw against the bathroom doors, I don’t think too much about it. Well, other than crud, more scratches to fix.

The door cracks open and Henry’s nose peeks through. Then he pushes the door wide and stands there surveying me.

I hold up some clorox wipes. “I’m cleaning.”

He eyes me with a look that says, “Yeah, but how do I know you’re not planning to take those wipes for a walk instead of me?”

I set the container down with a solid thud that says I’ll be scrubbing not walking. Then I start to move everything else off the counter.

I feel Henry’s gaze on me as I transfer our countertop clock to the edge of the bathtub, followed by the soap dish, the Kleenex box, and the toothbrush holder.

Then I set to work on washing the counter and sink.

Henry’s toenails click clack across the floor, and I hear him sniffing the air.

“Seriously, Henry. Just cleaning. You’ve seen it all before.”

I glance back and find him watching me. Apparently this is the most fascinating thing in his life right now. Sadly, mine too.

I turn back to my dirty sink and pretend I don’t notice Henry’s staring and his sniff, sniff, sniffing.

Why did Alan and I think white was a good color for a sink anyway? Couldn’t we have chosen a nice beige? Something the shade of soap scum so I wouldn’t have to clean as often?

I hear an odd sound behind me. I ignore it because I’ve just discovered that if you pull too hard trying to fix the drain plug thingy that you think isn’t sitting right, it comes all the way out.


Hopefully I can reseat it.

Then my little warning bells whine back to life, and I realize there’s a voice in my head saying, “Hey, there’s a slurp, slurp, slurping sound, and I don’t know what that could be other than Henry doing something bad with Alan’s toothbrush.”

I whirl around.

Henry’s gaze is fixed on the toothbrush, his nose maybe eight inches from it.

He swings his head my way, and his eyes say, “What are ya lookin’ at me for?”

Hmm. How to reconcile Henry’s face of pure innocence with the str